To a Tea

Of all the hot beverages out there, I think tea is the one I’m least fanatic about, but certainly not because it isn’t well-deserved. Tea, especially of the barley, millet, or corn husk variety, was so comfortably in the background whilst growing up in a Korean household, that I never gave it much thought. A huge pot of it was always ready for us to have either cold or hot, largely unnoticed unless it was empty.

Irenekly - tea2

I suppose that’s why I will rarely buy tea like I buy a cappuccino or a cocktail – I prefer sipping my tea in the calm of home, during breakfast, after dinner, or in the afternoon lull. I by no means meticulously brew my tea, but coming home with this lovely mélange of colors and smells from the apothecary (yes, apothecary – this one.) made me think a bit harder on the art of steeping tea.

There are grand metaphors of making tea that is related to life and living in a variety of ways, I’m sure, but one that feels particularly relevant is the beauty of letting new flavors unfurl in completely different temperatures. Meaning: seeing the beauty that comes from being thrust into new environments, and enjoying the changes. I hope to live with great intention in the midst of all this transition, and watching and waiting for my tea to properly steep is helping me slow down and make each step judiciously.

Irenekly - tea1
To not have the most remarkably ordinary blend in with mundanity, but to have eyes to see the possibility of intention in the everyday. I hope for this!

Utter sidenote: these photos were taken with my iPhone and that’s pretty crazy.


Bees Knees Favorites

Bees knees is not just one of my favorite ways to describe favorite things, but is a most delectable drink and my favorite way to enjoy gin (so far). Okay no more saying ‘favorite’ and on to my extremely amateur bartender technique in mixing this bright and tangy concoction.

Irenekly - Bees Knees Cocktail


I first tried the Bees Knees at Prizefighter, one of my favorite (I can’t stop!) bars in the East Bay, and was amazed with how simple ingredients could make gin so delightful! It takes:

1.5 tbsp of honey – mine is this ridiculous orange blossom raw honey I compulsively splurged on once. It was worth it.
Juice from 1/2 a lemon – meyer lemon if you can find some!
2 oz gin – the one pictured above is from St George Spirits, which I’ll say more on.
4 oz tonic water

I melt the honey in the microwave, because I’m lazy, then mix in lemon juice and wait until it’s all room temperature. Then I pour the mixture into a glass with ice, add the gin, and top it off with tonic water. I also vigorously stir everything. I hope I’m not seriously offending any bartender or mixologist with my crude techniques…

But it tastes very good to me! The gin is so yummy, especially this one and this one from St George Spirits. Garrett and I did a tour and tasting of the St George distillery last weekend, and had way too much fun learning and trying everything. So fascinating, how all this tasty stuff is made.

Okay and now just for fun, here are some other favorites that are the bees knees:

Ally and I made this cake (recipe here) over the weekend for Shela’s birthday and it was amazing. Not even humble brag, just brag!

All of The Boffin Society’s Thinking Drink posts.

These two wondrous mugs.

This exhibition.