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!



48 comments:

  1. Wow I am first? :)

    I love tea too but nothing too fancy, just a simple Dilmah or lipton is good for me.

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  2. I prefer tea to coffee.

    Tea and not water is the most drunk beverage in the world, if I am not wrong?

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  3. I am third? It looks like drinking tea is an art. Have you visited one of those tea-houses in China? There are a few in Singapore too. But I don't know much about the art of tea-making.

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  4. I like to drink tea too, though I don't drink it everyday. Mainly drink Chinese tea. They are really good for health!

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  5. hi there eastcoastlife! thanks for sponsoring to my contest. i hope you could join when it starts this february.

    by the way, i am intrigued on what is your real name. may i know what it is?

    and i heard from pinay jade that you are organizing a blogger meet up? i would be interested to join :)

    thanks!

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  6. I like Japanese tea the most. Their green tea is delicious!

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  7. Jade,
    You're my first commentator for this post! Yeah!

    I'll let you try my Chinese kung-fu tea one day. :)

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  8. singapore shortstories,
    Like me, you like tea.
    I don't know about the most drunk beverage in the world though.

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  9. oceanskies,
    Yah... you're third commentator. :)

    I have been to a couple of tea houses and numerous tea shops in China.

    I'll demonstrate kung-fu tea when you come. ;)

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  10. foongpc,
    Yes, Chinese tea is good for health. Drink more. :)

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  11. Makoy.
    Wish you success on your contest.

    I'm organising a bloggers' meet soon, watch out for it on my blog. :)

    You'll know my real name sooner than you thought. I'm quite notorious. haha....

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  12. irel,
    I like Japanese green tea too. That's what I usually order when I'm in a Japanese restaurant.

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  14. That was quite an education, ECL.A very informative post.

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  15. I love chinese tea.

    Eh... 50 years old tea, how is the taste wise? Is it the same as some wines, the older the better the taste?

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  16. First of all, cute, you and Elmo! ;)

    Secondly, I had no idea that there even COULD be over 500 types of tea. WOW! That is pretty amazing!

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  17. Tea is good for health. I love all types of tea.

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  18. i like non-roasted tea which the leaves are rolled up to as small as gun powder.....hee heee.....

    but i also like coffee - at least a cup everyday. No habit as such for tea yet.

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  19. I like green tea... I like your first shot... "RED" is that a lucky color for 2009?

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  20. I drink green and black tea everyday but unfortunately only buy it at the store and nothing fancy. I would love to learn your tips sometime!

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  21. Do you know there is this place selling teapots in Suntec City? A little shop beside Carrefour I think?

    Too bad I only know how to appreciate alcohol.

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  22. hi friend i viewed your post its very nice and i too love tea,i like to share my link with your blog.visit my walkitz.blogspot.com.

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  23. I love tea too but drink more Japanese tea than Chinese tea. Now I think I only drink Chinese tea at my hairdresser since they serve that. :-)
    The choice are mind boggling. I remembered drinking all sorts of unfamiliar tea while we were in China, yonks ago and enjoy them very much. (well, for me at least)

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  24. Morning ECL! You can prob tell that I am a coffee person, but tea is nice to have once in a blue moon. :):):)

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  25. I love u and Elmo hanging out together! Last time u guys had lunch together right? ;)

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  26. I am a lover of coffee but I also enjoy tea. Jasmine, Constant Comment, and Green Teas are the only teas I drink.

    500 varieties - Amazing.

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  27. They said tea in generally is dehydrating. True? Or it is only true for those "ang mo" tea?

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  28. I feel decadent with my teabag now :(
    Loved your post, ECL!!

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  29. I've enjoyed a good tea ceremony a few years ago, and I absolutely loved it.
    It's good for the soul.

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  30. forgot to say hi to Elmo. Did Elmo enjoy his tea? :D

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  31. Wow, that's quite a handful for a cup of tea, isn't it? I used to visit "Cha Xuan" back I was still in S'pore. Is the place still operating in Tanjong Pagar?

    Anyway, tea is merely hot flavored water to me. But I must say that I quite enjoy the occasional afternoon tea. Mmm..

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  32. Hi, I had a triple award for you here. Do accept you :)

    BTW I love Chinese tea :)

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  33. I am a coffee drinker, but I do drink tea on occasions when I had a cuppa too many. Chinese tea can calm the nerves and soothe the mind.

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  34. Hi!
    I'm not a tea drinker, but my son is. Great info, thanks for sharing! Have a great day!!

    Sherrie

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  35. Hi ECL,

    Teas are my favorite kind of drink. I most especially like Moroccan Mint latte, and passion fruit tea. Ginseng tea is also good occasionally. and all these teas have their respective herbal qualities and curative properties. :)

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  36. RED Elmo and you having tea together on a RED sofa - what more could I ask? Happy Ruby Tuesday! Thanks for the info on tea drinking... I tend to drink coffee but sometimes I have tea, plain, no milk no sugar... :)

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  37. Love your Ruby Tuesday Photo! And what interesting information about tea. I am a tea lover myself, but had no idea about the things your wrote about and loved reading it! Thanks for sharing not only the photo, but all the info!

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  38. I love my tea and my coffee though when I was growing up.. I was more a Milo and tea person!!!

    Now I'm trying to get use to drinking gree tea without sugar.. not so yummy!!

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  39. You got to have tea with Elmo?! I'm jealous! *LOL*

    In the southern US, we drink our tea sweetened (a lot) and cold. Very different than China, I'm sure. I like coffee hot and tea cold. :)

    I've posted a red shirt, well sort of.

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  40. buying tea is a must when i travel to china. my whole family drinks tea.

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  41. 50 year old tea! Cough... I think I'll pass on those, HA HA HA.

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  42. Thank you for the tea lesson. I enjoy trying new teas.

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  43. Hi again, my first comment didn't go through, so I have to say it again ;-) I am a self-confessed tea lover and I drink about 2 to 3 cups a day of green tea (mostly) and English tea with milk. I also have tons of different ones that I drink every now and then. Thanks for the very informative post on tea.

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  44. ECL,
    a tutorial on how to drink should be in order soon? Would love to learn the different types of tea from you! :-)
    I recall while vacationing in HK, our guide make sure no one was pregnant in our group when they were serving kung fu tea.

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  45. Who knew there were vintage teas!

    During the workday I drink tea instead of coffee, usually some Indian chai spiced variety with no "extras". First, because it doesn't give the "yuck mouth" that coffee does, but mostly because it doesn't suck if it gets cold (which frequently happens if I'm especially busy).

    A couple of nights ago I tried out a new (to me) sushi restaurant, and it actually had a tea list similar to a wine list. First time I'd ever seen that! They have 50 different varieties and the staff is actually schooled in them. I was impressed!

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  46. I love tea too, a cup tea for everyday. Will be nice if I can enjoy a cup tea in someplace in Singapore :)

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  47. Nice post. but I can't seem to see any of your pictures posted

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