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Monday, January 12, 2009

EastCoastLife serves Kung-fu Tea - RT

EastCoastLife and Elmo enjoying Chinese kung-fu tea

I love tea. I must have a cup of milk tea every morning. When I was in China, I have to switch to Chinese tea that has no sugar or milk added.

Tea is China's national drink. China alone produces more than 500 types of tea. To the Chinese, tea making and drinking is an art form focused on taste. It is an elegant art which I have come to enjoy.

intriguing tea-tasting experience at an expert's tea shop

I was introduced to an expert on Chinese tea on my last trip. He initiated me in the basics of "kung fu tea," or the traditional tea-steeping and drinking ritual.

I learn the art of tea-making and enjoy it: How to select tea, how to drink a good tea, how to demonstrate tea ceremony, how to decorate the tea room, etc.

different varieties of tea sold in a tea shop

Tea contains vitamins, tea derivatives, essential oils, and fluoride. It is a diuretic, attributed with the properties of improving the eyesight and increasing alertness. The Chinese believe that regular tea drinking increases one's life span. Its medical properties and benefits to the human body have in fact been scientifically proven, and tea has come to be generally recognized as a natural health food.

Expensive tea leaves that are collectors' items

I was served tea made from many varieties of tea leaves, each more expensive than the others. The expert owns a tea plantation and he is also a collector of old tea leaves. The round packages (the size of a saucer) of tea leaves are more than 50 years old and can cost up to US$10,000 per pack!

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