powdered herbs are good, of course..
but the closer you are to the *harvested form*
the greater the potency of the herb will be retained.
powdered forms can lose deteriorate at a much faster rate,
that a fresh herb vs dried bark or leaf, vs powdered.
For this reason I have a small marble mortar and pestle
to grind herbs myself if I need.
an example: I pay much less for cinnamin in bark/stick form,
it keeps longer , retaining potency longer, and then it does not
take that long to break it, and grind it into what you might buy
in a powdered form in a store.
The taste is beyond belief! far richer, deeper and stronger than
you could dream .
once you do this yourself you will never go back to buying powdered forms
if you can avoid this.
I like the powdered idea, that you have stated..
but I know that many of those old techniques had little *ceremonies*
for each part of prepartion, even to the manner of turning cups ,
to evenly distribute the properties.
I would assume drinking of powdered tea, involved grinding it fresh
right before steeping as well.
In todays highly commercial world all these lost ways are rarely implemented.
The bamboo whisk tea sounds great and I appreciate your sharing a nice way to
try out on teas.. but I will grind my own 8) to get the utmost of richness,
and potency. a good marble or wooden mortar and pestle are well worth the $
to invest in / if you use herbs alot, as I do .
Ami Joi Benton.
(we grind up a small amt (about the size you get at a store)
and put it in a shaker container.
I get most of my culinary herbs from http://www.mountainroseherbs.com
as well as a great many other items (you can request a catalog)
for bare minimum $ compared to store outrageously high priced
non organic spices and herbs it is a truly appreciated resource.
Another place I have bought lesser amounts at is http://www.wildroots.com
hope this gives you more avenues also for sharing..
and thanks again for the whisking idea 8)
PS!!! another fantastic link that Andreas Moritz lists is: http://www.presentmoment.com/
check them out, excellent products and $ prices