Saturday, December 29, 2007

Suutei Tsai

Suutei Tsai or Salty Tea is a traditional drink from Mongolia.
How to prepare it?

You'll need...
1 litre water
1 teaspoon salt (to taste)
1 tablespoon green tea
1 litre milk

Boil the water, add tea and salt. Add the milk and boil again.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all readers of my blog!!!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

How to Tea Dye

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Tea and snow

Few days ago we got little bit of snow...not much...just enough to "paint" the landscape. Maybe it'll survive until Christmas.
The following print is called "Tea house at Koishikawa The morning after a snowfall".
It's made by Hokusai Katsushika (1760-1849). I hope you'll like it.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

International Tea day

On every December 15 tea-producing countries across the World observe International Tea day to draw attention of governments and citizens on the impacts of tea trade on workers, small growers, consumers and the industry.
The International Tea day has been observed since 2005.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Sunday, December 9, 2007

About enjoying a good cup of tea

Thich Nhat Hanh, The Vietnamese Buddhist monk and philosopher, writes about enjoying a good cup of tea...

You must be completely awake in the present to enjoy the tea.

Only in the awareness of the present,
can your hands feel the pleasant warmth of the cup.

Only in the present, can you savor the aroma,
taste the sweetness,
appreciate the delicacy.

If you are ruminating about the past,
or worrying about the future,
you will completely miss the experience of enjoying the cup of tea.

You will look down at the cup,
and the tea will be gone.

Life is like that.

If you are not fully present,
you will look around and it will be gone.

You will have missed the feel,
the aroma,
the delicacy and beauty of life.

It will seem to be speeding past you.

The past is finished. Learn from it and let it go.

The future is not even here yet.
Plan for it,
but do not waste your time worrying about it.

Worrying is worthless.

When you stop ruminating about what has already happened,
when you stop worrying about what might never happen,
then you will be in the present moment.

Then you will begin to experience joy in life.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Puppet that serves tea

Room puppets were toys of Japanese lords and rich merchants during the Edo period. The tea-serving puppet (Chahakobi Ningyo) was designed to bring tea to guests. It was used as kind of encouragement to get the conversation going.
The host places a tea cup on the tray held by the doll and that way activates its mechanism to move it forward. The puppet stops when the guest picks up the tea cup, lifting the weight from the tray. When the cup is put back on the tray, the doll turns around and walks back to its starting position.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Tea for three

Tea for three is a painting by Henri Matisse (December 31, 1869 – November 3, 1954).
He was a French painter, sculptor and lithographer. This painting is now kept in the Hermitage in Sankt Peterburg, Russia.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Tea in pancake rolls

Ingredients:
1 Tablespoon green tea leaves
1/2 pound (227 grams) all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon corn oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup water

Preparation:
1. Pulverize half of the tea leaves with a grinder or a rolling pin.
2. Brew the rest with 1/2 cup of water for three minutes, then cool to lukewarm.
3. Mix the flour and as much brewed tea as kneaded to make a dough. Knead well then make it into the shape of a cigar and press it flat, then roll it into a rectangular shape. Cit into quarters.
4. Heat the oil and pan fry one or two until lightly browned, then
quickly put them on a plate and fry the rest. Sprinkle them with
the rest of the tea leaves and the sugar and roll each one loosely.
5. Cut each of them on an angle into one inch (about 2,5 cm) pieces and serve.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Few more tea quotes

tea leaves
tea loves
loves tea
lives tea
leaves tea?
never.
Uniek Swain

Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves - slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future.
Thich Nat Hahn

I'm not interested in immortality but only in tea flavour.
Lu Tung

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Friday, November 30, 2007

Yunnan Gold

Yunnan Gold (Golden Yunnan, Dian Hong) is one of world's best black teas. It is produced in Chinese Yunan ("south of the clouds") region located in the far southwestern corner of the country.
Yunnan Gold tea leaves are small, tighty rolled and of golden-brown colour.
And the taste...Well, it is rich with a hint of sweet malty flavour.
How to brew it? It is recommended to use purple clay or porcelain tea ware. Rinse tea cup and teapot with hot water. Use 1-2 teaspoons of tea leaves per every 150 ml of water. Steep tea leaves in hot water at about 100° C for the first and second brewing. In further brewing gradually increase steeping time and water temperature. For those who prefer milk with tea...just add 10 to 15 ml of dairy milk and stir...

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Saenggang Cha

Saenggang Cha is a tea made from ginger root. The ginger root is washed and sliced without peeling. The sliced ginger root is stored in honey for few weeks. To make the tea add the ginger root in hot water.
Saenggang Cha is used to prevent colds and to aid digestion. It also has remedial effect for those suffering from diarrhea and stomachache due to low body temperature.
Saenggang Cha helps people how have low body temperature due to bad circulation.
This tea should not be drank by person who has a gastric ulcer.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Tea-shirt

Is it a tea-shirt or t-shirt? Well, see for yourself. The video is
in French but I believe no translation is needed.
Have fun!!!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Danggwi cha

Danggwi cha is a tea made from boiling a dried root Korean angelica or an angelica gigas nakai (look at the photo). The dried root of Korean angelica is gently boiled in water for a few hours. Sometimes, ginger root can be added for preference when boiled.
Korean angelica is often called ginseng for woman. Thus, it is good for (white) leucorrhoea and postpartum care. If consumed for a long time, it can remedy cold fingers or toes. But, it should not be used for someone who has diarrhea


.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Grog

Here is a recipe for Grog which includes tea...
Melt sugar (the amount depends on your taste)
in a glass of freshly made strong tea.
Add a teaspoon of cognac and a tablespoon
of rum.
Serve hot.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Jamaica and Hibiscus tea

The infusion made from the Hibiscus sabdariffa (Roselle) flower is called "jamaica" when it is served as a cold drink and "hibiscus tea" when it is served hot.
Jamaica is a drink popular in Southern California, Mexico and Central America. There it is called Agua de Jamaica. It has cranberry-like flavour. It is good for people who have tendency toward water retention. It is a mild diuretic.
Jamaica is prepared by steeping calyces of Hibiscus sabdariffa in boiling water, straining the mixture, pressing the calyces (to squeeze all the juice out), adding sugar, and stirring. The drink is served chilled.
Hibiscus tea or Karkade (pronounced "Kar-kah-day") is a sweet tea. Karabe is an Arabic word for Hibiscus sabdariffa (Roselle). It can be served served hot or chilled with ice. Then it is often called Einab. Karkade is very popular in North Africa.
In Thailand people use Roselle to make a tea which is believed to reduce cholesterol.
Roselle can be used to make kind of wine. There it is combined with Chinese tea leaves at ratio 1:4 by weight. Drink made or Roselle is famous in West Africa too. Drink called Jus de bissap is known as "national drink of Senegal".
Finally, how to brew it...Heat 0.5 liter of water in a pot. When it starts boiling add a fistful of Hibiscus flowers and boil for four minutes. Remove from the stove and sift to a pitcher. Add 0.5 liter of cool water to the pot and let it stand for about 10 minutes so the flowers release all their colour. After the 10 minutes have passed sift again to the pitcher. The Jamaica should be neither too red nor too clear, but rather the colour of non-concentrated cranberry juice. Add sugar to taste, then chill until cool.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Lei Cha

