Colorful Thanks and Good-byes

Posted on May 29, 2012 by LISA KUNIZAKI | 0 Comments

It’s the end of the school year, time to say thank you to an adult who’s spent a few seasons guiding your child’s daytime life, finding creative ways to get knowledge into young heads, teaching people to think, and working – hard – to create a future filled with well-informed, capable citizens.

An apple just won’t cut it.

Most teachers don’t earn enough to splurge on luxuries, some suggest composing a box of treats.

SewZinski’s eco-friendly travel mugs change the dreariest commute to cheery. The whimsically decorated ceramic are light enough to be comfortable and sturdy enough to be safe. We’re particularly taken with the octopus (sushi), the feathers (fly away), and the lotus (peace in the office), but we have friends who like the owls, the comic-book KAPOW, and the Russian dolls. Check the spread of visuals. If you don’t see exactly what you want, then get in touch with the shopkeeper. Custom orders are welcome.

Kee Lee Tong opened her chocolate shop, Kee’s, in 2002. Kee’s is in California, but she ships nationwide. Each piece of her chocolate is beautifully balanced, but we’d recommend that you start your order with tea:the mango green tea truffle in dark or white; the white chocolate green teatruffle, rolled in green tea powder; the black rose, with black tea infused with rose petals, or the creamy Earl Grey dark chocolate.

If the teacher’s been careful with your child’s allergies, say thank you with Sensitive Sweets. Almost all of the cakes, cupcakes, and cookies are made without gluten, casein, eggs, nuts soy, or peanuts. Exceptions, such as the lemon bar, which contains eggs, are carefully marked.

We’re fond of New York City’s Kyotofu, a Japanese dessert bar and bakery. Kyotofu now has an online shop, so you can buy their signature sweets online. Here, too, you’ll find vegan and gluten-free options. We’d recommend the green tea nama chocolate gift box (Japanese fudge made with tea powders imported from Osaka) and the shortbread cookies. (genmai toasted brown rice, black sesame, lemon lavender, and matcha green tea) The pastry assortments are subtle, satisfying, and habit-forming. You might want to buy a box for yourself.

If you know you’re dealing with a brownie junkie, then look no further than Fat Witch. Some of our friends won’t start their days without a Java Witch, jammed with cappuccino chocolate chips; others swear that the oatmeal-packed Breakfast Witch is the best way to break open a day. We like the Caramel Witch, which has a layer of caramel across its chunky waist.

But all of this leaves a question: What are you putting in those eco-friendly mugs?

Until our tea hits the shelves, you know we’re going to nudge you into the Rare Tea Cellar.  A look at RTC’s Amazon shop reveals a decadent truth. Rodrick Markus is trafficking in green apple mustard, Christine Ferber’s cherry marmalade with rose petals, and other tastes of excellence. (Try the jamon on a toasted slice of Kyotofu’s pound cake.)

We’re long-standing admirers of Kansas City’s craft roaster, Broadway Roasting. If your teacher’s a coffee-drinker, hand over a bag of Broadway’s fair trade, organic Ethiopian Yirgacheffe, winner of a 2012 Good Food Award.

A science teacher might appreciate our amber sugar; a sports coach, balls in brownred and white, or pastels.Show your child’s love for learning with sweet handmade hearts. Ours come in yellow, pink, purple, blue, and green.You can pack a rainbow of loving thanks in a box.

As the best teachers know, perfection is in the details.

Courtesy of almost three centuries of tradition, that’s what we import. Chambre de Sucre has those tiny touches, the ones that make the ordinary fabulous and the excellent– such as Broadway Coffee served with Kee’s truffles – remarkable.

And “remarkable” is what an excellent teacher deserves.


For Father’s Day, we’re thinking ‘Play ball!” – but don’t worry; we’re not going to make you sweat. (Below is a picture of my brother, Mike, who is an amazing father to my niece, Clarissa)


We’re thinking of July and our Ochugen gift-giving. The lovely Japanese tradition belongs everywhere. Don’t share our secret, though. We’re plotting out surprises for the day.

Getting ready to bring executive director Lisa Kunizaki’s teas to the website, we’ve been test-tasting blends, hot and cold. Now, we’re shopping for ice trays. We want to freeze iced tea (so the cold tea won’t get diluted) and cubes won’t cut it. Our iced tea ice must be as elegant as our sugars. This is going to be a challenge.

We’re also exploring at-home spa treatments to go with our Spa Infusions blends. It’s hard work, but we’re willing to suffer for our art – and for your future pleasure. Yes, it’s true. We’re doing all of this for you – but you don’t have to buy us shortbread. Just think of us when you stir handmade sugar in your tea.

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