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QingHuan Chinese Tea House

QingHuan Chinese Tea House
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Thursday, 31 December 2009

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2010 !!!

Dear All


 
Wishing you a wonderful Chocolatesnew month and a happy new year in advance.    

Don't Cubicles too hard but work smart.  May your boss appreciate you and say Thumbs Up Good Job.  
Take care of yourselfDreaming.    Pamper yourself and buy some beautifulShopping Wedding Dress.  

Don't worry coz   Dollar   will come from above.   May you also purchase  or change a House  and a Car.      
May the days ahead be busy but easy Watching The Clock,     Relax  and  go CruisingPilotaround the world.   It's important to have good health,  therefore, eat more AppleBroccoliCarrots  and Corn, but not too much Fat Fat Guy.
Do remember to Tennis at least once a week.    Don't Good Vs Evil with your sweetheart, and be generous to say Hug And KissI Love You.    
Here's wishing you and all  your Family Portrait  a Happy and Prosperous New Year 2010 and may you all be well and happy ALWAYS!

From : James Oh

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

POWER ROOT TEH TARIK TONGKAT ALI (GINSENG)

Hi! everyone,

In this article, I am very pleased to present you the latest product of teh tarik from Malaysia. This is none other than Power Root Teh Tarik Tongkat Ali (Ginseng). It is a well known herbal medicine "booster" for the system, to give extra energy especially for men. Tongkat Ali has a latin name Eurycoma longifolia, is a root that grows wild in the natural rain forest of Malaysia - Southeast Asia. A root that was highly cultivated thousand years ago. Tongkat ali similar to Tribulus, the extract works by effecting and lutenizing hormones in the major organs and body, in which signals testosterone and libido production.


Teh Tarik Tongkat Ali also come in Instant package, with various sizes. For instance 4 In 1 come with Nett weight 20g X 18 sticks. Some brands claimed that they consist of Quality Red Tea with imported skimmed milk and creamer from Europe country, with its ultimate objective to present a bright flavour with freshness and aroma. Ingredient Percentage % are as follows:-

Sucrose 46.8;  Non Dairy Creamer 31.5 ; Skimmed Milk Powder 2.0; Instant Tea Powder 7.0; Instant Tongkat Ali Extract 1.2;  Food Conditioner 1.5.

For those who have not try this product, I encourage you to do so. Please share with us your experience via comments. Thank you for your kind participation.

Thank you and please stay tuned for other interesting article.

James Oh

Saturday, 26 December 2009

INSTANT TEH TARIK OR 'PULLED TEA'

Hi everyone,


Instant Teh Tarik or 'Pulled Tea" is a ready mixed Milk Tea Beverage. It comes in various forms and packages such as daily creamer and non-dairy creamer ( 2 in One and three in One). It is designed for the convenience of its customers who have hectic lifestyle. Each pack contains  15 or 30 sachets. Made from various types of quality tea powder, very much depend on its brand. Blended with fine sugar, non-dairy and dairy creamer. It is very easy to brew. Simply take out one sachet and pour it into a glass. Then add some hot water into it and thereafter use a tea spoon to stir it until the tea powder is well absorbed into hot water. This Instant Teh Tarik is so easy and convenient too. You can then enjoy your cup of hot tea anywhere; either at home or office. You may be surprised that it delivers a traditional delightful fragrance and freshness that's everlasting. Some are absolutely delicious with superior taste and aroma that is on par if not better than the traditional way of preparing it. It is also often compared to cappuccino because of its frothy top.


In Malaysia, there are so many type of brands and you can easily find them in supermarket, sundry stores and mini markets. For those who have tried this instant teh tarik, please put forward your personal experience via comments. For those who have not, I encourage you to do so because it can add more colour to your life.


Stay tuned and see you again.


 James Oh

Saturday, 19 December 2009

TEH TARIK (PULLED TEA)

 Hi! everyone,




Teh tarik, literally pulled tea,  is a mixture of tea with condensed milk. This mixture is poured back and forth repeatedly between two vessels over a height, giving it a thick frothy top, kind of like cappuccino. 


This process helps mix tea and condensed milk more thoroughly at the same time cooling its temperature. That's how it gets its name. This hot tea beverage can be commonly found in restaurants, and outdoor stalls in Malaysia and Singapore. It is popular amongst all walks of people.


Steven's tea garden, just opposite Toast Box at Mid Vally, a Mamak (Indian Muslim) restaurant chain claimed to be the “best teh tarik in the world!”. So, you have to pay RM 4.00 a glass, which is three to four times higher than other places. This world class beverage is considered very cheap if you compare with other world class beverage.