Lei Cha (literally "pounded tea") is a tea made by the Hakkas in China. Hakkas are a subgroup of the Han Chinese people who live predominantly in the provinces of Guangdong, Jiangxi, and Fujian in China. They migrated from Northern and Central China centuries ago.
Lei Cha is made as mixture of tea leaves (mainly Green tea or Oolong), roasted peanuts, mung beans and sesame.
Lei cha is served in a cup with a chopstick. Person can use the chopstick to stir the ingredients in the cup.
Lei cha is traditionally a savory drink. But nowdays it is usually drank sweet.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Kuma Saza tea

Kuma Saza tea is the bamboo leaf tea made in Wakkanai, which is located at the northernmost part of Japanese Hokkaido island.
Kuma Saza tea is of green colour. It is light in taste. Its taste is similar to that of green tea but a bit lighter.
This tea is alkaline and rich in amino acids and vitamins. It is good for those who have digestion problems or for those who want to "cleanse" their liver after drinking lot of alcohol.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Ku Ding Cha

Ku Ding Cha is a beverage which is consumed in China as an alternative toordinary green tea.
Word Ku means bitter because of its initial taste. Ding is a Chinese characterthat is similar to a spike...Dried leaves used to prepare this beverage are long, narrow nail-like when twisted...Leaves are often formed into balls or rolls.
Some 90% of Ku Ding Cha in China is from an Ilex species - mainly Ilex kudincha. Ku Ding Cha contains triterpene glycosides (saponins), polyphenols and flavonoids.
Ku Ding Cha promotes blood circulation, lowers blood pressure, lowers blood lipids (including cholesterol). It is also believed that it can prevent deterioration of the heart and brain funtction and help to control body weight.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Yuja-cha

Here in Croatia it is rather cold now...A perfect time to get flu or something like this. Here is a short description of a simple Korean tea....It is called Yuja-cha or Citron tea.
It is very easy to prepare....Slice the lemon in thiny slices...put those slices in honey...And finally put them into boiling water...Enjoy this sweet-sour lemon-yellow drink. It is very rich in vitamin C and it helps in fighting against flu.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

How not to repair a broken teapot....

This photo show how not to repair your broken teapot...:)))


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Tea in East Frisia

East Frisia (German Osfriesland) is a coastal region in the northwest of the German federal state of Lower Saxony.
East Frisia is known for its consumption of tea and its tea culture. Strong black tea is served on every occasion...with breakfast, mid-afternoon and mid-evening etc.
As a sweetener for tea "kluntjes", a rock candy sugar is used. It melts slowly. Tea is usually served in traditional small cups with little cookies.
Tea in East Frisia has also a special version. Brown rum is mixed with kluntjes and left for several months. During winter this mixture is added to black tea. People believe that such tea cures headache, stomach problems, stress etc.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Tea in Wudang

The Wudang Mountains, also known as Wu Tang Shan or simlpy Wudang, are a small mountain range in the Hubei province in central China. Here is a video about tea culture in this part of China.



Monday, November 12, 2007

Anhui green tea

In this video you can see the traditional way of making melon seed green tea in Anhui region. Anhui region is located in east China or to be more precise across the basins of the Yangtze River and the Huaihe River.


Sunday, November 11, 2007

Friday, November 9, 2007

Little extra

Hello everyone!! I have just put an extra option to my blog. For all those of you whose mother tongue is not English there is a posiblility to read my posts in 8 different languages via Altavista Babelfish translator...Just click the flag and there it goes...
The translator is located on the right side of my blog. You should find it easily. I hope that you'll find this extra option useful.
Have a pleasant weekend!!

Inuit teas

Hello everyone! This time let me mention a web site about kind of exotic teas...well, certainly exotic from my point of view...
Here is the link to the web site with some info about Inuit teas....Just click on it...
Northern Delights teas

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Tea wine

Ingredients
1 gallon tea (some 16 tea bags per gallon)
0.5 lb raisins
3 lb sugar
2 lemons
yeast

Method
Dissolve the sugar in the tea. Chop the raisins, and add these to the tea, along with the juice of the lemon. Pour the mixture into a clean bucket and cover the bucket and leave to cool. Once it's at room temperature, add a teaspoon of yeast to the bucket. Leave the mixture for a week, stirring daily. Strain the liquid to remove the raisins, and pour into demijohns, sealing with a fermentation lock. Leave this until fermentation has stopped, then bottle it. The wine is usually ready to drink after a further 2 months.

source: The Penguin's Kitchen Companion

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Green tea liqueur

First let me mention the ingredients you'll need...
6 tablespoons of quality green tea leaves
3 cups of vodka
1 cup of sugar syrup
2-3 drops of green food colouring

How to make sugar syrup? Mix equal parts of sugar (white or brown) and water. Bring to a boil and simmer for five minutes. Cool before adding to the rest of stuff in the recipe. By the way, you can also use an equivalent amount of honey.
Steep tea leaves in vodka for 24 hours. Do not steep for longer time cause the liquer will turn bitter. Shake the jar or bottle well when you add the tea leaves. Add the sweetener and colouring the next day.
Finally, for those who do not know or are not sure....1 tablespoon is 5 ml (1/6 ounce), 1 cup is 236 ml (8 ounces).

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Greek Mountain Tea

Greek Mountain Tea (Shepherd's Tea) or Tsi to Vounou is made of dried leaves and flowers of Sideritis plants (Ironwort).
This tea is very popular in Greece. People use it especially in winter...in time of higher level of colds, aches, pains.
It is said that Greek Mountain Tea has positive effects on colds, respiratory problems, digestion, the immune system, mild anxiety and as an antioxidant. The tea is also good as an anti-inflammatory and to reduce fever.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Tetsubin

Tetsubin are famous Japanese cast iron teapots. There are two main types of Tetsubin - those that are used for brewing tea and those that are used for heating and carrying water (only) during Japanese tea ceremony.
Due to Tetsubin relief decorations on the outside, glazing with enamel on the inside, small size and often unusual shape they are popular collector item. Authentic products have the symbol of manufacturer on the base of teapot.
Tetsubin holds some 1/2 litre of water. It is usually sold with a tea strainer and and iron trivet.
First Tetsubin appeared in the 17th century. They were used to brew tea or just boil water. Those Tetsubin did not have decotrations like today's teapots.
In the 19th century infused tea became very popular. Tetsubin became primarily status symbol, rather then functional kitchen items.
Japanese prefectures Iwate and Yamagata are famous for their Tetsubin.
And now here are few guidelines on how to use Tetsubin...Do not place tetsubin directly on stove to heat. Instead, boil water separately and pour into Tetsubin.While water is being heated, pour some warm water into Tetsubin. This will warm the teapot which will keep tea warmer for longer period of time. If it is glazed, this will prevent Tetsubin's ceramic glaze from cracking when the hotter water is poured in.
How to clean Tetsubin? Just rinse inside with some water and pour out...Do not use soap and abrasive pads for cleaning. After rinsing, dry the inside and outside of Tetsubin with a piece of cloth.


