Ikebana: Way of the Flowers

“The whole universe is contained within a single flower”

- Toshiro Kawase

Ikebana arrangement by Ellen Hansen

Ikebana arrangement by Ellen Hansen

 

Ikebana is the Japanese tradition of floral arranging that dates back to the 6th century. It is also known as Kadō- “Way of the Flowers”. Ikebana has strict rules and is a disciplined art. It is designed to mimic the lines and curves of shapes that occur in the natural world. More than just a way to arrange flowers, Ikebana embraces meditation and philosophy; there is often a spiritual aspect to the practice as well.

The philosophy is that through floral arrangement, one can improve their relationship with nature and feel closer to it in their daily lives. The goal is to create an intertwining of humanity and the natural world. Arranging the flowers can help one slow down and be in the present. The process should be quiet, reflective, and meditative.

The visual appearance of an Ikebana floral arrangement is like no other. The materials used are more than just flowers-branches, leaves, and grasses are also included. One of the distinguishing features of Ikebana is that it is asymmetrical.

Ikebana arrangement by Ellen Hansen

Ikebana arrangement by Ellen Hansen

 

In Japan, the floral displays are considered pieces of art. They are displayed in the home the way a sculpture or painting might be. This brings a feeling of nature into a dwelling. Ikebana is starting to become popular in the Western world as well.

If you would like to learn more about Ikebana there are some great resources listed below as well as places to practice Ikebana in the Portland area. There is also an upcoming class on February 3rd hosted by Jasmine Pearl on Ikebana as part of the Mindfulness Series. Taught by Ellen Hansen of Mindful Flowers, this class will be a time to reconnect with yourself through breath work and Ikebana while enjoying a cup of tea. 

Ellen's background is in the commercial interior design industry where she created events for the purpose of inspiration, connection and rejuvenation. In her early 20’s she began studying Ikenobo Ikebana with a prominent teacher, Ikka Nakashima in the Chicago area. She also became a certified facilitator for embodied mediation and started Mindful Flowers as a way to integrate her two passions. 

Sources: Ikebana International and NYT- "The Rise of Modern Ikebana"

Contributed by: Caroline Smith

Resources:

Ikebana International & The Portland Branch of Ikebana International

The Portland Branch of the Sogetsu School of Ikebana

"The Rise of Modern Ikebana”

Mindful Flowers

An upcoming exhibition at the Portland Japanese Garden

 

Tea Recipes! January Edition

After water, tea is the most consumed beverage in the world. But there are many different ways to enjoy tea other than just by drinking it. Recently we had a staff wide challenge to create recipes that used tea as a major ingredient.  Over the next few months we'll be positing these creations, one savory and one sweet, for your enjoyment. This month we have Dark Forest Pork Loin and Black Wolf Cake.

Enjoy!

 

Dark Forest Pork Loin by Caroline

Ingredients

  • Pork loin
  • 1 oz of Dark Forest Tea for every lb of pork
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste

Steps

  1. Preheat oven to 450°
  2. Crush Dark Forest tea with mortar & pestle to a uniform texture.
  3. Coat both sides of the loin with the Dark Forest rub.
  4. Place olive oil in a pan and heat to medium-high.
  5. Sear each side of the pork loin for 4-5 minutes (8-10 minutes total)
  6. Wrap loin in aluminum foil and bake in oven for 20 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
  8. Cute into 1" slices and serve.

 

 

Black Wolf Cake by Nigel

NigelBlackWolfCake.jpg

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cup All purpose flour
  • 2 cups White sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1oz Black Wolf Tea
  • 1 cup and 3 tablespoons hot water
  • 1-1 1/2 cup blackberry compote (or fresh berries with a good amount of the liquid squeezed out)
  • 1 batch of the cake frosting recipe listed below

Steps

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Grease and flour two 9in round pans. 
  3. Make a strong cup of Black Wolf tea by combining the tea and hot water, allow to steep for at least 5 minutes reserve the 3 tablespoons of strong tea for later.
  4. In a bowl add the sugar, flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Sift in the cocoa powder and stir to mix
  5. Add the eggs, milk, oil, tea, and vanilla and mix for 2 minutes on medium mixer speed (or vigorously by hand
  6. Pour evenly into the two pans
  7. Bake for 28-30 minutes, check with toothpick through center of cake for doneness
  8. Cool in pans for 10 minutes
  9. Remove from pans and allow to cool complete on a wire rack
  10. Once cooled completely use frosting to put a thin layer on top of first cake round
  11. Spread berry compote on top of the thin frosting layer
  12. Add second cake round
  13. Use the rest of the frosting to cover the cake