Occasionally, teh tarik competition are held, where brewers gather to show their skill, like the Chinese Kungfu tea ceremony. The ability to drag a long stream of tea well over their heads reallly amazes lots of people especially tourists. In the past, these brewers were dressed simply; wearing a white tee shirt, sarong and slippers.


Lately, teh tarik had been recognised as a beverage heritage of Malaysia by the Malaysian government.


 James Oh

Sunday, 13 December 2009

LONGJING GREEN TEA



Hi! everyone,




In this article, I am going to share with you the green tea I love most. This green tea is none other than Longjing. Longjing tea leaves are unfermented.
I have visited its farm and was first introduced to this great tea. I found it very gentle and sweet and these teas are expensive, its prices depend on grades. It is best consumed in six months times. However, its live span can prolong if you store it in the refrigerator.


At that time, I bought several tins of two main grades, AA and AAA. The AA is packed in green hard paper canister whereas AAA is packed in gold colour hard paper canister. I found it quite easy to brew. Place a few spoons full of tea leaves into a white transparent glass cup, preferably so that you can see clearly its rich flavour. Then pour boiled water with about 80 degrees celsius into the glass with the tea leaves. Steep tea leaves for about 5 minutes before you begin to drink. You can infuse it for 5-8 times by just adding boiled water into it. When steeped, the tea produces a yellow-green colour, a gentle, pure aroma, and a rich flavor. The tea contains Vitamin C, amino acids, and has one of the highest concentration of catechins among teas, second only to white teas. Some even bring the glass with hot green tea near to thier eyes and let its stream rinse their eyes before they drink it. They believe it can cure and improve their vision. I had tried and can vouch for it. Congratulation to those who have practised it. But, for those who have not, please try it out and share with us your experience. Please drink this tea when it is still hot. The tea leaves can be eaten after infusion.


Hi folks! I stopped drinking it because I found it enhances my appetite. As a consequence, I decided to change to Pu'er.






For further reading, please read below:-


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia



Longjing tea (simplified Chinese: traditional Chinese: 井茶pinyin: lóngjǐngchá) or Dragonwell is a famous variety of green tea from Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China where it is produced mostly by hand and has been renowned for its high quality, earning the China Famous Tea title. Longjing is divided into seven grades: Superior, Special, and then 1 down to 5.


Long Jing is often called the national drink of China and is frequently given to visiting heads of state. It is also a favorite tea of today's top leaders, with a portion of production reserved for government customers.


Like most other Chinese green tea, Longjing tea leaves are pan fired (not fried) to stop the fermentation process. In the world of tea, the term "fermentation" refers to the drying of the freshly picked leaves, resulting in enzymatic oxidation. This oxidation is stopped by frying or steaming the leaves before they completely dry out. As is the case with other green teas, Longjing tea leaves are unfermented. When steeped, the tea produces a yellow-green color, a gentle, pure aroma, and a rich flavor. The tea contains Vitamin C, amino acids, and has one of the highest concentration of catechins among teas, second only to white teas.


The name of this tea literally means "dragon well", a well that contains relatively dense water, and after rain the lighter rainwater floating on its surface sometimes exhibits a sinuous and twisting boundary with the well water, which is supposed to resemble the movement of a traditional Chinese dragon.


It was widely known that to achieve the best taste from Longjing, spring water from the "Hu Pao Quan" was to be used. Water is boiled then cooled to about 80 degrees celsius before being used to brew the tea leaves. Tea experts at Xi Hu insist on using fine china or glasses to brew Longjing (minerals in porous earthenware such as Zhi Sha may disrupt the taste of the tea).

James Oh

Monday, 7 December 2009

TEA SHOP IS EVOLVING OVER TIME IN MALAYSIA

hi! everyone,

Franchising concept is becoming popular amongst the Chinese teashops worldwide. They not only sell a variety of tea-leaf products, but also provide places for customers to experience fine tea brewing and the art of Chinese tea-drinking.

These shops are run not just by retirees in the Chinese community but many younger persons and students have participated in this popular Chinese cultural art form.

The Kung Fu tea ceremony literally means brewing tea with great skill. In brewing Kung Fu tea, a person needs to focus on symbolic hand gestures as practised in the Japanese tea ceremony. Some of these teashops are not only cultural brands, but also cultural business as well. They are more inclined to an enterprise which integrates body, mind and soul.

No surprise that there is a Chinese saying that tea is one of the seven basic daily necessities of life – besides fuel, rice, salt, oil, soya sauce and vinegar.

But in the early eighties, Chinese tea-drinking seemed to only interest the elderly people in Malaysia. Many of these people have a strong desire to introduce the art to the younger generation as they feared that the art, which has been around for over 5,000 years, might face extinction.

Thanks to all these group of people for their wise move and action.