Thursday, November 1, 2007

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Chifir'

Chifir' (or just Chifir) is a type of strong tea brewed in Russia. It is often associated with the Gulag system of Stalin era because inmates have been drinking it. Russian writer and historian Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn mentions it in his book The Gulag Archipelago.
Some say that Chifir' has kind of psychoactive effect.
What does the word Chifir' mean? There are opinions that Chifir'comes from the word "chikhir" meaning a strong Cuacasian wine. In Siberia it means wine that has gone off and become sour and acidic.
How to brew it? It is prepared with two or three teaspoons of loose tea per person. It is brewed for 10-15 minutes. It is drunk with sugar and held in mouth.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Yong Chun Fo Shou

Yong Chun Fo Shou (Fo Shou, Buddha's Hand, Yong Chun Buddha's Hand) is Oolong tea. Fo Shou when translated means "Buddha's Hand". Why? Well, the appearance of its tea leaves resemble the leaves of a Buddha's hand fruit tree.
It was first introduced in the Chinese Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127 AD) by a Zen Master, who brought the tea plant from An Xi to Yong Chun county of Fujian province.
Tea leaves are tightly rolled and look like kind of question mark. Yong Chun Fo Shou tea has delicate fruity aroma. The colour of infusion is bright yellow.
How to brew it? It is recommended to use purple clay or porcelain tea ware. Rinse tea cup and teapot with hot water. The teapot must be 1/4 to 1/3 full with tea leaves. Steep tea leaves in hot water at 100 degrees Celsius for about a minute for the first and second brewing. For any further brewing slightly increase steeping time and temperature.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Tai Ping Hou Kui

Tai Ping Hou Kui (Monkey Chief, Monkey King, Monkey tea) green tea is one of ten most famous teas in China. In 2004 this tea was declared "King of Tea".
Hou Keng village, at the foothill of Tai Ping county, is where best Tai Ping Hou Kui is produced.
Leaves of this tea are spear shaped..huge, flat...with kind of criss-cross pattern on them.
What about the taste? It's complex...nutty at the beggining and with slowly revealing sweetness..
Little bit about brewing...Put 1-2 teaspoons of tea leaves for every 150ml of water. Steep tea leaves in hot water at temperature of 70-80 degrees Celsius for a minute. That is for the first and second brewing. For any further brewing increase steeping time and temperature of water.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Jun Shan Yin Zhen

Jun Shan Yin Zhen (Mount Jun Silver Needle) is the king of Yellow teas. It is one of China's ten famous teas. The tea is originally from Jun Shan Island (known also as the Island of Immortals) of Lake Dong Ting in Hunan Province.
It is a very rare tea. The yearly production of this tea is very limited, using only before and early Qing Ming harvest. Qing Ming ("clear and bright") is one of 24 Chinese solar terms relating to the plucking of tea. In western calendar it is on April 5.
Juan Shan Yin Zhen tea includes needle-shape tea buds. Jun Shan Yin Zhen tea has delicate aroma with a touch of floral. The tea taste starts with light, smooth, sweet...and ends with kind of smoky.
How to brew it? Rinse tea cup and teapot with hot water. Put 1-2 teaspoons of tea leaves for every 150 ml of water. Steep in hot water at 70-80 degrees Celsius for a minute for first two brewing. Slightly increase steeping time and temperature for further brewing.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Tea for two

"Tea for two" is probably the most famous tea song. It is a song from the musical "No, No, Nannete" (1925) with music by Vincent Youmans and lyrics by Irving Caesar.
The song is sung from the viewpoint of a lovestruck man, who plans the future with his new woman in mind.
Here is this song preformed by Tommy Dorsey (1905-1956) and his orchestra. Enjoy!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Huang Shan Mao Feng

Huang Shan Mao Feng (Yellow Mountain Fur Peak) tea is one of ten most famous Chinese green teas. It has been grown in the Yellow Mountain (Huang Shan) region of Anhui Province for more than 300 years.
Its leaves are young, tender..emerald green. Brewed Huang Shan Mao Feng tea is of jade-green colour. It has light flowery green tea fragrance.
How to brew it? Rinse tea cup and teapot with hot water.Use 1-2.5 teaspoons (2.5-3 grams) of tea leaves for every 225 ml of water. Steep tea leaves in hot water at 70-80 degrees Celsius for 1 minute for the first and second brewing. For any further brewing increase both steeping time and temperature.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Bi Tan Lan Xue

Bi Tan Lan Xue (Lan Ya, Snow Orchid) is the highest quality Chinese jasmine tea. Leaves of this tea are picked during early spring, and carefully preserved until jasmine blooming season, in which they are scented. Jasmine used for preparing this tea is from Si Chuan province.
Bi Tan Lan Xue is quite rare tea because only finest young tea buds and leaves are used to make it.
It has flat, straight tea leaves with some jasmine petals mixed in it. Bi Tan Lan Xue is a tea of jasmine freshness, soothing taste. Its aftertaste will leave tender sweetness in your mouth.
How to brew it? Prepare it in porcelain tea ware. Put 1-2 teaspoons for every150 ml of water. Steep tea leaves in hot water at 70-80 degrees Celsius for 1minute for the first and second brewing. For any further brewing increase steeping time and temperature.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Tasseography

Tasseography (also known as tasseomancy or tassology) is a fortune-telling method that interprets patterns in tea leaves, coffee grounds, or wine sediments.
The terms derive from the French word tasse (cup), which in turn derivesf rom the Arabic tassa (cup), and the Greek suffixes -graph, -logy, and -mancy (divination).
After a cup of tea has been poured, without using a tea strainer, the tea is drunk or poured away. The cup should then be shaken well and any remaining liquid drained off in the saucer. The diviner now looks at the pattern of tea leaves in the cup and allows the imagination to play around the shapes suggested by them. They might look like a letter, a heart shape, or a ring. These shapes are then interpreted intuitively or by means of a fairly standard system of symbolism, such as: snake (enmity or falsehood), spade (good fortune through industry), mountain (journey of hindrance), or house (change, success).
Source: The Encyclopedia of Occultism & Parapsychology, Fifth Edition, Vol. 2 edited by J. Gordon Melton

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Sweet tea

Sweet tea is a variety of iced tea where sugar or other sweetener is added to the hot water before brewing, while brewing the tea or post-brewing, but before the beverage is chilled and served. Sweet tea is especially popular in southern parts of the USA.



