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QingHuan Chinese Tea House

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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!

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