Instead of shrinking, these teashops in Malaysia eventually expanded to serve more variety of tea-flavoured dishes such as Oolong tea rice, Oolong tea-fried vegetables and Jasmine tea-steamed fish.As the time go by, more items were also added, such as tea mooncakes to widen its product range.

Today, you can even find tea bags or powder form. This is to cater for convenience of urban folks who have hectic lifestyles. We can also find tea cafe chains which runs like the Starbucks cafe concept in Malaysia.

Their wise move makes life more interesting with these additional activities. It turn out to be a real true blessings instead.
James Oh

Thursday, 3 December 2009

TEA UTENSILS AND ACCESSORIES FOR KONG FU TEA CEREMONY

Dear loving readers,

No tea ceremony would be complete without all the necessary utensils and accessories, as listed below:-

1. Tea Tray or Chapan
The tea tray is an central part of any tea ceremony. It reflects a very distinctive personality of the master when brewing tea. Each tray has its own unique role in catering for the numbers of guests and types of teas served.

2. Teapots
Its history can be traced back to the Yuan Dynasty of China (A.D. 1368). It has subsequently evolved and it has been crafted to serve tea. Each collectible teapot has its maker trademark at the bottom of it. Its price is determined by the age, condition and its maker.Teapot collectors are always seeking unique and very distinctive craftsmanship.

3. Tea Utensil Set

4. Teapot Polishing Cloth/ towel

5. Water quality
To make a great cup of tea, two essential components are fresh tea and pure water. The water is the most important ingredient and it is highly recommended to use water filter system which gives water a pH level of slightly over 7.

6. Tea Canisters
The second requirement to produce good quality tea is to ensure that the tea is fresh. Appropriate storage is important such as storing the tea in a dry cool place, preferably not in direct light. Keep them away from smoke or other cooking odours.

7. Tea cups, bowls, coasters and tea pitcher
Appropriate tea cups, bowls, coasters and tea pitcher are also required depending on the number of participants and type of tea.

8. Tea Kettle
Very much depends on individual liking and preferences.

Get a complete set of this tea accessories and utensil. You may collect one item at a time and try it out yourself.

Have some fun.


James Oh

Monday, 30 November 2009

THE TAO OF TEA

Hi, Everyone,

Today I am going to talk about The Tao of Tea.

The Tao of Tea is basically covers :-

Brewing Tea Correctly to produce excellent tea. The rule specify what are the rules and procedures involving from the past till todate. It evolves with time and lots of creative works are added in and it was treated as art, rather associate to the Chinese culture.

Discover the art of brewing correctly.
Types of tea, water quality, temperature, quantity of leaves, and steeping time are all important and relevant factors in determining the quality of tea. Tea should be brewed to match your personal preference and taste.

Water Quality
Water plays one of the most significant ingredient, apart from tea leave in brewing good quality of tea. Non-chlorinated water is highly recommended to use so as to produce good quality of tea especially green teas. Chlorinated tap water may affect the taste of tea making it less appealing. Therefore, water filter system which gives water a pH level of slightly over 7 is preferable.

Water Temperature
It is very much depend on type of tea you brew. For green tea, water should kept below reaching boiling point. This is because boiling water tends to over cook the tea leaves. In addition, when water is boiled, oxygen not only evaporates, but the crisp mineral texture in the brew is also lost. Whereas Pu'er can be steeped with boiling water.

Quantity of Leaves and Steeping time
If unsure, always start with lesser amount of leaves and steep them longer. This will gives you more control to the tea. Good quality tea leaves with appropriate amount of tea leaves will not go bitter, unless they are steep for a longer than the time it required. In short, you can see that brewing pure leaf teas is to be as simple as "hot water and tea".

You may use the following suggestions for steeping different types of teas as a guide:-

Green teas: It can provide multiple infusions. As a general rule of thumb, the darker the tea leaf, the faster the infusion.

Pu'er teas: For most pu'ers, the longer you steep, the smoother they become. For the compressed pu'ers,  the recommended steep time required is twice the loose leaf pu'ers which takes at about 3-4 minutes

Appropriate teawares
Apart from the above, appropriate teawares are also important so as to preserve the heat, taste and flavor of the tea. The setting of the teawares will add color to the atmosphere and conversation.



Technique of pouring tea from the tea pot
To add to the excitement, various tea masters using various 'kung - fu' style of pouring tea out from the teapot to each of the tea cup, bowl at various position precisely and speedily. The speed and accuracy demonstrate the skill of their skills.

In this Tao of Tea, it tells us the importance of patience, persistence and meticulousness are important ingredient to cultivate this healthy hobbies. Great observation and passion is also needed so as to master the skill.

Hope you are well entertained. Stay tuned again for more..