Friday, October 19, 2007

More of Chinese tea quotes

"Kissing is like drinking tea through a tea-strainer; you’re always thirsty afterwards."
Chinese saying

"So I must rise at early dawn, as busy as can be, to get my daily labor done, and pluck the leafy tea."
Le Yih
Ballad of the Tea Pickers
Early Ch’ing Dynasty, 1644

"I am in no way interested in immortality, but only in the taste of tea."
Lu t'ung

"The best quality tea must have creases like the leathern boot of Tartar horsemen, curl like the dewlap of a mighty bullock, unfold like a mist rising out of a ravine, gleam like a lake touched by a zephyr, and be wet and soft like a fine earth newly swept by rain."
Lu Yu (d. 804)
Chinese sage, hermit

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Drinking tea with friends

"What is the most wonderful thing for people like myself who follow the Way of Tea?
My answer:
the oneness of host and guest
created through 'meeting heart to heart'
and sharing a bowl of tea."

Soshitsu Sen
Grand Master XIV
Urasenke School of Tea

Monday, October 15, 2007

Drinking tea...alone

"In my own hands I hold a bowl of tea;
I see all of nature represented in its green color.
Closing my eyes I find green mountains and pure water within my own heart.
Silently sitting alone and drinking tea, I feel these become part of me."

Soshitsu Sen
Grand Master XIV
Urasenke School of Tea

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Hong Kong-style milk tea

Hong Kong-style milk tea or Dai-pai-dong milk tea is a beverage that is made of black tea and evaporated milk. Similar drinks from other parts of Asia are The buble tea (boba tea) from Taiwan and the Malaysian Teh tarik. Hong Kong-style milk tea includes mix of several types of black tea (which and at what proportion are secrets of famous milk tea sellers), evaporated milk and sugar. Sugar is usually added by customers themselves.
A very interesting feature of Hong Kong-style milk tea is that a sack cloth bag is used to filter the tea leaves. It is believed that such a bag makes the tea smoother, gradually develops and intense brown colour as a result of prolonged tea drenching. This bag looks like a pantyhose so this milk tea is also know as "silk stocking milk tea".
Some people think that milk should be added before pouring the tea, but there are also those who claim the opposite. It should also be mentioned that the iced milk tea prepared with ice cubes also exists.
A cup of hot milk tea is usually served either in a ceramic cup (often referred to as a "coffee cup") or in a low cylindrical cup made of glass or ceramic.
Cha chow ("tea without" (evaporated milk)) is a milk tea prepared with condensed milk, instead of evaporated milk and sugar. Its taste is sweeter than ordinary milk tea.
Finally, there is a drink called Yuanyang which is a milk tea mixed with coffee.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Japanese tea terms

Chabatake: Tea Plantation
Chaboko: Tea Chest or Box
Chaire or Chaki: Tea Caddy
Chanoki: Tea Plant
Chanoyu: Tea Ceremony or Party
Chasen: Whisk
Chawan: Tea Bowl
Futaoki: Lid or Ladle Rest
Kakoi: Tea enclosure within a house
Kensui: Waste-Water Bowl
Koicha: A thick, pasty Chanoyu tea
Koshikake: Waiting Bench (in inner or outer garden)
Machiai: Portico in which guests wait until they are summoned to enter the tea room
Matcha: A powder green tea used in Chanoyu
Midsuya: Anteroon where tea utensils are washed and arranged before being brought in
Mizusashi: Water jar
Roji: Tea Garden, or garden path which connects the machiai with the tea room
Soto Roji: Outer Garden
Sukiya: Tea Room
Tsukubai: Water Basin for Tea Water
Uchi Roji: Inner Garden
Usucha: A foamy green Chanoyu tea
Yoritsuki: Waiting Room

Friday, October 12, 2007

Yixing teapots

Yixing (pronounced as "ee-shing"), near Shangai, has a long tradition of the "pottery capital" of China. World's first teapots were created there during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). These distinctive reddish stoneware teapots came to be considered the "best vessel for brewing tea".
Yixing teapots are made from the special "Zisha" (purple sand) clay. They are not glazed.
When tea is brewed in these teapots a tiny amount of tea is absorbed in the interior. Yixing teapot is never washed with soap...you just rinsed it withcold water. With continued use, a layer of tea sediment is formed.
Many of Yixing teapots made for Chinese market are kind of small (100-300 ml) by Western standards. This is done so the entire content of the pot may be quickly emptied after each infusion. That way tea is always served fresh, hot and strong...

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Tamaryokucha

Tamaryokucha is a fine Japanese green tea. The word tamaryokoucha means "curly green tea" because of the curled shape of the leaves. Such shape of tea leaves is result of the extra processing steps.
Tamaryokucha is made primarily on Japanese Kyushu island. Local Kumamoto prefecture produces most of Tamaryokucha in Japan.
There are two types of Tamaryokucha. Pan-fried and steamed. Pan-fried, or Kamairi style was the original technique used for Tamaryokucha learned from Chinese green tea production. Current market tendency is to producemore steamed Tamaryokucha.
Tamaryokucha has a deep, earthy flavor...It can be steeped more than once, each time creating little bit different flavor and aroma.
This type of tea also requires a slightly cooler water temperature to bring out the full flavor and avoid "cooking" the tea leaves.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Awabancha

Awabancha is quite an unusual Japanese tea. During summer, tea leaves are picked and then boiled.
After boiling, tea leaves are rubbed and placed in a barrel to ferment. They are then dried under the sun.
Awabancha is made in Tokushima (city on Japanese Shikoku island).
Awabancha has kind of stale aroma

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Bancha

Bancha ("common tea") is a Japanese green tea of somehow lower grade. It is harvested from the second flush of Sencha between summer and autumn.
Bancha is not very popular in famous tea production areas cause teas which can achieve higher prices are grown. Still, in rural mountain areas of Japan Bancha is still popular everyday drink.
Bancha has milder flavour and the lowest level of caffeine among any standard Japanese green tea. Like any green tea it is rich in antioxidants.
How to brew it? Heat the water at temperature of around 80°C. Pour the water on the Bancha (1 teaspoon per cup) and let it steep for 1 to 2 minutes.



