Tea consumption is on the rise, and tea drinkers here in the U.S. do more than their share to keep those tea gardens in other parts of the world very busy growing and processing tea. Two of those places are China, where tea growing and drinking is said to have originated, and Taiwan, where tea is so important to their lives that they have special research centers set up to develop new cultivars of the tea plant species (Camellia sinensis). While a Western touch to your tea time is very customary, more people are opting for that Asian touch.
Here are 5 ways for you to join in the trend:
1 – A Tea from China or Taiwan
An appropriate tea choice is important. And you have quite a few. In China there are plenty of options: green teas, black teas, oolong teas, white teas, and a wide variety of pu-erh teas.
Some Chinese teas:
- Jasmine Pearl Green Tea Organic-Certified – 100g
- Liu An Gua Pian (Sunflower Seed) 2015 Spring Premium Handmade Green Tea
- Mao Feng 2015 Spring Imperial High Mountain Wild-grown Green Tea (EU Standard)
- Matcha Powder 1000 Mesh EU Premium Grade Organic-Certified – 50g
- Tai Ping Hou Kui (Monkey Chief, Monkey King, Monkey Tea) 2015 Spring Imperial Handmade Green Tea
- Black Tea 1000 Mesh Organic Powder – 50g
- Keemun Hao Ya A (whole leaf style) Organic-Certified – 50g
- Lapsang Souchong 2011 Spring Organic-Certified Premium Black Tea – 50g
- Dai Minority Bamboo Raw Pu-erh Tea 2011 Imperial Handmade Traditional – 100g
- Haiwan 2006 “Purple Bud” Raw Pu-erh Tea – 357g Cake
- Lincang 2010 First Grade Ripe Pu-erh Tea (Medium-fermented) – 100g Loose Leaves
- Menghai 2010 “Lao Cha Tou” (Old Tea Nugget) Ripe Pu-erh Tea – 250g Brick
Some Taiwanese teas:
- Bao Zhong (Pouchong) Selected Premium Oolong Tea – 25g
- Formosa Oriental Beauty Oolong Tea Select Premium Grade – 25g
- Muzha Tie Guan Yin Classic Roasted Taiwanese Iron Goddess Oolong Tea – 25g
2 – A Matcha Experience
The matcha tea mentioned above is the Chinese version of a style of tea that in Japan is part of a tea ceremony. You don’t have to go quite that far. Just whip up a frothy matcha shake or whisk some with your chasen in your chawan. See our brochure on matcha for more info. Chasens are usually made of bamboo, which is a symbol of longevity in many Asian countries, so you are also adding that image to your tea experience. Plus chawans are very Asian in appearance, so that’s another reason to use one.
3 – A Zen Style Teapot
This Kamjove Tea Infuser (500ml cap. and 1,000ml cap.) will convey that Asian air to your tea time. The glass tea infuser contains three main parts: food-safety plastic lid; heat-resistant glass liner/infuser equipped with a filter; and the serving container. Enjoy loose leaf teas without the fuss but yet maintain that Asian atmosphere.
4 – Gaiwans
Ratchet up that Asian touch with a gaiwan. You might need a bit of practice to get your tea to come out just right. Gaiwans have been used for centuries and were even brought over to Europe by the Dutch in the late 1600s when tea was first imported.
5 – Asian Symbols
A few Asian symbols are a nice touch here. Since we are heading into that colder time of year, include in those symbols the 3 Friends of Winter: Plum (mei 梅), Bamboo (zhu 竹), and Pine tree (song 松). A bit of red here and there are good, too, since it is the color of good luck and happiness. Or go with yellow which is one of the 4 colors of longevity. Combine both red and yellow for double good luck. The crane is another sign of longevity, so a picture of one is great to have.
Whatever your particular selections, have a great Asian tea time!