James Oh

Thursday, 26 November 2009

A GUIDE TO BREW PU'ER TEA

Hi! Everyone,


Below please find:-


A GUIDE TO BREW PU'ER TEA 


1 Prepare the necessary teaware and lay out the proper setting . If we have two guests, then tea tray, clay teapot for two, clay tea pitcher, filter, tea towel, tea utensils, two large clay cups, two coasters, kettle, tea receptacle and presentation vessel are required.


Teaware preparation


2. Take a chunk of compressed pu'er tea.
Peel off a small piece of pu'er cake


3 Break off the small piece of the compressed pu'er tea into loose leaves at the presentation vessel. If the compressed tea does not break off easily, use a knife to loosen up the tea. If the pu'er tea already comes in loose form, then scoop the loose pu'er tea from the canister and simply place the tea on the presentation vessel.


4 Take a moment to observe the appearance and to smell the aroma of the tea. Then pass the tea presentation vessel to your guests for their turn to admire the dried tea.


5 Make sure water has just reached the boiling point. Then remove the kettle and pour hot water into the teapot at least 1/3 full of tea leaves.


6. Pouring hot water from kettle
Drain hot water into pitcher completely. Alternatively you may pour boiled water from teapot into pitcher


7. By this time, the presentation vessel may probably returned from the guests back to the host. The host will opens the teapot's lid and ready to put dried tea from the tea presentation vessel into the teapot.


8. Tea presentation vessel
Left hand holds the presentation vessel and gently push the dried tea into the teapot.


9, Transfer of the tea
Top up boiled water into teapot before closing its lid. Gently shake the teapot.


10. Shaking the teapot:
Pass the teapot to guests. At this time, the teapot is warm with tea inside. The guests should know that they are to open the lid and smell the dry tea's aroma, which is very different from its previous state when it is sitting on tea presentation vessel.


11. Guest opens the lid and smells the tea's aroma
Close lid and pass to the next guest.


12: While the teapot is being passed around, the host pours water from the pitcher into the cups. If there is any water remaining inside the pitcher, then discard it into the tea receptacle. This should not happen if the host has gauged the size of the teapot and the cup correctly beforehand. But it is alright if this happens. No big deal. The rinsing of the teapot, tea pitcher and cups are meant to warm up the teaware.


13. Pour water into the cups. Discard water at tea receptacle
Fill up the teapot with boiled water. Closed lid. Wait about 5-10 seconds. Then pour out. This is known as the warm-up brew. Set aside this brew on the side. This will be discarded as shown in Step 15.


14. Pouring of the warm-up brew
Again pour water into the teapot. Close lid. Wait for 20-40 seconds.


15. Pouring hot water
Keep on pouring warm-up tea on the outside of the teapot, especially those made of unglazed Yixing clay.


16. Teapot seasoning
Pour tea into the pitcher before transfer to the cups. The purpose of the pitcher is to balance the tea evenly amongst all the guests. Remember that each infusion of tea will give you different taste. Some pitchers, depending on the sizes, may have bigger capacity than the small tea pot. To ensure even effect, it is more appropriate that everyone has tea from the pitcher, even if it is filled by different infusions from the tea pot.


17. Pour tea into the cups
Place the cup on the coaster and pass it to the guest. Tea is placed in front of the guest for his enjoyment.


Continue to infuse tea until the taste of tea has disappeared completely. The tea can usually last up to at least 8 infusions.


James Oh

 To read more other related articles, please click at the link below:-
http://teaartblog.blogspot.com/2009/06/more-about-puer.html

Monday, 23 November 2009

TEA : AN ENVIRONMENT FRIENDLY PRODUCT

Hi, everyone,

There is undeniable truth that tea is not only a healthy drink, but it is also equally useful and beneficial as follows:-

a) Fertilizer

Tea leaves can be used as fertilizer after use. I used to throw the after used tea leaves into my flower pot as fertilizer and I found that the plant is not only growing more healthily, but it blossoms more than before. 

You may try it out and see whether you will have the same result. Thank you in advance for your kind participation.

b) i) Tea Pillow

The dried and used tea leaves can be inserted into pure cotton fabric(or Quality silk) and made  into kid's tea pillow. Some find that it is not only helpful for Children to sleep well, but also help keep their bodies grow in good condition.


   ii) Travel tea Pillow

Tea Pillow in Car


Alternatively, you can also used the same process and turn it into travel tea pillow such as the lovely pure cotton fabric travel tea pillow shown above. It  can assist you to have a good sleep while traveling.

Please recycle the used tea leaves into something useful and beneficial. Recycling is the key to greening the environment. Do not underestimate this small act, because the impact can be very great. Don't forget that we have more than 6 billions people on earth.