Cake Frosting

Steps

  1. Sift the cocoa into a bowl with the butter and whip them together until smooth
  2. Stir in vanilla and powdered sugar
  3. Slowly add cold tea until desired consistency
  4. Whip 1-2 minutes until smooth again and then it is ready to use

Ingredients

  • 1 cup softened butter
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 tablespoons cold Black Wolf tea

 

 

 

Have a recipe of your own that uses one of our teas? Send an email to retail@thejasminepearl with with a complete ingredients list, recipe and hi-res photos of your creation and we will test it out. If we love it we’ll see about sharing your recipe (with all the credit and love) on our social media.

Tea Recipes! December edition.

After water, tea is the most consumed beverage in the world. But there are many different ways to enjoy tea other than just by drinking it. Recently we had a staff wide challenge to create recipes that used tea as a major ingredient.  Over the next few months we'll be positing these creations, one savory and one sweet, for your enjoyment. This month we have Golden Fire Potatoes and Hella Rich Earl Grey Lavender Brownies.

Enjoy!

 

Golden Fire Potatoes by Caroline Smith

CarolineGoldenFirePotatoes.jpg

 

Ingredients

5 lb Yukon gold potatoes
1 oz Golden Fire Tea
1 Tbsp pepper
1 Tbsp turmeric
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic minced
salt to taste

 

Instructions

  1. Grind Golden Fire with a mortar & pestle to a uniform texture.
  2. Cut potatoes into 1/2" cubes.
  3. On medium-low heat, coat a pan or wok with 1Tbsp olive oil and garlic. Cook until garlic becomes fragrant.
  4. Put potatoes in pan and drizzle with with the rest of the olive oil. Turn heat up to medium-high.
  5. Add Golden Fire, turmeric, salt and pepper and turn potatoes to coat evenly.
  6. Cook uncovered for 20-30 minutes or until potatoes are crispy outside and soft inside.

 

 

Hella Rich Earl Grey Lavender Brownies by Jeri Negrillo

JeriEarlGreyLavBrownies.jpg

Ingredients

¾ cup flour
1 ½ Tbsp cornstarch
½ tsp salt
2 sticks butter
1 ½ cup sugar
1 ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 eggs
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
6 Tbsp Earl Grey Lavender tea (ground)
10 oz. semi-sweet (or dark) chocolate chunks/chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325° and grease a 9”x13” baking tray.
  2. Mix flour, cornstarch, and salt in a bowl.
  3. In a saucepan, melt butter over low-medium heat on stovetop.
  4. Add sugar to the melted butter.
  5. Sift cocoa powder into the sugar/butter mixture. Remove saucepan from heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Move the mixture into a bowl.
  6. Add eggs one at a time into the cocoa mixture.
  7. Add the vanilla extract, then the ground Earl Grey Lavender tea.
  8. Fold in the rest of the dry ingredients (flour, cornstarch, salt).
  9. Fold in chocolate chunks/chips.
  10. Pour into baking tray. Mixture will be thick but do your best to flatten it out in the tray. Bake for about 25 minutes.

 

Have a recipe of your own that uses one of our teas? Send an email to retail@thejasminepearl with with a complete ingredients list, recipe and hi-res photos of your creation and we will test it out. If we love it we’ll see about sharing your recipe (with all the credit and love) on our social media.

A Big thanks to our 12 Founding Wholesale Accounts

Every November we celebrate our anniversary of becoming a company and share that celebration with all of you through our sale. This November marks our 13th year as a company and we are so thankful for all of our wonderful customers and fans that have helped us reach this milestone. 

Back at the beginning the whole entire business was run out of the basement of the owners, Chuck and Heather. In 2004 when the company was born, the country was facing a recession and it was hard to start and maintain small local businesses. At that time The Jasmine Pearl was purely a wholesale company that provided teas and blends to a variety of businesses. Those first wholesale partners came to Chuck and Heather's house to try out and select teas for their businesses. Many of those businesses are still with The Jasmine Pearl today. From our first two years of life we have 12 founding wholesale accounts still with us all these years later.

The Jasmine Pearl has grown over the years and we now have a retail side of the businesses with an online store as well as a brick and mortar location in addition to over 500 wholesale accounts across the country. We are so thankful to all of our amazing customers and fans. But this year especially we want to recognize and give a heartfelt thanks to those original 12 wholesale accounts for sticking with us for these years.

THANK YOU!

 

Check out the links below to learn more about these 12 amazing businesses