Sunday, April 12, 2015

A Cherry Blossom Afternoon Tea



Please join me
for a
Cherry Blossom Festival inspired tea.

Each year Cherry Blossom Festivals take place throughout the world. In the United States the first festival took place in 1912 with the gift of 3,000 trees to Washington D.C. from the mayor of Tokyo. The gift along with subsequent annual celebrations has honored the friendship between the U.S. and Japan. Today is the final day of the National Cherry Blossom Festival. 
Were you able to attend a local festival? 
Unfortunately I wasn't so I decided to host this afternoon tea.


Here's the tablescape.
 It's a pretty hazy humid day so not ideal for photo taking. Where are you sun?


Of course, cherry blossoms should be the centerpiece. We had an early bloom this year in February. No more blossom branches in our neighborhood nor at the Farmers' Market. The faux cherry blossom branches at JoAnns were disappointing; so I'm sharing these beautiful orchids from my cousin's garden. Their scent is wonderful and they've already lasted a week. I was so enamored with these orchids at Easter that my cousin gave them to me.










Instead of a featured teacup this week, there is a bowl and plate set from Japan. These four sets are the last items my late great aunt passed on to me. They have never been used and were in a Gumps department store bag. Gumps is a high end home decor and jewelry store in San Francisco. I wonder if they were purchased there or she just placed them in that bag. (I have always been interested in the Japanese tea ceremony and would love to travel to Kyoto one day and visit the pagodas.)


The texture and blue glaze is just amazing and each piece is unique.  I'm curious to know more about their age and where specifically were they produced.

Please share any information you may have... (thanks!)





Each piece's back stamp with traditional (old) Japanese characters






The teacups we are using are from my Crate and Barrel dish set. The pattern is Epoch Line and they were made in Japan.
Well certainly not as beloved as my English teacups, the minimal look of these cups goes well with this particular tea party. 

Each place setting has a chopstick rest.


These dog and cat chopstick rests were gifts from a visiting colleague from Japan.






Today we will be drinking Genmai-cha by Yamamotoyama. This is my absolute favorite green tea! In addition to green tea, genmai-cha has toasted rice in it. I love its nutty flavor. 

Today's Afternoon Tea Menu

Miso Soup
Cucumber Salad (recipe below)
Dragon Rolls, Spider Rolls and California Rolls
Dessert: Mochi (sticky rice cake)

Genmai-cha Tea


I really enjoyed the freshness of this Japanese Cucumber Salad.
Click here for the recipe. It's simple to make and a salad that I should include during the summer months with my teas.




Thank you for joining me today...
I will leave you with a gorgeous cherry blossom tree that is in my parking lot at work. This photo was taken on February 18.


 I will be joining the following parties:

Pink Saturday
Ruth's Antiques and Teacups
Bernideen's Friends Sharing Tea
Martha's Favorites









17 comments:

  1. What a lovely tea! I do love looking at the trees..but have to stay away...mostly inside during blossom season because of my allergies. Your setting is perfect for a cherry blossom festival, and I think your table cloth is perfect! Thanks so much for linking to Tuesday Cuppa Tea!
    Ruth

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  2. I love this post! I agree that the tablecloth is just perfect. You would enjoy following Carol Zwick's blog called Buttercup Counts Her Blessings. She is currently in Japan and is posting gorgeous photos.

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    1. Thanks so much Mildred for letting me know about her blog. I've been reading her Japan posts and her photo of the cherry blossom posted today is breathtaking. Wish I was there! ~Nora

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  3. I enjoyed attending your Cherry Blossom tea, Nora. Your tablecloth is perfect for the tea and compliments your pretty dishes from your late great aunt. Also, your Crate and
    Barrel teacup goes so well, too. I'd love to have some of your favorite green tea and some of the cucumber salad. Happy tea time!

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  4. Nora, I enjoyed attending your tea. We will have plenty of those fruit tree blossoms soon but not yet. I am just barely seeing little buds showing up on our trees. This was a tough winter but hopeful the wait is over.

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  5. What a fun tea! I'd love to sample your Japanese-themed treats!

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  6. That design in your plate is amazing.... and I love the blossoms...they are so pretty. :)

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  7. Very pretty Japanese tea! The menu sounds great too!

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  8. Love the design on your bowl and plate. Just beautiful. I am trying to grow a cherry tree in Los Angeles, we will see. Have a wonderful week. Blessings, Martha

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  9. The Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington DC marks the arrival of spring. We took our children once back in the 70's. Your photos are lovely.

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  10. Oh I love your tea table today and the menu sounds delicious.
    The tea bowl from Gump's is very special too.

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  11. Very, very beautiful! Well done and creatively executed.

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  12. very pretty, the cherry blossoms will not be out for another month here in Southern Ontario.

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  13. Hi Nora,
    What a pretty Cherry Blossom tea. Mine is in bloom and I just wish it would stay in bloom all year long. I love the teapot I see in the background. It looks like a Sadler. The teacups and bowls are all very unique. Happy Tea Day! Karen

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    Replies
    1. Good eye, Karen. The teapot is a Sadler. My first one! I bought it new on ebay.

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  14. Hi Nora,
    What a pretty Cherry Blossom tea. Mine is in bloom and I just wish it would stay in bloom all year long. I love the teapot I see in the background. It looks like a Sadler. The teacups and bowls are all very unique. Happy Tea Day! Karen

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  15. Hi Nora, Thanks for leaving me a note on my blog, it lead me back to you! I enjoy reading your blog. What a beautigul Cherry blossom tree! Tea is a fave of mine too! I 'll be back, I'll follow! Dianna http://porchsittintimeforscooby.blogspot.com/ Your teacups are wonderful!

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Thank you for visiting my blog today. I really look forward to reading your comments. Have a nice day! ~Nora