Cool Japan Guide's Abby Denson & Chambre de Sucre Giveaway

Posted on March 12, 2015 by LISA KUNIZAKI | 0 Comments

I've had the pleasure of meeting Abby on several occasions and she is just one of the most pleasant and talented people that I know. I was so excited to find out about her new book before it was actually released! I have to say, it's really good! This is coming from someone who spent all her childhood summers in Japan. 

I am honored to collaborate with Abby now as she celebrates the release of her book and begins what is sure to be a long book tour. 

Abby will be at Kinokuniya Book Store in NYC on March 14th at 2pm where she will do a reading and a giveaway! Full details here.

We'll be giving away tea & sugar gift sets to some very lucky people. 

Kuranaga is the name of the town where my grandparents lived in. I went back there every summer as a child and had many many mischievous adventures. It holds such loving memories for me. It is a place I hold very near and dear to my heart. I am so excited to be going back at the end of this month for my honeymoon. 

Inside these kraft bags are organic cotton muslin pouches (made in the USA) that are hand filled with loose leaf Genmaicha Jasmine tea (hint of what is to come very soon). They easily steep 4 cups of tea if you re-use the bag appropriately. The muslin pouches are also reusable once washed. 

Along with the tea I've chosen to include the Elephant Cup Huggers in blue. I just think they are the absolute cutest things and I know Abby shares my love of everything kawaii. You can hang the little elephants on your favorite mug of coffee, tea cup or glass of champagne. 

I can't wait till Abby makes her way to the West Coast where I am! She'll be participating in the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books in April. In the meantime, make sure to pick up her book. It's available on Amazon!

Wishing you all a fabulous weekend!



Posted in Abby Denson, City Sweettooth, Cool Japan, Giveaway, Kinokuniya, NYC

Wagashi on Valentine's Day | Minamoto Kitchoan

Posted on February 13, 2015 by LISA KUNIZAKI | 0 Comments

This year I will be spending Valentine's Day alone on the West Coast. I recently moved all CdS operations to Southern California. I left husband and dog behind to take care of things at home back in NYC. Essentially I'll be commuting back and forth from coast to coast. 

Still, the first week was tough. This week was a lot better, but still I miss my friends and family back East. And even though I never really went overboard during Valentine's Day I can't help but feel a little sad that I won't be surrounded by loved ones this weekend.

However, I did manage to meet up with a few friends just this week and they made me feel so welcome! I feel myself cheering up already. Krizia was kind enough to gift me a box of confectionery from one of my favorite places--Minamoto Kitchoan. The NYC location was only 2 blocks from the old CdS office! It seems to have followed me here to California because they recently opened a location in Fashion Island which is in walking distance of my house. Onto the gift...

I am absolutely obsessed with packaging so it's no surprise that I spent eight minutes carefully peeling the stickers off the wrapping paper before getting to the goodies inside.

This was such an unexpected and lovely housewarming gift. I made sure to pop some in the freezer to enjoy at a later time. These desserts are perfect for pairing with green teas. 

Once inside, individually wrapped sweets are lined up perfectly inside the box. 

Take the cuteness factor two notches up and unwrap this...

Usagi Bean Cake with yuzu. Usagi means rabbit in Japanese. I love anything with rabbits because I was born in the year of the rabbit as was my mother. This bean cake is light, fluffy, delicate and not too sweet, like most Japanese sweets. These wagashi are traditionally served with Japanese green teas. Another one of my favorite places to purchase wagashi would have to be Toraya. I've grown up with that brand since I was a little girl. Toraya used to have a location in NYC off Madison Avenue, but it has since closed. I always make sure to stop by their shop in Japan whenever I am there. 

I paired the Usagi Bean Cake with my latest blend of Jasmine and Genmaicha (a green tea with popped corn and toasted rice) . The new tea will be available soon, not to worry. It was a perfect match!

If you're in the Southern California area, Minamoto Kitchoan will be offering a complimentary tea and dessert pairing at their shop in Fashion Island on Saturday, February 14th between the hours of 2pm and 4pm. What better way to enjoy the long weekend! 

Happy Valentine's Day to everyone out there! 