Let us stand together and green the environment we live in. Who else will care if we don't? Let our one voice, one spirit and one action speaks. Your support toward this direction is greatly appreciated.


Thanks for your precious time and trust you are well entertained,


James Oh







Thursday, 19 November 2009

MY TEA CANISTER

Hi! everyone,

To refresh your memory, you may click at the title of this to bring me back to my previous on tea canister, type and usage.

Today, I am going to share with you with my choice of canister to store my tea leaves.

1. Original Pack with Big Leave

This comes with original packing of 7 pieces of tea cakes, after removed from the paper carton.  The original pack will then be placed open air storage shelf or display cabinet. I opted to place it in my rosewood display cabinet.


2. Stainless Steel Canister



I also have several sizes of such canister for traveling convenience. I prefer to brew my favorite tea even at the restaurant of my choice. What I usually do is just to order one pot of hot water, one empty pot and several tea cups.
 

3. Glass container with Stainless Steel Cover

This glass container has bigger capacity that can store up to 1 kg. You can store your tea in an air tight container to preserve its freshness. With one glance, you know what tea was stored.

4. Hard Paper canister


Normal green tea  hard paper canister

 
Golden color green tea canister


This pack usually come with premium tea leaves such as green tea. It can be very attractive with colorful and painting that indicate the status of the tea. For illustration, Gold canister is pack with AAA class of the green tea whereas the Green one is pack with the normal grade of green tea.

5. Round hard paper shape canister

This comes with a pu'er cake but I will still store the unbroken piece. Once broken into loose form, I will then keep the loose tea leaves into my stainless steel travel set canister.

I hope the above information is useful for you. So stay tuned for more..

Seeing you again,

James Oh

Sunday, 15 November 2009

TEA CANISTER

Hi, everyone,






Tea culture refers to the methods of preparation of tea, the tools and accessories used to brew tea and the occasions in which tea is consumed. Naturally, this tea culture is very much different from one region to another. Even now, tea is consumed regularly, and not like the past where tea is used as traditional Chinese medicine and in Chinese cuisine.


In this article, we are going to have a quick tour about types of tea canisters and their usage.


Tea canister, designed in various shapes, materials and sizes, is used for store loose tea leaves. For all intents and purposes, it is meant to cater for multiple functions and roles. Its variety is to serve you better depending on your usage and preference.


There are basically several types made of different materials as follows:-



1. Yixing





Unglazed Yixing canister, made of undyed Yixing clay, is perfect for storing pu'er tea. It is made of natural clay, which is found only in the Yixing region of China, northwest of Shanghai. It reflects the natural color of the clay. Its porous nature allows the tea to breathe and develop to yield a great aroma and flavor. It is the optimal way to store loose tea, toucha, or tea bricks and tea cakes which have been loosened prior to drinking.


It is also very easy to wash by rinsing it with warm or hot water. Its history has about 1,000 years.


2. STAINLESS AND ACRYLIC



The stainless steel and acrylic tea canisters are equipped with an air-tight seal. The seal serves as a way to keep our tea freshness for months! These canisters feature acrylic windows, airtight acrylic clamp lids and silicone gaskets to ensure a tight seal.

3. CERAMIC


To make that tea last for months, you may even store it in an air-tight ceramic tea canister! This canister comes with air-tight seal and a convenient easy-grip handle and scoop feature. It is also equipped with a metal clamp and silicone gasket, to ensure the freshness stays in.

4. ACRYLIC



This acrylic tea canister with a silicone gasket ensures an air-tight seal. It can be a very attractive container to store your tea!



Store your tea appropriately to preserve its freshness. Treat your friends and family to a relaxing, delicious afternoon tea party regularly! Life is fun.


So stay tuned and have fun together,

James Oh

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

GONGFU TEA CEREMONY

To my dearest visitors and readers,

In this article, we are going to have a quick walk over this century old gongfu tea ceremony.

Gongfu tea ceremony
- mainly for infusion of Oolong tea, Puer tea and black tea.

This ceremony  basically involve 6 simple steps as follows:-

1.to warm the tea vessel, including Gaiwan or Purple clay teapot,  taste cups, smell cups by rinsing boiled water over them. Tea tray is usually being used to drain this water into the bucket, which is placed underneath the tray.

2. fill the tea pot to approximately 1/3 full with tea leaves.

3.completely infuse the tea with boiled water but not with over boiled water.

4. smell the fragrance of tea. Usually, we can smell the aroma from lid of Gaiwan for good fragrance collects on lid during infusion.  

5. enjoy the tea with your friends and guests.

6. share out the different taste, aroma from each subsequent infusion of the tea.

Folks,it  is not as complicated as we usually think, right ? Why are you waiting? Try it out soonest possible and share with us your experience.

