Drinking Dark Tea

Previously, I have talked about a well known Chinese Dark Tea, Yunnan Pu-er. When we say Chinese Tea, many people almost automatically think Green Tea or Jasmine Tea, that’s because Chinese Green tea takes about 70% of the market worldwide. There are 7 main categories of teas, namely Green tea, Black tea, Dark tea, Blue tea (Oolong tea), Yellow tea, White tea and flora scented tea.This time I will concentrate on my online research about Green tea and Oolong tea, also sharing my drinking experience of them. Since I announced that I wanted to learn more about teas, both my mother and mother in law have been sending me top quality teas, Taiwanese High Mountain tea, as well as a delicious yet beautifully looking Monkey Leader Tea “Taiping Houkui”. chinese to uk.Taiping-Houkui-1-1.jpgThe taste and color of tea depend on the production process, that’s “Fermentation”. Green tea is unfermented, tealeaves are picked young, and usually the top 2 leaves of the new shoots, the basic process is withering, panfrying/steaming/firing, rolling and shaping, drying.Green tea contains at least 85% of antioxidants called polyphenols, which is the highest level comparing to all other types of tea. 50% of Chlorophyll, as well as most the natural vitamins also stayed in the leaves. That’s why a good green tea is known for “Clear soup, green leaves”, the taste should be refreshing as well as complex.“Taiping Houkui” is from Anhui Huang Shan, one of China’s top 10 Green teas, you would think this is grass rather than tea when you first see it; not only it gives you orchid fragrance on the nose, it also has almost no bitterness even if you put more leave. It is so beautiful to look at when it’s brewed in the glass (See through tea vessels, purple Clay pot or Gaiwan are also suggested).The easiest way to drink this delicious tea, is to use a tall glass or a latte glass, put about 10 leaves of tea in to the glass(stem side down), and gently add half glass of hot water (90 degrees) or just covering the tea, allowing the tea leaves to open then add more hot water to fill up, then allow to brew for a couple more minutes and enjoy your tea. You should be able to refill hot water to this tea for about 3-4 times too, just make sure you always leave 1/3 of the previous tea in the glass when you add fresh hot water.Oolong tea, is a partly fermented tea (ranging from 10-50%) it’s process involving: picking and sorting, withering, shaking or rolling in basket to bruise leaf edge, short fermentation, panfrying, and drying. The light oolong is usually known for it’s “green leaf with red edge” appearance. The tea should give you a flora aroma, the taste should have no bitterness and a hint of sweetness.1469831464326125.jpg High Mountain Tea refers to oolong tea grown in the alpine tea zones of Taiwan. It is grown at altitudes higher than 1000 meters above sea level, where the air is clear. It is recommended to wash and warm the tea first, using hot water at around 95 degrees is best, tea experts also suggest that when adding hot water, make sure you add gently from the side of the tea vessel, not pouring straight on the leaves, this will make sure you have a clear looking tea and brings out the best of it’s flavours. As many other teas, you can refill to infuse for at least 3, 4 times. I usually give it 1 or 2 minutes brewing time.As for their health benefits, Green tea is loaded with antioxidants and nutrients that have powerful effects on our body, including brain function, fat loss, lower risk of cancer and many more. (source: https://authoritynutrition.com/top-10-evidence-based-health-benefits-of-… ) Where as for Oolong tea, it is believed that it aids in fat digesting and cholesterol lowering, stress lowering, as well as improves metabolism. So if you are dieting, this will be a good item to add to your list. uk newIn our last High Tea event, these two teas were most popular, I am hoping to sell some of my dark teas on the 13th August when we have the next High tea, cant wait to tell customers about the Pu’er and Huan Brick Tea.

Photos used in the blog are sourced online.

Our first ever Afternoon Tea event on Saturday 23rd

Our first ever Afternoon Tea event on Saturday 23rd was a huge success!

With buzzing feetbacks like “The Best tea we have had” “Better than The Ritz” “Delicious Tea from China and Taiwan, Can I buy some to take home”
What more would you expect from your customers than some lovely reviews?

So Thank you my dear customers, and Thanks to my dear husband who sacrificed his afternoon break to make all the delicious food.This idea started from a chat with one of my dear foodie customers, who knows about her food in and out of Cambridge, and a big supporter of local businesses like ours. She suggested that with David’s skills, and lack of availabilities of good tea in Cambridge, it would be a very good opportunity for us to explore. In my previous blog, I talked about different types of tea from China, and this is a perfect chance to introduce them all to customers too. The winner was the Anhui Monkey Tea (green tea with beautiful long strand leaves), and the Taiwanese High Mountain tea.

Most of the customers who had the tea asked to buy more to take home with them.When I send the advert out to my customer mailing list, one kind lady told me there is a difference between Afternoon Tea and High Tea.

Here is the quote:“Afternoon Tea is a British food tradition, an afternoon treat of tea, sandwiches, scones and cake. But, often the term High Tea is used. These two are often confused, but actually, they are different.Afternoon tea is served around 4.00pm. When afternoon tea became fashionable in the early 19th century, thanks to the Anna, the Duchess of Bedford it was never intended to replace dinner but rather to fill in the long gap between lunch and dinner at a time when dinner was served at 8pm. Lifestyles have changed since those times and afternoon tea is now a treat, rather than a stop-gap.The origins of Afternoon Tea show clearly it was the preserve of the rich in the 19th century. For workers in the newly industrialised Britain of the time ‘tea’ had to wait until after work and be substantially more than just tea and cakes.Workers needed sustenance after a day of hard labour, so the after work meal was more often hot and filling and accompanied by a pot of good, strong tea to revive flagging spirits. The addition of the word High is believed to differentiate between the Afternoon Tea served on low, comfortable, parlour chairs or relaxing in the garden and the worker’s High Tea served at the table and seated on high back dining chairs.”Very interesting, and there are other article about their differences which I will not quote here, and the conclusion I have is that in traditional terms, they are difference as in to whom, where and when they are served, in recent years, they are often used as one, but High Tea is often used for exquisite afternoon tea in high end hotels and restaurants.
Since Customers said ours is better than The Ritz’, I will still call it “High Tea”.
Aslo I just received some lovely Mini Pu'er Mini tea cakes, thanks to Sean (or his Dad). Tried one last night, it was so good that I decided to share with one of my dinners who was the desinated driver and had being drinking just water, the tea cheered him up
My teashop collection has a good selection of Teas from China and Taiwan, feel free to email or call to ask for more details, and if you are eating in soon, ask for Tina.

A great gift option to give to family and friends too.