My 2015 Reading list (and resolution)

Every year we realize we want to do something new, such as, exercise or stop buying candy. For me this is reading. I always find I never read enough books throughout the year, so I am going to change that. I have created a list of books I have wanted to read and ones I am very curious about. The goal: to read them all before the end of the year (plenty of time to finish!). So lets check out the list together and I will start this, tonight.

books Tea Reader book thief romance of the three kingdoms book of the five rings tale of genji zen flavour Aaron Fisher a course in miracles not that kind of girl what I know for sure oprah winfrey

1. A Tea Reader: Living Life One Cup at a Time by Katrina Avila Munichiello

   I will admit I have started this book last year ,but have yet to finish. So, guess where I am starting? Anyhow, this book is fantastic for any tea drinker as it is written by tea drinkers. I was drawn to this anthology because Cinebar, the writer for Gongfu Girl, has contributed a piece, and I am all for supporting other bloggers.

2.The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

     After watching the movie late last year, I was itching to read the book. Liesel is a character that you just have to fall in love with. Her life through WWII is full of special moments with family and  friend she makes (I am hoping the slight romance between her and the stowaway is in here too).

3.Romance of the Three Kingdoms Vol.1 by Lo Kuan-Chung

   Romance, history and a bit of mythology: Romance of the Three Kingdoms is one of four great classical novels from China. Parts of it have been made into movies, such as, Red Cliff (Fave! ). I adore my Chinese Dramas (Currently watching Romance of the Condor Heroes), so reading a novel is a must for me. It really ties into my mini goal of a few Chinese/Japanese Authors on this list.

4.Tale of Genji by Shikubu Murasaki

    When my love for kimono brought me to Liza Dalby’s book “Kimono”, I was introduced lightly to this novel. In contrast to the previous book this one is full of: forbidden love, revenge, poetry and even a demon/ghost. Its written during the height of the Heian era which places the publication year before 1021. Let’s just say I love history.

5.Book of Five Rings by Miyamoto Musashi

 While in my final year at OCAD University, I read Sun Tzu’s “Art of war”. Both of which I am reading as a “guide” to business, which is what “Art of War” is often re-framed as. The time difference is significant as this book was published in 1645, many years after “Art of War”.  A time that was just a few years before big changes in Japan (letting foreigners in etc).

6.Zen and Tea: One Flavour by Aaron Fisher

  Aaron Fisher is one of my favorite authors, naturally he is on this list. I just love how he writes and adored “The Way of Tea”. This one goes deeper into the relationship of tea and zen. Both things, which you know by reading this blog, that I just can not get enough of. I can not wait to learn more about “Wu Wei” and the even deeper meaning behind it (than what I already know).

7.Tea Medicine by Aaron Fisher

 Did you know that tea was once used medicinally? or that in Chanoyu (Japanese Tea Ceremony) it is still referred to as a “dosage of tea”? Through these two points, I hope to learn more about tea from this perspective as  “student” under my teacher Wu De (Aaron Fisher).

8. A Course in Miracles by Helen Schucman

  After reading a few books by Gabrielle Bernstein, who references this text, I felt the need to learn from the same text that helped her become who she is, by learning self-forgiveness and listening to your inner voice. She used this text as a basis to bring forth the same “healing” that she received from this very book. While this book is more of a textbook in format, it is also a workbook as well. It will be a little companion of mine for the next while as I work towards my own “healing”.

9.Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham

 After many trips to chapters and spotting this book, its time to read it (alright A Beautiful Mess’s Book Club read it and now I want to). Just by reading the description of the book, it made me want to run out and get it. Lena has set this book up as a collection of essays, lists and e-mails from her own life. What kind of Woman can pass up the opportunity to  learn the lessons that another Woman experienced? Definitely not me.

10.What I know for Sure by Oprah Winfrey

  For as long as I can remember I have watched Oprah with my mom regularly growing up, it is very empowering to see a woman give back so much to the world around her (and even take the time to write). When I saw this book It called to me and also felt like a book my mom would give me. With that thought in mind I want to take the time to read this and then pass it on to her, as we can both use a little wisdom from a Woman we both respect.