Have fun so as to brighten your lives.


James Oh

Thursday, 5 November 2009

MY GLASS KETTLE STOVE

Happy day to all my dearest friends,


In my preceding article, I told you my reason for choosing the glass tea kettle.  To refresh your memory, you may click at the title of this article to bring you back to my preceding article.


The photos are taken, from different angles, to give an insight of the piece I have, which I bought upon the advice from a tea merchant in Penang.


It comprises of two portions as follows:-.


Glass Water Kettle


Using glass kettle to boil water for tea will be more fun as you can visualize water go from the cold calm to rapid boil in this simple easy-to-use kettle. You may gauge the boiling temperature from the bubbles propping out from the bottom of the kettle. It works well with the lovely stove shown below.







Alcohol Burner Kettle Stove


This stove comprises of glass tank with flat bottom, a burner stopper, tank base, stand and brass metal trivet. See the photos below for details.

alcohol tank sit nicely in the base.
 
                                                                          Metal trivet



                                                                                 burner stopper
                                                Before placing of the metal trivet


                                             

The glass tank, underneath the stove, is to be filled with alcohol as fuel. There is also a wick, usually made of cotton. The lower half of the wick is dipped into alcohol , which it absorbs. The top part of the other end of the wick extends out from the wick tube of the burner, which attached to the fuel tank. The top part of the wick is to be illuminated with either match or lighter before placing the stand ; its brass metal trivet and the glass kettle on the stove. The function of the brass metal trivet is to diffuse the heat so as to prevent heating the glass kettle directly from the stove. I love this stove not only because of its antique shape design, but the glass tank is also can be stably and nicely placed at the moulds of the base. Once the fire is lit up, the stand will then be placed at top of the base of the base, which is well secured to prevent movement. The metal trivet is also tightly held by the stand. Its superb designs add comfort to its users. After use, the fire can be easily put off by putting the stopper on the burner after the stand and its trivet have been removed.


The glass kettle will then be removed and let aside to dry. Simple and easy.What do you folks think? Any other comments?


Have some fun with this toy.


Thanks!

Friday, 30 October 2009

TEA KETTLE - STOVE TOP

To all loving readers and visitors,


In this article, I am going to talk about various kettles with different types of materials. 

As far as stovetop kettles are concerned, there are of a variety of materials you can choose from. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages.




·    Copper






Copper kettles conduct heat much better than stainless steel. However, it is softer in nature and much easier to be tarnished. Moreover, special cleaning solutions are required to prevent the copper from getting scratched.


·    Aluminum






Aluminum tea kettles are almost as energy efficient as copper, but they are expensive. No doubts, they are highly resistant to stains and scratches. They are also durable and suitable for outdoor use.
If you are brewing tea at home, this may not be good choice because of health issues. For safety precaution, this is the one to avoid for regular boiling.


·    Stainless Steel






Stainless steel is one of the most popular kettles because of its attractiveness and easiness to maintain its cleanliness. However, they are relatively poor conductor as compared to aluminum ones, as such they need longer time to heat up. Price wise, they are much cheaper and can be considered as one of the wise alternatives as they are value for money.


Watch out for the handles because they tend to get hot and are not easy to lift up from the stove.


·    Glass






Glass kettles are attractive as they come with variety of shapes and much easier to clean. They are also my choice because I can visualize the state of the boiling water especially for my favorite Pu'er tea. To obtain the best taste of Pu'er tea, the water must not be over boiled because it will harden the water. This will affect the tea leaves not being well absorbed in the water. When the bubbles prop out from the bottom of the kettle, you should lift up the kettle and start to brew Pu'er tea.


Extra care need to be taken so as not to boil them too fast, as sudden change in temperature may cause the glass to shatter. In fact, we shouldn’t heat a glass kettle directly from the stove. It is advisable to place a piece of metal such as a metal trivet to diffuse the heat instead.


Needless to say glass kettles are fragile and extra care need to be taken when cleaning and transporting.


·    Cast iron








Cast iron kettles are also a popular choice. They are heavier but more durable apart from its nature of being excellent in preserving heat.


Normally, cast-iron kettle is coated with enamel inside, and care is required when cleaning so as not to cause the enamel being peeled off which will lead to rust.


If you get a cast iron kettle, you need to dry it out thoroughly in between use so that it doesn’t rust. After you have used it for a while, a layer of minerals will build up, making the kettle less likely to rust.


Cast-iron kettle will take longer to boil water than other made of materials type, but they keep the water hot for a longer period than others.


Some cast iron kettles have plain iron finish, but other come encased in different shades of enamel. But be aware that enamel is prone to chipping.


Would boiling water from different type of kettles ultimately affect the taste of tea?