Posted in Fashion Island, Genmaicha, Minamoto Kitchoan, Newport Beach, Southern California, Sweets, Tea, Tea Pairing, Usagi Bean Cake, Valentine's Day, wagashi

Love Tea | Free People x Chambre de Sucre Collaboration

Posted on February 03, 2015 by LISA KUNIZAKI | 0 Comments

Everyone is getting ready for Valentine's Day. Mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, boys, girls…and we know Valentine's Day isn't just for lovers! Sometimes it means taking tea alone and enjoying alone time.

That's why tea time is so appropriate for this special occasion. It's the perfect opportunity for us to take time out of our busy schedules and enjoy being in the moment. What better way to slow down than to heat up some water, grab a tea cup or mug and steep your tea. 

So, it made sense to team up with our friends at Free People again to create something really romantic and whimsical  for all those free spirits out there.

We started with muslin pouches made from 100% cotton and filled them with our Evening Engagement Tea. Cut out hearts and lovingly attached one to the end of each pouch. Played a lot of 80's love songs while doing this to pass the time.



This is just one of those teas that calms and warms you all the way through. It's also light and gentle on the tummy. We've hand blended white tea, rose petals and chrysanthemum blossoms to create the perfect enchanted cup.

Bag comes with six pouches of loose leaf tea that steeps two cups each. The blend is certified organic.

This tea is perfect for recreating romantic moments or creating new ones. It's perfect for sharing with girlfriends over laughs and friendly gossip. It's one of those teas we reach for after a stressful day at the office. 

This is exclusively packaged for Free People and is available in limited quantities on their web site. This tea is sure to warm your heart and soul.



(All photography via Free People) 







Posted in Colaboration, Evening Engagement, Exclusive Product, Free People, Friendship Tea, Love Tea, muslin pouch, organic tea, Tea, Tea 104, Valentine's Day, Wedding Tea

Inspiration, Lately

Posted on November 24, 2014 by LISA KUNIZAKI | 0 Comments

Inspiration is an exhausted word...but it's still an important one. Especially when working in a creative field. At the CdS offices, our senses are always on high alert as the best sort of inspiration doesn't come from the obvious and the visual...but often from little details that are so easy to miss:

 - The scent of late autumn in the air. Simultaneously cool and warm, with a hint of spice. Late evening and early morning strolls throughout our city parks are the best moments to catch those undisturbed moments of autumn.

 - The simplicity of functional and beautiful teaware. Less is always more. Minimal and beautiful...can't go wrong.

 - Pairing tea with dinner...making the ordinary more special. Stay turned for an upcoming post on favorite pairings. Hope you all have a fabulous Thanksgiving ^-^

Hello, November!

Posted on November 11, 2014 by LISA KUNIZAKI | 0 Comments

It's been a busy few months here at the CdS headquarters ^-^

We've been tea tasting (and conducting tastings!) almost daily in anticipation of launching a new collection very, very soon. But in the meantime, we wanted to catch you up on our latest ventures and collaborations:

 - Free People collaboration! Our friends at Free People reached out earlier this season, and we were delighted to work on a beautiful tea and sugar collaboration with them. They've bottled Alex the Grey and Serenity Blend in stunning glass bottles (which are reusable, so make sure to save them). They're just the right size for travel or holiday stocking stuffers. You can also find our Sugar Stars and Angel Wings available on the Free People site. Excited to host a holiday party featuring all these tiny wonders. 

 - Have you stopped by the original Eileen Fisher boutique yet? Come and check out the exclusive 9th St. Blend we designed for their 30th anniversary (you might even catch us shopping there on any given afternoon). It's the only place where you can get the tea blend (not even available online)...a very special treat for that lucky friend. Or yourself, heheh.

 - A little shoutout to our favorite instagram friends: check out Krizia from Verily Magazine for beautiful family and lifestyle shots, Jee from Oh How Civilized for all this fabulous, and the super Bao Ong for an amazing life of food and travel.

 - Holidays!!! Can't believe how quickly they're coming up. We receive quite a few emails asking which teas/sugars make the best gift. We honestly think you can't go wrong with any of the products. But for gift giving we're partial to the packaged CdS gift sets...check out Le Grand Sucre and A Café in Paris. The classic Sucre Rond is always a hit, and Umi/Ocean Sugars are beloved by all.

P.S. For the latest CdS news, visit our Facebook for frequent updates ^-^


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