Monday, October 8, 2007

Botebotecha

Botebotecha is a tea or maybe better kind of snack, available in Japanese city of Matsue (western Honshu). It is made by mixing together tea flowers and hot tea in a tea bowl using a tea whisk. After that shiitake mushrooms, koyadofu (tofu) and other vegetables are added while the mixture is still hot.
The name Botebotecha comes from "bote-bote" sound that is made by the tea whisk as tea is mixed. Botebotecha used to be a food of poor during famine in the Edo period. Now Botebotecha is served as local delicacy.
It is customary to pat the bottom of the tea bowl as you drink the tea, vegetables and all and without using chopsticks, in one long gulp.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Tea of Hachijuhachiya

In traditional Japanese calendar the first day of Spring is called Risshun. The 88th day after Risshun is called Hachijuhachiya (literally 88th night). This day is special because it is the beginning of year's first tea picking. Hachijuhachiya slightly varies from year to year but usually occcurs in early May.
"First flush" of young leaves is considered by tea experts as the absoulute finest in quality, freshness and flavour. It is also believed that such tea will keep you from paralysis. This first tea is important for traders, farmers and consumers.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Hukamushi

Hukamushi (Fukamushi) green tea, which means "deep-steamed tea" is fragnant, heavily flavoured tea.
Prolonged steaming process of this tea results in less bitter, more mild tea,with less green aroma. It makes a great iced tea.
Hukamushi is often called "misty green tea" because slightly cloudy effect of tea's infusion.
How to brew Hukamushi tea? Use 1 teaspoon of loose tea leaves per cup. Heat water until 77-85 degrees Celsius. Let steep for 30-60 seconds. Multiple infusion is possible.
Hukamushi tea is not common outside Japan.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Kukicha

Kukicha, stalk or stick tea is made of four sorts of stems, stalks and twigs of Camellia sinensis.
Kukicha has light flavour, fresh green aroma. It has very light yellow-green colour. It can be added to a juice to make a drink for kids.
Kukicha is a strong antioxidant and its level of caffeine is the lowest among all traditional teas.
For best results, Kukicha is steeped in water between 70°C to 80°C (155°F - 180°F) for three minutes (otherwise, like all green teas, the result will be a bitter, unsavoury brew).
Some suggest that Kukicha can be dry fried in an iron pan to make it more alkaline and good for diseases that thrive in acidic conditions.
It is an inexpensive tea of enthusiasts, rarely drank outside Japan.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Mecha

Mecha or bud tea is a special Japanese green tea made of early leaf buds. It is known for its flavour depth and bitter green aftertaste.
Mecha is harvested in spring and made as rolled leaf teas. To be more precise, Mecha tea is made from collection of leaf buds and tips of the early crops.
Quality Mecha tea has clear, soft yellow appearance.Considering the above mentioned bitterness, Mecha tea is a good tea to drink after meals to cleanse the palate.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Tea tasting terms

Professional tea tasters (brokers, agents, buyers) use numerous terms, expressions. Here are some of them...as presented at Relax, Sip & Enjoy


Body - The weight and qaulity of the tea on the tongue. Can be describedas wispy, light, medium, or full.

Brassy - Strong and bitter; caused by underwithering of black tea.

Bright - Lively, fresh, and high quality.

Brisk - Opposite of "flat"; pungent without being undesirably high in tannin content.

Burnt - An off flavor caused by overfiring.

Chocolaty - A desirable flavor quality of fine Darjeelings.

Coarse - Bitter or overly acid; attributable to improper processing.

Dull - Muddy looking; the opposite of "bright" or "brisk."

Earthy - May be inherent to the leaf, or caused by damp storage.

Flat - Off, stale taste; usually a property of old teas.

Full-bodied - An ideal combination of strength and color.

Green - When said of black tea, refers to immaturity of character due to underoxidation or underwithering.

Harsh - Very rough in flavor; associated with underwithered teas.

Heavy - Low in briskness and very full-bodied.

Light - Lacking strength and depth of color.

Malty - Subtle, underlying flavor; a desirable quality in Assam teas.

Mellow - Smooth, easy, pleasant.

Metallic - A sharp, coppery flavor.

Point - Used to describe a leaf with desirable brightness and acidity.

Pungent - Pleasantly astringent; a good combination or briskness, strength, and brightness.

Self-drinking - A tea that can be drunk alone, without blending with other leaves.

Smooth - Rounded in flavor, pleasant on the palate.

Soft - The opposite of "brisk"; caused by inefficient oxidation or firing.

Vegetative - Grassy flavor, a desirable characteristic of some green teas.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Houjicha

Houjicha is a pan-fried or oven roasted green tea available in Japanese teashops. Houjicha is very little bitter, refreshing...The tea is fried at high temperature...As result of it tea leaves become red...
There are two main types of Houjicha - light and deep-fried. Deep-fried tea has stronger, roast aroma and taste. Houjicha has distinctively red appearance and are low in caffeine. Houjicha can be drank with all kind of food. Japanese people are often drink itafter dinner. Houjicha is excellent as Iced tea too. Houjicha is not expensive, but it is rarely used in the West.
How to brew it? Until you decide what time of brewing is the most suitable for you, check your tea every 30 seconds or so...Start by using 1 teaspoon (5 grams) of tea to 170 grams of water. Experiment with water temperature to get different flavors.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Genmaicha

Genmaicha ("brown rice tea") is the Japanese name for green tea combined with roasted brown rice. Koreans call it Hyeonmi nokcha. During roasting process few grains of rice pop...plus it resembles popocorn. That's whysome people also call it "Popcorn tea".
Genmaicha used to be a drink of poor Japanese cause rice added to this tea made it cheaper. Today all parts of Japanese society drink this tea.Genmaicha has mild flavour, combining fresh flavour of green tea and aroma of roasted rice...
You should brew Genmaicha with water at temperature of 80-85°C (175-185°F). Tea is ready for drinking after 3-5 minutes, depending on how strong tea do you like....


Friday, September 28, 2007

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Rohat tea house

Rohat tea house or Rohat Choykhona is located in the Rudaki avenue, near President's Palace of Dushanbe city, Tajikistan. Here is short video for you to see the inside of it...

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Kombucha

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

A Tea Story

I have just found rather unusual love story...An animation film with tea bags as main characters....Well, here it is...Enjoy!!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Tea brewing...little extra

Here is a video about tea brewing....general stuff...but maybe you'll find some extra details...Enjoy!!

Friday, September 21, 2007

More on tea in Vietnam

Typical Vietnamese green tea is known as "hook-shaped curly tea", because the leaves curl up after roasting.
Some people think that the proper term is mac cau or "areca mold" tea, because the curly dried leaves have a thin white coat, like the mold on an areca palm leaf.
Thai Nguyen Tea from Vietnamese province Thai Nguyen province is the best tea in Vietnam.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Tea custom from Vietnam

Here is an interesting tea custom from Vietnam...
According to the customs of Vietnamese people, on moonlit nights, devotees set their boats on the lake and ponds when the lotus flowers are in bloom. They open the about-to-bloom lotus flowers and place a lot of tea inside each blossom, then close them with ribbon or string. Then they get the moonlit dew from the lotus leaves . By dawn, the living scent of lotus impregnates the tea , and the gatherers have enough dew to add to their teapots. After a few hours of sleep, they enjoy a blissful afternoon of tea.
Source: Future Generation Co., Ltd (FGC)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Mugicha or Bori cha

Mugicha (in Japanese) or Bori cha (in Korean) is a type of herbal tea (tisane) made from roasted barley. In Japan it is popular summer bevarage. In Korea people drink it hot in winter and cold in summer. Mugicha contains no caffeine.
As to the study by Japanese food company Kagome, drinking Mugicha increases blood fluidity. This happens because of the chemical alkypyrazine which exists in Mugicha. The Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Natural Products in China claims that Mugicha can reduce stress in those who drink it.
Koreans combine Bori cha with Okusu cha (roasted corn herbal tea)...Okusu cha is sweeter...and influences bitter taste of Bori cha...

