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Mirin Mirin on the Wall, Who’s the Fairest of them All?

This lil'Japanese Tetsubin Knows All About Good Mirin
This lil'Japanese Tetsubin Knows All About Good Mirin

What is mirin, why should you care, and what do we do about it?

Used in Japanese cooking since the 1600s, mirin (sweet cooking wine) imparts a sweetly rich and buttery profile that is deep and complex, providing incredible complexity to sauces, marinades, and glazes. It is the perfect vehicle for marrying the flavors of tamari, sesame oil, and ginger.

Because longevity and quality and true deliciousness matter to us more than price, we scoured the States and Japan to finally settle on the mirin we use– sourced from a small family operation in Japan that makes it nice and slow, the old-fashioned way. The mirin we use develops its complex by taste by ageing glutinous sweet rice for up to one year to create the natural, rich taste we love. Not only does this taste much better, it’s better for you than the mass produced, ready-made stuff available in your local supermarket (“flash” aged, and loaded with salt, refined sugar, MSG, and preservatives). So the next time you have Japanese food, ask what kind of mirin they use! And in the meantime, enjoy our Tofu!

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Slow Down 2008

A Slow Evening at Samovar Mission-Castro
A Slow Evening at Samovar Mission-Castro

Living in 2008, we sometimes get caught up in all our obligations and to-do lists., forgetting about the little things in life. At Samovar, we intentionally try to slow you down. Sometimes that can be painful, so please be patient. Through your pot of tea, and the experience of brewing, it, serving it, and sipping it, you will come to actually enjoy beauty of slowness.

As you wait for your pot of tea at Samovar, smell the fresh baked cherry-oat scones coming out of the oven. Or the cardamom and cinnamon and cloves simmering in a pot of chai on our stove. Watch those around you witnessing the same, savoring their time to sit still and absorbing the colors, people, and activity around them.

In slowness we are forced to experience the fluctuations and vacillations of our mind, our thinking, our patterns and habits, and our surroundings. Through slowness we witness the blowing of the wind, the honk of a horn, the smile of a passerby, the aroma of a cup of tea, the good morning kiss of a partner, the abilities of our body, the beauty inside our home.

How slow is slow enough? We are addicted to the speed, and the faster we go, the faster we want to go. But if you can slow down you will experience magic. There is no other way.

Slow things have more value, they take more time, and they deliver more. Slow food tastes better than fast food. Slow breathing makes you more relaxed than hyperventilating. Slow loving feels better. Friendships take time. A good meal takes time. Wild salmon takes time to grow up big and strong. Delicious produce takes time to go from seed to sprout to full grown and edible. Deep, meaningful, lasting companies take time to evolve, develop and prosper.

How do you live slower? Sip some tea and you’ll find out…