My Japanese friend Kimio gave me today original matcha from his hometown, Fukuoka:
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Do you know matcha? It's a traditionally made green tea powder made from the only few top young leaves of the green tea plants, hand-picked after a specific seasoning (mainly covering the leaves to protect them from the sun), then hand-removed veins and imperfections, to be ground in a stone mill. It's one of the things that is to this day made traditionally by people, and is by now not mechanized! :-)
To drink matcha, you need a special drinking bowl, a bamboo scoop and traditionally carved bamboo whisk (which I have ordered today :P). The whisk is something of a pinnacle of Japanese engineering — it's hand-carved from a single piece of bamboo, making it both beautiful and functional! Stay tuned for the matcha set showcase soon.
Oh my, look at these irresistible cupcakes! They look like they are just vanilla, but there's some butterscotch in there for a seriously amazing sweetness ending... So perfect!
I had some leftover meringue after making meringue hearts, and decided to make something cheeky — if you're brave, you can give your crush these cute, little blobs, or as I call them poopies. You can even make small hats for your cupcakes out of them, or place a cute little flag saying "Love me" or "Date?" for a cute, funny, little ice breaker! :-)