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Tieguanyin tea

Tieguanyin tea is a variety of Chinese oolong tea grown in Anxi, Fujian Province, China. It was named after the Buddhist deity Guan Yin. Some translate it as "Iron Goddess of Mercy".
It is very expensive. For 1 kg of this tea you have to pay $1,700... That is really to much for me...
One of reasons why Tieguanyin tea is so expensive is the "gung fu" style, which means "great skill". The tea can be brewed with multiple infusion...three or four times...each time becoming more tastier.
The tea should be brewed with fresh water at 85°c using smaller intervals of time when steeping rather than smaller amounts of tea. Tieguanyin tea has a fragrant orchid-like aroma when steeped, the tea may be very floral or very fruity too.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Nilgiri tea

Nilgiri tea (The Nilgiris means the "Blue Mountains") is very aromatic, flavorful tea grown in the southern part of the Western Ghats mountains of Southern India. Most production exists in the Nigil distric of Tamil Nadu state.
The tea has high "cuppage". It means that it provides a higher number of cups per measure. It is manufactured in so called CTC process. Leaves arepassed through a series of cylindrical rollers with hundreds of small sharp "teeth" that Crush, Tear, and Curl.
Nilgiri has a bright amber colour and a refreshing, delicate taste. Nunsch is good example of Nilgiri tea. It has large leaves.
When brewing Nilgiri tea you should use one tea spoon of loose tea per 180 ml (6 oz) of water. The water should be boiled thoroughly before being poured. Wait for 4 to 5 minutes...

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Linden tea (infusion)

Linden (Lime tree) has been used in European folk medicine for centuries to treat many health problems.
Linden flowers, leaves, wood, and charcoal (from the wood) parts used for medicinal purposes.
Linden flowers include flavonoids (which act as antioxidants), volatile oil, and mucilage components (which are soothing and reduce inflammation). The plant also contains tannins that can act as an astringent.
Linden is among other forms available as a tea (infusion). How to brew it? Add 1 - 2 tsp flowers in 240 ml (8 oz) of water. Steep covered for 20 minutes. Drink three cups of hot tea daily.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Green tea and oral cancer

Green tea stops growth of oral cancer cells and breaks down and kills existing oral cancer. The polyphenols in tea areantioxidants, which work to remove free radicals (oxidants) which cause the mutation of genes which lead to cancerous growth. By drinking 4 to 6 cups of green tea a day the polyphenols can inhibit the growth and spread of cancerous cells.
The results of research at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta, USA indicated compounds in green tea selectively induced cell death only in oral cancer cells while ignoring normal cells.
In China where green tea is extremely popular, oral cancer rates are 1/2 that of North America, even though smoking rates- a known risk factor for oral cancer - are 3 times higher in China.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Green tea - antirust substance

Today post is rather short...still I hope some of you are going to find it useful...
Wiping a steel pot or knife with used tea leaves can prevent the item from rusting.
Catechin, an ingredient of green tea, makes an anti-rust coating on the surface of steel.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Tea Sherpa - recipe

Tea Sherpa

Take :
Half a glass of red wine.
Half a glass of tea liquid.
A slice of lemon Sugar to taste.

The hot liquid tea should be poured into the wine and mixed gently. Then the mixture should be topped with lemon and sugar.
source: Indian Tea Association

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Earl Grey tea

Earl Grey tea can be found anywhere where tea is sold. Who was Earl Grey? Earl is a title...And his name was actually Charles Grey (13 March 1764 - 17 July 1845). He was England's second Earl Grey. He was a political reformer and England's prime minister between 1830 and 1834. But his true fame is in the world of teas. A blend of black tea scented with the bergamot oil was named after him. It is claimed that while serving as diplomat in China Grey was given a special tea recipe by a Chinese mandarin.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Green tea - great deodorizer

Green tea with its many antioxidants makes it one of the healthiest drinks available. Benefits of green tea certainly do not stop here. The catechins, or commonly known antioxidants, in green tea have antibacterial features, which make tea leaves very good for fighting odor.
Here is what to do...When finished brewing tea put leaves into a strainer or colander and press out as much liquid as you can...Spread the leaves on a piece of paper to dry well...If needed you can repeat the whole process...
Food odors in a refrigerator can be removed if you place a small uncovered bowl of tea leaves or used tea bags in the refrigerator.
You certainly noticed that smell on your hands after preparing fish, chopping garlic etc. To get rid of it just rub your hands with wet green tea leaves. Rub those tea leaves on areas where you prepared the food too. It should help...
Sprinkle dry tea leaves on your carpet, leave them for 10-15 minutes, then vacuum. This will refresh your carpet and deodorize your vacuum cleaner...
For those of you who own pets...You can put dry green tea leaves in cat litter to difuse odors, deter fleas..Sprinkle the leaves on your pet's favourite bed or pillow...

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Friday, September 7, 2007

Making Green Tea-ramisu

Here is a recipe for Tiramisu...well, with a little change...using green tea instead of espresso and cocoa powder.
Enjoy!!!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Uji Green Tea processing

Uji is a city located just south of Kyoto, Japan. Uji is the source of "Uji Tea", a high quality Japanese green tea.
Here is the video describing the processing of Uji Tea...Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Gyokuro

Gyokuro, or like some people call it Jewel Dew, is a fine expensive Japanese green tea. Its name actually refers to the pale green colour of the infusion.What makes Gyokuro special...what it differs from Sencha...meaning ordinary Japanese green tea...is the way Gyokuro is prepared. Proportion of tea to water is 2 tablespoons to
120 ml (4-5 ounces) of water.You should brew Gyokuro 2-3 minutes at temperature of 50-60 degrees Celsius (122-140 F). It is recommend to preheat both teapot and cup so as to maintain the warmth of the tea as one drinks it.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Moustache cup

It is a drinking cup with a semi-circular ledge inside. The ledge has an opening to allow the passage of liquids..for example tea, and to keep moustaches dry. It is tought that it was invented around 1830 by British potter Harvey Adams.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Honeybush

