Yixing teapot especially the single-hole discharge spout tend to clog often. Usually a small tooth pick is used to poke into the hole to unclog the choke. It has to be done gently (gently~gently… ya) in order not to break the teapot’s spout.
In the spirit of recycling, this damaged bamboo tea utensil is repaired and improvised. A loose piece of bamboo toothpick can be fixed in and disposed of after used. That makes a really nice tool to clear clogged teapot. With disposable tooth pick, it is definitely more hygienic.
It is really enjoyable to recycle and carve this piece of tea utensil. On top of that, it definitely has more sentimental value now.
I have met up with many tea speculators and investors, from the very knowledgeable to those unwittingly gullible.
Some of them are wise and careful. But many of them are oblivious and relied on market rumors, dubious speculations and whimsical advice from many sources that are out to capitalized on their ignorance. Profits are the ultimate goals in these ventures and most often that blinded their perception.
Eventually, the outcome of these tea ventures lies perhaps somewhere along the line of this thought:
“In future, when people look for their tea, it is a fortune. But when their tea need to look for people, then it is a misfortune.”
To the Teochew people, tea is treated like the exilir of life.
Traditionally, most Teochew cannot do without tea even for a day. They drink (“Lim” in Teochew dialect) tea throughout the day and many of them often substitute drinking water with drinking tea.
Teochew or Chaozhou style of brewing tea is one of the most sophisticated way of brewing tea. It looks awfully simple but the understanding and techniques really take a lifetime to learn. I set up a brewing station at home specifically just to train myself to brew tea in Chaozhou style but after many many years, I think I am still a novice apprentice.
While most of the tea connoisseurs refer to tea consumption as drinking (“Lim”) tea, the Teochew would normally say eat (“Chiak” in Teochew dialect) tea instead. This term of eating tea suggest a higher level of tea appreciation. So when we meet a Teochew, or a tea friend whom we usually enjoy tea at a higher level with, we should say eat tea rather than drink tea i.e. “Chiak Teh” rather than “Lim Teh”
I enjoy nice and natural scents. Artificial scents and fragrances really knock me off and give me a bad headache.
In recent years, adding artificial scents and fragrances to tea is a common practice. Artificial scents e.g. nice orchid flowery aroma are often added to tea to attract unsuspecting buyers, thinking that the tea is of higher quality.
Most of the time, artificial scents or fragrances can be detected by smelling the dry tea leaves but some tea are cleverly masked by subtle scenting and heavy roasting.
The only way to evaluate these artificial additives is to amplify all the scents and aromas of the tea with one of the technique which I normally use.
Firstly, heat up a Gaiwan by pouring boiling water into it and let it sit, say for about 10-20 seconds.
Then, pour out all the water and close the lid. The internal part of the Gaiwan is saturated with high heat steam. Immediately, add in, say about 2 grams of the dry tea leaves and close the lid.
Hold the Gaiwan with 2 fingers securely, one on the lid and the other on the base and shake it back and forth rigorously for about 10-20 seconds.
Then open the lid slightly and smell the escaped mist. The mist contain scents that are broken into layers and you should be able to identify all the natural and artificial scent quite clearly.
Do this often and you should be able to discern them quite accurately. You can also use this method to gauge the quality of the tea after you are familiar with the scents of different quality of the same tea.
So with this skill, we can now say “sellers beware” and not ” buyers beware”.
I am a fan of white teas. They are sensual, sweet and have that captivating ethereal aroma. Today, I am brewing a wild white tea from Fu Ding 福鼎, Fujian, the place where many believed to be the original area for producing white tea. I love wild tea (from white to Puer tea). Unlike normal plantation tea, wild tea has the extra “oooomps” of all the goodness in tea.The flavour, aroma and texture of wild tea are many notches above the normal plantation tea.
This wild white tea has a very special fruity with flowery aroma and honeyed sweetness with milky texture.
And finally, a delicious cup of gleaming white tea to start the day…