Saturday, 10 April 2010

Time for Tea .....

We all like a good cup of tea and today I attended a workshop on "Chinese Tea Appreciation" where we all learned to appreciate a really good cup of first class tea and it is not from a tea bag either!!

To the Chinese, tea making and drinking is an art form focused on taste. The Chinese tea ceremony is very different from the Japanese style. In Japan, it is not an art form, but more like a culture. It is more important for them to focus on how to drink tea. All the steps you have to follow are very rigid. But Chinese tea is more like an art form. It's the taste that is more important to use so it's a lot more basic and less complicated.

Chinese tea making may not be as complicated as the Japanese tea ceremony, but there are still some important steps to remember when brewing Chinese tea. Making the perfect cup of Chinese tea begins with cleansing the tea pot and the small cups which only hold about two swallows. The pot is usually made of red sand clay. Tea leaves are then placed in the pot and hot spring water from a glass kettle is poured into the pot until the water overflows. The water is then quickly drained. This process helps to enhance the flavor of the tea. More water is poured into the pot and the tea steeps for less than a minute before it is poured evenly into each cup. Then it is ready to drink.
 Today's workshop was at the YIXING XUAN TEAHOUSE on Tanjong Pagar Road. ..... and our host was Mr Vincent Low an expert on the Art and Appreciation of Chinese Tea.

YIXING means happy and relaxing

XUAN means small house

..... it was certainly relaxing and we all had a happy time in his small tea house.

He has the most amazing Tea House I have ever seen...... and it was lovely to arrive a little early and have the time to wander around his shop where he has many teas, teapots, cups and other tea making items for sale.

There is also a small 'cafe' to the side where you can have a light meal. They do serve the most delicious foods!
 the above pot is for the boiling water to make the tea and below are the four main tea's .... Black, Green, White and Oolong......

 and above is the Tea Making set ......

but I am not going to go into any further detail on what it is about, it takes an expert to explain it all ..... you must attend the "Chinese Tea Appreciation" workshop yourself .... it is well worth the time and effort to do so.

There are four packages ...

one is just a basic Tea Demonstration and then one also includes a 7 course lunch or dinner!

Yixing Xuan Teahouse
30/32 Tanjong Pagar Road

telephone... 6224 6961


cajunsis said...

Wasn't it wonderful? I have been to his tea workshop and lunch before and we are going again in a few weeks. I want Steve to learn about it. I am glad you got to go.

Leone said...

It was great ..... all the time I was there I kept thinking how much JF would have enjoyed it too.

He came to meet me afterwards and we had lunch together there. He enjoyed that, so will do the workshop after he gets back from the US.

Though I think I will organise for a group of us to do it one day soon. The others will also enjoy it I am sure.

Pam said...

I'd love to go to this! if you organize a group, please include me!
love the photos too!

Natalie said...

Facinating! Love this!

cajunsis said...

As I have said before, I love his workshops. Have a great time. And giggle often - he tends to make that happen :-)

Miss Footloose said...

Very nice! I would love to go to one of these ceremonies, but I live far away in Moldova. I do love good tea.

I grew up in Holland and when I came home from school in the afternoon my mother had a pot of tea brewing on a tea light waiting for me and my brothers and whoever else might come along. Friends or a neighbor. Drinking tea was a social affair.

Later I was in the US living with a family and came home from school by myself. I was told to go ahead, make tea! Here are the tea bags!

It was not the same thing and I soon gave up. ;) It wasn't just the tea, but sitting there by myself was a bummer.