Honeybush (botanical name - Cyclopia spp.; family: Fabaceae) or 'Heuningbos' in Afrikaans is a plant used to make an infusion, the same way as tea. It has many similarities as Rooibos. Honeybush grows only in the Lankloof (southwest of South Africa). 4 of 23 honeybush species are commercially used. These are:
1) Cyclopia intermedia - Berg tee or Mountain tea
2) Cyclopia subternata - Vlei tee or Marshland tea
3) Cyclopia genisoides - Kus tee or Coastal tea
4) Cyclopia sessiliflora - Heidelberg tee (named after a town in South Africa).
Honeybush is being processed in two different ways:
1) tradional way - leaves of the bush are harvested, cut and bruised (with special mechanical rollers), and then oxidised by leaving them in the sun
2) modern way - oxidisation is preformed in rotating heated (70 to 90 degrees Celsius) tanks for 2 to 3 days. Leaves are then air dried. Honeybush is a good aid for costipation. It is also a mild relaxant. Honeybush has almost no caffeine (less then 0.01%). It has low levelof tannin (0.45%). Honeybusy contains active compounds like isoflavones, flavones, cinnamic acids, coumestans, non-phenolic metabolites and xanthones.
Honeybush is sometimes consumed with milk and sugar. But true Honeybush lovers say that it is better to consume it without them. It is good toadd small amount of honey to the tea. Honeybush can also be use as icedtea. It blends well with fruit juices. Honeybush can be consumed daily. For treatment of cough, or as an aid in regulation of blood sugar, or helping symptoms of menopause, the tea can be consumed several times during the day.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Tea for shinier hair

You can make your hair darker, shinier natural way with an ordinary tea...For example Chinese black teas (Keemun or Yunnan) or Indian Assam tea will give your hair darker colour. Ceylon black tea and Indian Darjeeling will give it a more golden hue. How to apply it? Shampoo your hair as you alway do. Then rinse it with water. After that, rinse you hair with a brewed black tea...Do not forget it to cool it to a pleasant temperature. After all you do not want to burn yourself. Leave it for five to ten minute, squeeze out the tea from your hair as much as you can...Let your hair dry naturally...

Friday, August 31, 2007

Make your own teapot

Here is rather good video about making your own teapot. For those interested more info is available at Creative with clay

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Thai tea

Thai tea or "cha-yen" is a drink made of strongly-brewed powdered black tea. Star anise, tamarind, red or yellow food coloring and some other spices are often added too. Sugar is added to sweeten the tea. Thai tea exists in two variations - cold and hot. Dark Thai iced tea (cha-dam-yen) is served chilled with sugar only. Milk is not added. Lime thai tea (cha-ma-now) differs from dark Thai iced tea because it is flavoured with lime. Mint is also added as garnish.People in Thailand drink hot tea in the morining, often with fried bread called Yau ja gwai or Pa-tong-ko. There is Thai hot tea (cha-ron) served with milk and Dark Thai hot tea (cha-dam-ron) served without milk.In Thailand tea is served in traditional tall glasses. In local restaurants whenyou want to take ordered tea out it is poured over crushed ice in a plastic bag.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Few more tea quotes

Come oh come
Ye tea-thirsty
Restless ones
The kettle boils
Bubbles and sings
Musically.
Rabindranath Tagore


Each cup of tea represents an imaginary voyage.
Catherine Douzel

Tea is instant wisdom - just add water!
Astrid Alauda

There is no trouble so great or grave
that cannot be much diminished by a nice cup of tea.
Bernard-Paul Heroux


Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea.
Henry Fielding, "Love in Several Masques"


The perfect temperature for tea is two degrees hotter
than just right.
Terri Guillemets


Great love affairs start with Champagne and end with tisane.
Honoré de Balzac


I got nasty habits; I take tea at three.
Mick Jagger


All true tea lovers not only like their tea strong,
but like it a little stronger with each year that passes.
George Orwell, "A Nice Cup of Tea"


Remember the tea kettle - it is always up to its neck in hot water,
yet it still sings!
Author Unknown


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Japanese tea quotes

Tea...is a religion of the art of life.
Okakura Kakuzo (1863-1913), Japanese scholar


“In the common parlance we speak of the man ‘with no tea’ in him,
when he is insusceptible to the seriocomic interests of the personal drama.
Again we stigmatize the untamed aesthete who, regardless of the mundane tragedy,
runs riot in the springtide of emancipated emotions, as one ‘with too much tea’ in him.”
Okakura Kakuzo (1863-1913), Japanese scholar


Meanwhile, let us have a sip of tea. The afternoon glow is brightening the bamboos,
the fountains are bubbling with delight, the soughing of the pines is heard in our kettle.
Let us dream of evanescence, and linger in the beautiful foolishness of things.
Okakura Kakuzo (1863-1913), The Book of Tea

If man has no tea in him,
he is incapable of understanding truth and beauty.
Japanese Proverb


Strange how a teapot can represent at the same time
The comforts of solitude and the pleasures of company
(Zen Haiku qouotes)

Monday, August 27, 2007

Chinese tea quotes

Tea is drunk to forget the din of the world.
T'ien Yiheng

The best quality tea must have creases like the leathern boot of Tartar horsemen,
curl like the dewlap of a mighty bullock,
unfold like a mist rising out of a ravine,
gleam like a lake touched by a zephyr,
and be wet and soft like a fine earth newly swept by rain.

Lu Yu, the great Chinese scholar and writer

“It tempers the spirits and harmonizes the mind,
dispels lassitude and relieves fatigue,
awakens thought and prevents drowsiness,
lightens and refreshes the body,
and clears the perceptive faculties.”
Lu Yu, the great Chinese scholar and writer


The effect of tea is cooling.
As a drink, it suits very well persons of self-restraint and good conduct.
When feeling hot, thirsty; depressed, suffering from headache,
eye-ache, fatigue of the four limbs, or paints in the joints,
One should drink tea only; four or five times.”
Lu Yu, Ch’a Ching, 780


"There are seven matters related to the starting of a family's life,
firewood, rice, oil, salt, soy sauce, vinegar and tea."

Chinese proverb

"Better to be deprived of food for three days,
than tea for one."
Chinese proverb


Sunday, August 26, 2007

Second tea moment - more tea in art

Hello everyone! Let me finish this weekend with yet another art video. Its title is "Second tea moment".
It was made by Finnish film editing student Jussi Rautaniemi

Saturday, August 25, 2007

London cups

Here is the video of an art project (with 75 000 cups) organized on April 25 2007 at the Trafalgar Square in London, UK.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Tea making - kinetic art

I found the following art video very interesting. It gives tea making rather new meaning. Enjoy!!
Oh yes, the video was made by Australian artist and designer Russell Anderson

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Tea cards

From the 1940s to the 1980s many packages of loose tea in the
United Kingdom included tea cards. These were illustrated cards
and were intended to be collected by children.
The most famous the Typhoo tea, Brooke Bond, the latter of
whom also provided albums for collectors to keep their cards in.
Some artists like for example Charles Frederick Tunnicliffe
illustrated the cards. Many of these cards are now valuable
collectors' items.


