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  • Japan Tea Tour, Spring 2024
    June 5, 2024

    Japan Tea Tour, Spring 2024

    Our first morning in Japan began with a drive up to the Haruno Mountains in Shizouka Prefecture. It was a perfect blue sky spring day. The narrow road spiraled up into mountains that were wooded and matcha green. Wherever the...

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  • Visit to Okayti Tea Estate in Darjeeling
    August 23, 2023

    Visit to Okayti Tea Estate in Darjeeling

    A winding road ribboning through the rain and mist of monsoons delivered us to Okayti tea estate, one of our newest partners from Darjeeling hills. Located in the picturesque Mirik Valley area, the tea estate is spread over 1600 acres...

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  • Tea Garden Visits - India Summer 2019
    August 18, 2019

    Tea Garden Visits - India Summer 2019

    Two things I most love about my job - spending time with customers, and visiting the tea gardens back east. Every time I am driving around the hills where the tea is grown, the beauty of the place makes me feel utterly blessed that I can do this for a living.
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  • India Trip, Summer 2019
    August 16, 2019

    India Trip, Summer 2019

    I just got back from India after a two and a half week trip. Although it was not the intent but me and my travel companion, who in this case happened to be my 12 year old daughter, Tara, ended up "Chasing the Monsoons", like the travel writer Alexander Frater in his once popular book. And like Frater discovering -  in our case rediscovering - the overwhelming life force of India even as the heavens hosed down the sub-continent.
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  • Visit to Roji-en, Japanese garden in Delray Beach, Florida
    February 24, 2019

    Visit to Roji-en, Japanese garden in Delray Beach, Florida

    "Strolling through a pine forest or bamboo grove, viewing the rock formations, arrangement of plants, and cascading waterfalls, pausing to ponder the quiet surface of the lake and the shoreline - little by little we are encouraged to lay aside the chaos of a troubled world and gently nurture the capacity within to hear a more harmonious, universal rhythm…This is the tremendous power the Japanese gardens at Morikami Park hold for us." - Hoichi Kurisu, Master Garden Designer of Roji-en.
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  • Toronto Tea Festival, 2019
    February 3, 2019

    Toronto Tea Festival, 2019

    After nine years of residing in Rochester, I finally crossed over to the other side of Ontario Lake, to get to the Canadian city of Toronto - thanks to its annual tea festival. For the efforts - which included an early rise and a hangover from the polar vortex of the century - we were richly rewarded. Our day trip was filled with many cups of warm wonderful teas, encounters with equally warm tea enthusiasts, and topped off by a documentary on Darjeeling tea! 
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  • Photo of Jun Chiyabari Tea Garden
    November 21, 2015

    A visit to Jun Chiyabari Tea Garden

    It was pandemonium at the Indo-Nepal border: long lines of trucks stalled on the Indian side, crowd milling through haywire traffic, groups of angry men yelling, motorists pounding on their horns, determined families dragging their children and luggage, garbage and dust flying all over.

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  • Photo of candles
    October 18, 2014

    Travel India Diaries 2014 - IV (Prayers)

    One of the main reasons for my recent trip to India was to attend my father's “barsi” - his first death anniversary ceremony. These rituals officially mark the end of the mourning period for the bereaved family, and invoke Chenrizig, the goddess of compassion, for the liberation of all souls.

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  • Photo of Sukna
    October 10, 2014

    Travel Diaries India 2014 -III (Home)

    Photo of Sukna

    Dawn breaks over Sukna, a small village in the foothills of Darjeeling. This is where my mother lives. This is where I was born 40 years ago, when elephants used to trundle down the dirt road in front of our house. Times have changed. Now young men walk the dusty lanes transfixed onto their cell phones just like anywhere else in the world.

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