  I can not wait to get to many of these but I am (as mentioned) starting with “The Tea Reader”. No exact order will be followed for the course of this adventure (okay I might get “Not That Kind of Girl” next).

till next time,

Best of 2013 in Tea

With 2014 finally here, it is time to look back at the best of 2013 together. With the new year beginning today we need to start things off on the right foot together with tea. My goal is to make Tea Journey a fun place to learn about tea, art and  all things connected to them. This year is going to be an adventure to remember for years to come, now it’s time to look over my favorite posts from 2013.


Japanese Tea Books

The number one thing I am passionate about telling people I meet is that I love Japan and its culture. Being a Canadian there is only 146 years of history to learn about, with Japan there is over 2000 years to drool over.  Part of that history is the cultivation of tea and its own culture with it.  These books each give their own insight into Japan’s personal world with tea itself.

Tea- Shirt Shop OPEN!

 As an artist and designer, I always love to give something back to those around me. My secret project completed and I was able to present you with the first design for Tea- Shirts on Spreadshirt. 

   With new beginnings starting with 2014 I can not wait to release the next design!

Teavana neighborhood store: Hit or Miss?

Teavana did it, they created a master piece in the heart of Manhattan. I was very pleased to know it was happening and eagerly waited to hear from my old colleagues in NYC. Who could not be blown away by their artful ceiling of…. TEA!

    This store marked the beginning of something new in the tea world, let’s see what happens in 2014~

Sommelier Exam Study: Some Tips

  Being a Tea Sommelier to me means that you need to keep learning every day. I took the exam not only to complete my journey with the program but to push myself to study intensively and gain new knowledge.
   This guide is perfect if you wish to do the exam or even just to learn a bit more about the complexities and subtleties of teas.

Which posts were your top 3? Comment below, much love.
-Kat xxooo

Follow me for more @bellmanart  /katherine.bellmanart 

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Books on Tea

          With so many on the market now it is hard to keep up with them. Over the past few month my collection as grown more than planed. As there are so many out there I am going to provide you with my list. I would love to hear about what ones you have in your library.

-The Ancient Art of Tea by Warren Peltier
-The Way of Tea by Aaron Fisher
-The Story of Tea by Mary Lou Heiss and Robert J. Heiss
-Urasenke Chanoyu Handbook One by Soshitsu Sen XV
-The Art of Tea in China by Gou Danying Wang Jianrong
-The Book of Tea and Coffee by Joel, David and Karl Schapira
-A Tea Lover’s Travel Diary : Phoenix Single-Tree Oolong Tea, Tie Kuan Yin Oolong Tea by Jason C.S Chan
-Classic of Tea/The Sequel to The Classic of Tea by Lu Yu/Lu Tingcan
-The Book of Chuang Tzu
-Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu
-The Tea Enthusiast’s Handbook by Mary Lou Heiss and Robert J. Heiss
-365 Tao by Deng Ming-Dao
-Writings from the Zen Masters (Great Idea Series)
-The Book of Tea by Kakuzo Okakura

       I included my Tao/Zen books too as some of the teachings feed back into the history of tea. I like learning about the context of certain ways different eras made their tea. Japanese Tea Ceremony is a great example.

New books!- The Classic of Tea

       These two books just arrived the other week. I am so excited to have them as part of my expanding tea library. From flipping through them quickly , they look like a much better translation of this historical book. The copy I read back in my first few weeks at Teaopia was much MUCH smaller and very short. This is very extensive full translation of the book I have been wanting for quite sometime. Once I get part way into it, I will report back! Keep an eye out!
        As well the LONG wait for the Prosperitea set tasting will be happening this week. I am long overdue for a small multipul tea tasteing. As well I will be posting about my trip to Tao Tea Leaf and a tasting post on some samples I got from Camillia Sinenssis in Montreal! Exciting kick off towards the third year of Tea Journey!