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Monday, August 20, 2007

Tibetan butter tea

Butter tea or Po cha is the most typical Tibetan drink. It is also drank by people of Buthan and Chinese minorities in southwestern China.
It is made of black tea leaves, yak butter and salt. Butter make it very good source of energy for people living at high altitutde.
It is Tibetan custom to drink butter tea in seaparate sips. The host refills the bowl after each sip. For those who do not want to drink anymore it is the best to leave full bowl of tea until leaving, and then drain the bowl. That way host will not be offended.
How to brew butter tea? Well, here is the recipe I from ThingsAsian

Butter tea (Po cha)
6 cups water
3 tea bags (ordinary black tea)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup milk or 1 teaspoon milk powder
First boil six cups of water. Put three tea bags one heaping tablespoon of loose tea in the water and steep for 2 minutes. Remove tea bags (or strain the tea leaves if you use loose tea). Add 1/4 teaspoon of salt, 2 tablespoons of butter, and 1/2 cup of milk or a teaspoon of milk powder into a blender or shaker. Blend or shake the mixture for two to three minutes. Serve immediately.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

More of tea poetry

Tasting Tea by Tai Bing (translated by Martin Tai, 1998)

Fetch my own spring water,
Fragrant with fallen flowers,
Set up a fire in a marble stove
Try out my new tea,
Lying under the green shades in a tranquil garden
Listening to the bees
Reporting their latest harvest

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Lu Tong - a tea poet

Lu Tong (790-835) was a Chinese poet known for his study of tea culture. Very nice poem he wrote is "Seven Bowls of Tea"...Enjoy!!


The first bowl of tea moistens my throat,
the second breaks my loneliness, and
the third bowl racks my brains, bringing to light the texts of 5,000 volumes.
The fourth induces perspiration whereby all ills evaporate through my pores.
The fifth makes my muscles and bones feel light, and
the sixth links me to celestials.
Be careful when drinking the seventh bowl,
as it makes you feel as if a cool breeze were coming from your armpits.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Yellow tea

Yellow tea is a special kind of tea...which is processed in a smilar way as green tea but the drying phase lasts longer.Yellow tea..as its name tells us...has very yellow-green colour. It has mild and refreshing flavour.
A way to brew yellow tea...It is recommended to use glass-based or porcelain tea ware. Rinse tea cup and teapot with hot water. Use about 2.5 - 3 grams of tea leaves (1-2.5 teaspoons) for every 225ml of water. Steep tea leaves in hot water at 80°c to 90°c for 1 minute or so.
The most famous yellow teas in China are:
1) Junshan Yinzen ("Silver Needle") from Hunan ("south of the lake") province in the middle reaches of the Yangtze River and south of Lake Dongting
2) Huoshan Huangya from Mt. Huo, Anhui province in eastern China, across the basins of the Yangtze River and the Huaihe River.
3) Meng Ding Huangya from Mt. Meng in west Chinese Sichuan Province
4) Da Ye Qing ("Big Leaf Green") from Guangdong province in southernChina
5) Huang Tang ("Yellow soup") from Zhejiang province in eastern China.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Tea on the web - part 1

Hello everyone!! In this post I would like you to recommend you two great web sites about tea...
The first one is China National Tea Museum web site. The museum itself is located 180 km southwest of Shangai in Hangzhou, Zhijiang province. It was opened in 1991. The web site include lot of information about tea culture in China. There are many interesting texts and photos...It is definitely the web site worth visiting...Enjoy!
The second web site I would like to draw your attention to is Japanese green tea museum put on the web by the Japanese tea wholesellers Kaburigen Co. Ltd. This web site is not so rich in content like the above mentioned Chinese one. Still, if you want to learn something about green tea in Japan...just log on there...

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Green tea and body weight

The most important active component of the green tea are the
polyphenols like catechin, epicatechin, epicatechin gallate,
gallaogatechin, epigallocatechin and apigallocatechin gallate
(also known as EGCG).
The EGCG is a natural antioxidant. It is good thermogenic and
that way can burn of callories. People who use green tea have
their energy expenditure and metabolic rate risen at rate of 4%.
This will certainly influence changes in body weight.
Green tea catechins will also act as a glucose regulator. It
regulates the of insulin in the body and inhibits the sudden rise
of insulin in the body after the food, which may initiate the fat
conversion. The lowering of the insulin level prevents the sugar
level rise and the fat storage, which ultimately prevent the weight gain.
Level of blood sugar has certain influence of person appetite.
It is tought that continuous using of green tea naturally decrease
appetite and that way influence body weight.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Chinese love tea

It is true that almost a month ago, or to be precise on July 19 2007, I have already written about Chinese teas...But when I saw this video I told myself...I must put it on my blog for others to see...and here it is..Enjoy!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Sun brewed tea

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Tea trivia

Hello everyone! Let's start this weekend with couple of interesting facts about tea.
Top tea consuming countries, per capita tea consumption in 2005:
Ireland 2.96 cups
Libya 2.92 cups
Qatar 2.89 cups
Iraq 2.42 cups
Kuwait 2.29 cups
Great Britain 2.24 cups
(source: International Tea Committee, Washington Post Weekly, October 2005)
World leading tea producers are Argentina, China, Brazil, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Malawi, Sri Lanka and Tanzania.
The average person in the UK will consume around 80,000 cups of tea during their life.
Tea can be found in 80% of American households. Each day 127 million Americans drink tea.
Now..here are several facts about tea plant (Camellia sinensis) itself...
1) It takes from three to five years for the young plant to grow into a bush ready for plucking.
2) One Darjeeling garden in India has approximately 3 million tea bushes and each bush is hand plucked every week, about 32 times a year.
3) The two uppermost tender, young leaves and a small unopened bud called "two leaves and a bud" make the best tea.
If you use lemon with your tea, put the lemon slice in the bottom of the cup then pour on your tea. Lemon helps prevent any scum from forming on top of the tea.
Do not throw your used tea. Instead, after brewing a pot of tea, use the leaves for fertilizer in your garden to improve condition of the soil.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Tea cups at a graveyard

It is quite common that Japanese put tea cups or some other small objects on the graves of their loved ones...These objects were important to the dead person when she or he was alive...

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Tea and art

Here is one example of tea as theme in art.

Jackson Pollock (28 January 1912 - 11 August 1956)
The Tea Cup (1946)
Oil on canvas, 101.6 x 71.1 cm (40 x 28 in)
Collection Frieder Burda, Baden-Baden (Germany)

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Tea in Morroco


Morrocan tea culture or as it is called Atai in Arabic is defined
by the way green tea is prepared and consumed in this northafrican country. This tradition has spread to other countries of NorthAfrica, parts of the Sahel (the border zone in Africa between the Sahara to the north and the more fertile region to the south) and even southern Spain.
Green tea is cleaned with boiling water before being dried. That way it is cleaned from dust collected during shipping. Local people also believe that it makes the tea less bitter. Tea is then added to boiling water. After that, sugar (5 tea spoons for
every spoon of tea) and fresh mint are added and mixed into a teapot with a long, curved spout. This allows the tea to be poured into tiny glasses from a height of approximately half a meter to form a foamy head (surface). It is then returned once or twice to the teapot for a good mix.