The answer is in a resounding Yes. For average tea drinkers, the quality of the water has much greater effects than the kettle itself.


Glass kettles have the advantage of least affecting the taste of the tea, similar to the stainless steel types.


Some claimed that electric kettles, especially cheap and made of plastic, can make water taste like plastic.
For obvious reasons, this type should be avoided.


Whereas Copper type has been known to make water tastes metallic. To overcome this issue, you may get stainless steel kettle with a copper base bottom.


Some connoisseurs prefer to use silver kettles. They are expensive, but the water quality is light and fresh. This is especially true for kettles with thin metal. This precious metal type can be hot to touch, and it doesn't retain heat well because of its nature of being the best conductor of heat. As such, they are excellent fit for light oxidized teas such as white tea, green tea and the Sheng (raw) Pu'er tea.


Whereas the cast iron kettles produce water that is more suitable to be used for the heavily oxidized teas such as black tea, oolongs, red tea and the Shou (ripe) Pu'er tea.


How about the size of the kettle?


After you have decided the type of tea kettle, you should get the appropriate size suitable for your needs.
If it is used primarily for oneself, then a small kettle is the best choice. On the other hand, a larger kettle would be more appropriate if it is used to serve a group of drinkers. In short, the key is very much dependent on the number of drinkers you serve at one time and how frequent.


What Kind of Sprout and Handle?


Some kettles have very wide sprouts to facilitate the refill water process. However, if you are using a small tea pot, it is more appropriate to get a kettle with a small and well-defined spout so as to give you better control over the hot water. Spilling boiling water on your hand may be painful!


Always look for kettle with a heat-resistant handle such as wooden handle. It is much easier to pour water for your tea because you don’t have to worry of being hurt when you lift up the kettle.


Do you need the whistle type?


It depends very much on individual preference. Some people like kettles that whistle when the water reaches the boiling point. Others find them obnoxious.


You may appreciate those with whistle as a safety feature especially for those absent-minded people so as to prevent them from accidentally boiling the kettle dry.


If you do not need such a reminder and used it mainly for tea sessions, then obviously you do not need the whistle type. However, if you have big budget, then you may opt for those expensive kettles that have whistles that produce musical sound instead of shrill, so as to have more fun.


With the above guidelines, I am sure it will assist you to select the appropriate type and size of kettle for your use.


James Oh

Saturday, 24 October 2009

TEA KETTLE - SOME BASIC FACTS

My dear loving readers and visitors,

In this article, I am going to give some basic facts on the tea kettle.

Hope you find it useful.

How to buy a tea kettle? Electric versus stovetop. What are the pros and cons of aluminum, stainless steel, glass, copper, silver and cast iron kettles?

To get the most out of your favorite tea, you need the right tools. Needless to say tea kettle is of no exception. Tea kettle, unlike tea pot is generally placed on the stove when boiling water.

Today there are many types of kettles available in the market. But how do you know which one to pick? Is it really worth to spend more to get an expensive model, or will a cheaper model meet your needs equally well?

In this article, I am going to give you some useful tips that can help you get the right tools. Read on to learn more about how to choose a tea kettle.

Stovetop Versus Electric Kettles

Ask yourself, Which type you prefer?

Advantages of Stovetop Kettles

They are more classical and you may find the old-fashioned stove-top models.

It is more attractive, easy to use, and you do not need a power point. Hence, it is more convenient and suitable to be used outdoors such as gardens. 

For those who want to keep tea-making ritual intact, then boiling water on the stove is a better choice.

Advantages of Electric Kettles

The advantages of using electric kettles are that they boil water much faster and are more convenient.

Moreover, some electric kettles have built in water filters which help to remove hard deposits from the water. Electric kettles are also a better choice for those living in dormitories, where there are no stoves available to boil a late-night cup of tea.

Some electric kettles are equipped with temperature-control features where you can stop heating the water   before reaching the boiling point. This is great for those green and white tea drinkers.

For those who have a busy lifestyle, then electric tea kettle is a much better choice.

In my forthcoming article, I will provide more details of this topic.

Thanks and looking forward to hearing from you,

James Oh

Saturday, 3 October 2009

TEA POT : USE AND CARE

Very happy day to my loving readers and visitors,

In my preceding article, I wrote about the tea pot and its characteristics. Since it is still fresh in your memory, I am going to give you some pointers as how to properly use and care for tea pot in this article:-

- have several teapots, for different occasions or to serve different types of tea, so as to reflect its class and characteristics

- always wash the teapot by rinsing with either warm or hot water. Do not use soap. After a period of use, the unglazed teapot will become shiny/glaring when it is rubbed with a soft and clean cloth.

