Monday, May 31, 2010

The art of making chinese tea...

Hiiii Tea Tuesday bloggers!!
I hope you've had a good weekend!

Well, as promised, a mini tutorial on the traditional process of brewing chinese tea.

 In chinese tea drinking, the emphasis is on the tea rather than the process which is designed to draw out the drink's finest nuances, to be savoured over a good conversation amongst friends..

The process I'm sharing today may vary a little when using other types of tea leaves but here are the fundamental steps.

( PS: I'm no tea master ;)
but I love this process for what it does to a good cuppa)

I've had the priviledge of learning this process from Mr Vincent Low who runs a tea shop in Singapore.
 (I couldn't find a link to his shop but he does have a wonderful shop selling good quality tea).

I've labeled the various utensils required in the picture above and I'll be using these terms for the description.

Today's tea is white tea  which comes from the 
silver buds of the tea plant and it has minimal processing, hence its tremendous health benefits.

Hot boiling water is first poured onto the utensils to warm them.
the water is then poured away into the "tea sea".

Carefully place the tea leaves into the miniature teapot, about one third full.
Pour hot water into the teapot until it overflows.
Place the lid on, and continue to pour hot water over the teapot, so as to maintain the temperature or rather to keep it hot.

Let it sit for about two minutes, and then the first brew is poured into the pouring pitcher, 
the smelling cup and the tea cups.

This will allow the flavor of the tea to penetrate the tea cups and the pouring pitcher. 

The first brew is to be discarded. 

This is a picture showing the tea leaves after the first brew
(my apologies as it's a distance away to see it clear enough ;) ) .

The tea leaves are softened by the process,
which helps to release the nutrients from the tea leaves.

Pour hot water into the teapot and outside the teapot again and let it sit for another minute or so.

Pour the tea into the smelling cups not by filling one cup at a time but
by passing the tea over each cup so they fill equally.

Pour the tea from the smelling cup into the tea cup, take a whiff into the smelling cup
and slowly sip in the tea.

 Excess tea is drained into the pouring pitcher which fits the teapot nicely
so there is no need for a strainer.

This miniature teapot is good for making 14 cups of flavorful tea ie 7 cups for each person.

I wish you could join me for tea....  :))

Happy Tea Tuesday!


Friday, May 28, 2010

The song of the Poppy Fairy....

I love Cicely Mary Baker's Flower Fairies
and I have nearly a complete set of her beautiful illustration..

here's the poppy fairy, one of my favorites
from my little collage a day book.

and so...

The song of the Poppy Fairy
by: Cicely Mary Baker..

The green wheat's a-growing,
the lark sings on high; 
In a scarlet silk a- glowing,
Here stand I.

The wheat's turning yellow,
Ripening for sheaves;
I hear the little fellow
Who scare the bird- thieves.

Now the harvest's ended,
The wheat-field is bare;
But still, red and splendid,
I am there.

happy weekend!!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tea Tuesday

oohh how quickly time flies...
It's Tuesday!

And today's tea is the "tie kuan yin" tea which has a slight woody taste to it.

These came handy in little compressed packages to keep them fresh.

And I brewed them in my little peach themed tea pot and "longevity" tea cups.
Did you notice the other cup between the teapot and the cup of tea? Well that's the "smelling cup"
 In traditional chinese tea making, the tea is first poured into the smelling cup before the tea cup itself
after which one would take in the aroma of the tea from the smelling cup.
I am looking forward to post the steps to traditional chinese tea making next week. 

Happy Tea Tuesday!!

And a warm thank you to Elizabeth for featuring my blog on Tea Tuesday!!

Visit Kimmie for links to other Tea Tuesday bloggers.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Teddy Bear Tales...

Meet Chester

he is a 9" artist teddy bear designed and handmade by yours truly.. :)

Chester is a 100% mohair teddy bear totally handstitched;

that was when I had some "challenges" using the sewing machine. ;))

And now,

something's bruin (brewing)........
and Chester's sitting on a sewing project
to be unveiled soon.... :)))

Hope your weekend was restful...

"Inner peace is a connection to your deeper self, and it will
assist you in letting go of fear."
Sanaya Roman

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Gifted with "T"

Our hearts are filled with gratitude for the lesson we learnt in
human kindness...

we were gifted with not only the precious lesson in
being one with our hearts and allow compassion and love to drive our intentions
with lasting friendship.

These are Pu'er tea "bricks" from which Yunnan, China is famous for.
They are at least 4 years old and the oldest in the picture (the rectangular brick) is ten years old.
Pu'er tea may be kept for a long time and the older they are the higher they cost.

And these Pu'er are "housed" in beautiful boxes which the altered art enthusiast
will be beaming with ideas... ;)

 Apparently Pu'er has its health benefits as well (refer to write-up through this link):

It helps to reduce cholesterol in the blood stream,
hence reducing the risk of high blood pressure; liver diseases related to high saturated fat diets etc.
AND, it's high in anti-oxidants!

With all these goodness....

I NEED my dose of Pu'er  :))

Happy Tea Tuesday!!!

Edit: Visit Kimmie for links to other Tea Tuesday bloggers.


Friday, May 14, 2010

Recharged, renewed and reinvent...

I've learnt so much during my recent trip to 
Yunnan, China, and I'll share more over the next postings..

As for the art, I've been "zentangling" during this trip.
It keeps me occupied during those relatively long hours of traveling
into the villages.

And I've been in reflective mode since returning home last night...
I've experienced pure joy in simple pleasures, passion, loving kindness and

Arnaud Desjardins aptly described it..

"Saying yes, opening up and loving:
these are the keys that will unlock the prison door"

Happy Weekend!!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Travel journal stage 2- collaged background pages

Here's a sneak peek to some of the pages from my travel journal,

all set for more collage and writing

during the trip....

picked up some old laces.....

It's a mixed media travel journal, with cloth, paper and paints etc...

and some old chinese text papers.... 

I handpainted my own papers...

more handpainted papers..

a little rubber stamping here and there.....

and a little sewing..

and together with my art journaling pack,

Contents: Water soluble color pencils, charcoal pencil, white uniball signio pen, 
Zig millenium pens size 02 and 005
couple of water brushes and a glue stick

I'm all set to travel next Thursday...

So, have a happy week to you..

"The only lasting beauty is the beauty of the heart"