I am not lying when I say I drink Chinese tea almost every morning, when my love for Chinese tea rekindled after trips to Taiwan’s Alishan and China’s Shantou which is the land of origin of kungfu tea. Some may consider it an ‘old man’s drink’, or that preparing gongfu tea is a set of tedious process.
Psychologically (and even physically), drinking Chinese tea makes me feel cleansed, rejuvenated and relaxed, as though all the greasiness from food is ‘washed away’. While English tea houses are very popular locally, I think it is about time Chinese tea gets some attention and perhaps be more glorified.
While I am a tea drinker, there are many mistakes that I make in drinking tea. I met up with Derek from online tea shop Peony Tea S to find out about the finer arts of tea drinking.
Here are 10 Things You Probably Do Not Know About Chinese Tea
1. The 6 categories of teas are green tea, white tea, yellow tea, oolong tea, black tea and dark tea otherwise known as post-fermented teas.
2. If you see someone tapping on the table after drinking tea, there are actually thanking the tea master. The fingers tapping signify a bowing servant and a sign of respect.
3. Light-coloured teas go better with lighter-coloured food (chicken, fish, seafood), while darke- coloured teas go better with red meats and oiler food.
4. Black Tea is known as Red Tea in Chinese (think about your bubbletea red tea) because Westerners name teas after the color of the leaves while Chinese name it after the color of the brewed tea.
5. Oolong tea and Pu-er are the most popular teas in Singapore due to the predominant Hokkien community.
6. Tea that has been left overnight should not be drunk as bacteria will grow on it when left unattended.
7. Tea should not be drunk immediately before and after meal times (half an hour before and an hour after) because this will hinder with absorption of iron in the body.
8. Do not drink cold tea (I am so guilty of this) as cold tea is ‘damp’ and damages the stomach and digestive system. So how about bubble tea? At least the traditional Taiwanese style is not brewed hot and cooled with ice but rather ice-brewed.
9. Loose tea leaves are always better than tea bags because the quality of the tea is usually much better, tea leaves can unfurl to release more flavours, over-steeping of tea bags often lead to bitterness (‘siap siap’ taste).
10. Black tea generally survives better in tea bags than green tea since freshness and shelf life is less of an issue. Have black tea if you really need to drink from a tea bag.
[Giveaway Ended] Peony Ts Chinese New Year Giveaway
Online Teashop Peony Tea S will be giving 3 sets of Peony Tea S Starter Kits (worth $68 each) to 3 blessed Daniel’s Food Diary readers.
The Starter Kit includes a tea set and 2 ‘servings’ of a variety from each of the 6 major categories of tea. This way, you can also try everything and find your preferred types of tea.
All you need to do is to
Step 1: LIKES the FaceBook pages of Daniel’s Food Diary and and Peony Tea S
Step 2: SHARE this post on Facebook or RETWEET the post on twitter
Step 3: Leave a comment below to share your favourite Chinese tea type and why
Results will be announced 18th Jan 2013.
Peony Tea S
Peony Tea S is an online tea shop that specializes in loose tea leaves and brewing utensils from China and Taiwan. They are not only selling tea wares – they want to help you enjoy your tea to its fullest- whether it is maximizing the taste of your drink or minimizing the hassle. Plus, their tea comes in attractive modern packaging and makes a really suitable gift for the Chinese New Year and other festive seasons.
*The above entry is an advertorial.