- avoid using aluminum or enamel; aluminum may discolor the tea; chipped enamel may effect the flavor of the tea

- ceramic or bone china teapots retain the heat best

- check the glaze inside the pot for cracks and crazes

- check the handle for finger and knuckle room to avoid burns

- look for a hole in the lid to allow air to ensure the smooth flow of the tea from the pot

- a lug should be part of the lid to hold it in place so the lid doesn’t crash into the cups as the tea is pouring out from the pot.

- avoid using detergent inside a teapot as this will affect the taste of the tea

- remove tannin stains inside the teapot by filling and soaking the pot over several hours with a solution of hot water and four tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda – rinse thoroughly.

Please share with me some of your experience as how you take care of your tea pot. I believe that it is always worth to share our experience so as to enrich our experience.

Stay tuned and look forward to hearing from you,

James Oh

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

TEA POT HAS SO MUCH TO TELL

Very happy day to loving readers and visitors,


 

 

 
 
 

 
 
 







 




The photos above are taken, at different angles, with the intention to enable you to scrutinize it if you wish to. You may click at the respective photo to enlarge it. Each and every of them reflects the different type of zisha ("purple" clay) , shape, color and its craftsmanship. Proper scrutiny of each of them will reveal the maker's competency skills, talent and creativity - that will give you a real sensation and adoration. No surprise to me that some collectors willingly to offer high prices for the pieces they desired.


One noticeable fact of zisha is its' unique characteristics. Its' porous nature enables the teapot to absorb the essence of tea well.  As the teapot becomes seasoned, especially when nurtured over time, the essence of tea captured by the teapot will accentuate the character of subsequent brews. Drinkers will enjoy having different taste from each brew - that's the natural beauty of it - which you may find similar effects in other materials.


Apart from the above, Zisha has all other characteristics as follow:
  • It remains highly porous even after being fired at temperatures of exceeding 1000˚C. However, if it were fired at compromised lower temperatures, it will then produce lower quality teapots that emit the taste and smell of clay into the brew.
  • It is also able to hold water without seepage.
  • It is structurally strong for its function and glazing is not needed ( I will tell you at a later stage).
  • It is able to sustain sudden and big temperature change.
  • It offers an excellent balance between flexibility and firmness (due to its high iron content). After dying, it will shrink nominally.
  • The flexibility of the clay allows the tea pot be easily crafted into attractive shapes and designs.
Now, you know why the zisha teapots play a central role in the art of Chinese tea. This is so important that lots of makers spend times to produce variety of distinctive shape with different themes and crafted beautifully.




Most of the tea lovers prefer the unglazed clay ones, not only because it has a wonderful effect on the Chinese tea, but they will nurture the tea pot to naturally glaze by pouring hot tea on its surface during their tea sessions. This glazing effect will gradually take effect over a certain period of times. By then, the pot will fetch a much higher price compared with its original position especially among collectors.




However, most of these tea pot makers seldom neglect its primary functional role. The bottom line of these tea pots makers is to deliver good quality tea in term of aroma and taste of the respective tea leaves. Well designed tea pots will not only enable you to pour out the tea smoothly well from the pot, but also enable you to do so even at varying speeds and angles of your pour. That's mean no tea should drip down from other parts than its spout. As such, it is also not wrong to say that the teapot is a product of the applied art.




Lately, there has been an huge increase in demand of such zisha teapots. As a result, the prices have increased tremendously from a few dollars to thousands for a single pot. It goes without saying, its quality has also improved to match its price. Better quality control have been put in place at every level of processes and those do meet the quality will then be rejected and smashed immediately after they were taken out from the kiln.


Thanks for taking your precious time to read this article and trust it is worth more than your time spent.




Please feel free to pass off this blog to your circle of friends who are pursuing of brewing a good tea. Do share with me your experience either through email or comment, I am more than happy to learn from you.




Stay tuned and look forward to hearing from you,




James Oh

AVIANCE - A LUXURY DIVISION OF UNILEVER

AVIANCE - A LUXURY DIVISION OF UNILEVER
"WORLD CLASS PRODUCTS" FROM UNILEVER AVIANCE

TO MALAYSIAN AND THAIS

To read about this new business unit, please click at the above image itself. It is a luxury division of beauty and wellness products of top quality at fair price using multi-channel business solution.

As such, you are cordially invited to join me by pre registering at the above website. Just click at sign up, enter my details of mobile: 0192133728, postcode:47800 & birthdate: 2502, click agree and submit. You will then get your own website like mine and do networking online.

However, if you have done so. I like to congratulate you on board.

Please note that the official sales of Aviance products on 18th October. If you want to know more, please let me know and I can make the necessary arrangement for you.

For those who want to register directly at Aviance Office, please quote my ID number MY 0000302

To your success,

Your Chief Servant,


James Oh