Sunday, May 13, 2012

Tea as a global drink

When Teaparker asked why tea could be considered a beverage of the world, he explained that this is so because of our noses and mouths. With these, we are able to smell aromas and taste notes of purity.

What is tea appreciation and how can we tell good teas apart from bad? A sincere attitude, a true conscience and child-like innocence:  真心,本心,童心. Words of a wise man.

At Teaparker's lecture last weekend in Brussels, I prepared a Da Yu Lin high mountain Oolong tea from Taiwan's highest elevation at 2600 metres above sea level. He likened this tea to the Romanée-Conti of red wines. Our noses and taste buds later confirmed - fresh and smelling of both the high mountains and seaweed from the coast, rich and enduring.

For the same tea, we used six different cups ranging from an 18th century De Hua porcelain cup to a modern day Jing De Zhen Qing Hua tea cup to demonstrate the differences in each cup's interaction with the infusion. 

Through the simple tea cup, event visitors were introduced to the world of Chinese teas. Teaparker believes that tea has a universal language that can bring about pleasure to both our senses and spirits.  

Although a disciple of Chinese teas, I did not forget to make my rounds to the Japanese tea ceremony booth to have my picture taken with these ladies in their kimonos. And as you may have noticed, my Cha Xi is a combination of a Japanese sash (the centre-piece of traditional Japanese costumes), ancient and modern day Chinese tea cups and a truly fascinating high mountain Oolong all the way from Taiwan. All in all, the underlying message of tea as a globalised drink has not been forgotten even in the slightest of details.

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