In the 1990’s, with great help from Cartoon Network’s Toonami, Japanese animation (Anime) saw a large surge in popularity. Formerly a fringe genre that was hard to find due to its low popularity and familiarity, Anime has now become a lot more mainstream, liked by many different people. It is a multi-billion dollar industry, with Anime conventions seeing attendance in the tens of thousands of people.
With Anime came a lot more of Japanese culture. Their food, clothing, movies, and various other customs all made a jump as well, as people who began to really enjoy Anime began to wonder what else Japan had to offer. It was a great thing for everyone.
Unfortunately, we feel that tea, while still having an increase in popularity, has still not received the recognition it should have. Just as how Anime is a lot more than mere cartoon shows, tea is a lot more than a mere drink. A lot of people are not aware that there are over 3,000 varieties of tea. The base for this variety, to many people’s surprise, comes from a single plant. Tea has been the economic backbone – and even the currency – of nations and cultures in the past, and is responsible for starting international wars. How many people’s lives would be enriched if they knew how to make a better cup of tea, using the right temperature and brewing time, depending on which tea they brew.
We would like to make this known, and much more like it, a lot more common. We don’t want people to just drink some hot leaf juice, we want to open their eyes to the beauty of every sip and cup. And we want to start this with the people that really helped spur the incoming of Asian culture, and the people our staff already have a strong connection with; the Anime community.
Tea has been frequently used as the drink of choice for discussing important matters in the East. Warlords would discuss terms of peace over a cup. Emperors would enjoy the tea ceremony as they contemplate policies that will forever change the course of their nation’s history. Why not bring it over, and use it to discuss the latest episode of your favorite show? The direction of a series? The latest manga? Or why not just sit back and enjoy a cup in peace as you watch the newest episode?
It obviously doesn’t have to extend to just Anime. Enjoy a cup while discussing life, philosophy, politics, or whatever else a calm and focused mind calls for. Or just don’t do anything but sit, and let the delicious smells and flavors of the work of art that is this tea beverage in your cup engulf you, as you rediscover the beauty of simplicity.