Wednesday 5 October 2016

A Broken Cup :: My Sweet Stories with Tea..我的甜茶蜜语...

One of the many reason why I am so into drinking tea is because of the many "stories" surrounding it.
The process of drinking tea slowly unfolds these stories, while new stories are being created each day with every cup of tea i drink. Each cup, each tea pot, each block of tea, even a simple tool to break the tea, all seems to have its stories to tell me.

Recently decided to bring my tea leaves to my little lolly shop such that i can have little enjoyment in between making batches of lollies. With so much factors that will affect a good brew, naturally i got to bring some good tea set to brew my precious tea leaves. But due to space constraint at my little lolly shop (yeah, is expensive space we talking about in Orchard Road yah), i brought my Zisha cup(紫砂杯) instead....

This cup was given to me by one of my YiXing’s friend as a gift during my trip earlier this year for my "tea-pots-pilgrimage". Yi Xing (中国宜兴)  is a land where zisha pots are famous for. Glad to have met up with so many of the legendary pot makers behind my collection of tea pots as well as making new friends during that short little trip. (Might blog about that wonderful trip in days to come) 
So sad that this being one of my favourite cup just broken last week due to mishandling.

What broken is not just the cup, but a piece of kind gesture from a friend faraway. Tried to contact some of my contacts in Yi Xing (宜兴), hoping to get back one that is similar; not that it can replace it, but just to make myself feeling better with one that looks alike.

After that broken cup, I brought my porcelain cup to the shop. Another gift from my China friend in De Hua (德化,福建) during one of my trip to Quanzhou (泉州) back in 2008. Was an interesting trip back then and the only regret is not getting more porcelain items from there since that is the place in China (beside 景德镇) that famous for fine porcelain items.

Still remember that particular day, my friend who worked as the local tax authority, walked into one of the shop that he claimed is his friend's, had a few casual chat with the owner, then turned to me, asking me to take whatever I like. Being a modest Singaporean, i told him i don't need any of those. Out of convenient, he just took this cup from the rack (without paying) and gave to me as a souvenir. I finds it very "stylo" with certain attitude ("霸气") in how he did it, like a local gangster collecting protection money. Nevertheless, is a gift from a friend, so i kept it for the past years and always happy using it for all beverages while remembering this little story that happened back then.

These are just some of the stories behind these 2 cups. I find it fascinating how these cups and pots that are handcrafted by some craftsmen, using soil, mud and ingredients from the land of China, transformed into a beautiful and practically usable cups using their hands, and how it travel all the way across the ocean to Singapore and reaches me. And of course, the sad part of someone breaking them up too.
There are more stories behind every piece of pot, every piece of cup, every disc of tea.... each have its stories waiting to unfold.
Even a little chipping off of the tea pot cover, a little bit of stains, all these are part and parcel of my life, of what i went through. It also reflects how impatience i was in the process of cleaning my tea pots. Reminding me to cultivate a better character when brewing my tea, telling myself to slow down my pace when drinking tea as well as having courage to face the pain of damaging/breaking of my pots. Trust me, it isn't easy to move on when a cup that you liked or a pot that being with you so many years, just break because of a character flaw in ourselves.

Sometime what makes drinking tea interesting are the stories.... The process of drinking tea slowly unfold these stories, while new stories are being created each day with every cup of tea i drink. Each broken cup, each chipping off of the tea pot, each disc of tea I collected, even a simple tool used to brew the tea, all seems to have its beautiful stories to tell, eagerly revealing itself to me. Beautiful stories brewing everyday indeed.

Tuesday 28 June 2016

Save on dining with Groupon deals, cashback and more with ShopBack

Recently I was invited to try out and review ShopBack.

As I was browsing through the site, i realise I can do a lot of my usual online shopping with cash rebates given to me simply by registering myself with ShopBack and do a bit extra work for each purchase via ShopBack. Nevertheless, the process is pretty hassle free as I realised.

Example I am a frequent Groupon user to identify cost effective dining. Hence I can easily Dine with Groupon Deals with a guided tutorial such as this...

Beside Groupon Deals, I can easily enjoy various dining discount and cashback such as purchasing Burger King, FoodPanda and much more ( see all deals here)

For those still struggling to know how it works, check this out...

Hope you guys enjoy the shopping via ShopBack and start using it soon to get more cashback earlier!

Tuesday 24 May 2016

Tea knowledge Sharing with Sweet Man 知茶: Tea leaves from the YiWu Mountain... 易武山的茶叶

This time round, i would share with everyone a tea not by its brand. But sharing it based on the region the tea leaves are grown and harvested! I will be sharing a 生普 (raw pu'erh tea leaves) that harvested in the spring of  2016 (around April). Hence what I am using for the review is considered a pretty fresh leaves (新茶) that are not even pressed into a disc (饼), bricks (砖) or semi-sphere (沱) for storage purpose... we call it loose tea (散茶).

Every year, spring (春), that is when most of the tea leaves are harvested for the various kind of tea. And of course there can be a really long write up to explain tea harvested during various part of the spring; Example tea harvested early-spring, tea harvested before-the-rain comes (雨前茶), tea-harvested before-QingMing festive (明前茶) and so on... In term of taste differences, it might not be as obvious and as big differences as its price; it is obviously more rare to have the leaves completely grown and ready to harvest earlier in the spring hence the more expensive price tag.
Today's blog, to make my sharing really straight forward, we focus only on what I going to share, I generalize the tea leaves I used as "Spring Tea" (春茶).

You might also be wondering, why i stated in the first line "review a tea not by its brand"? Again, i don't want the focus be diverted. I want to share with you tea leaves harvested at this mountain known as YiWu Mountain (易武山) and not affect people on the judgement of the tea based on brand it associated with (yes, indirectly to a lot of tea-lover, the brand do at times affect how we review a tea subconsciously due to its value is higher for a reputable brand).

Here are some background of YiWu (易武山). "YiWu" in the tribal language it means "The place where the Beautiful Lady Snakes live". It got its name from a cave located at YiWu that is filled with snakes. The YiWu Mountain Tea region (易武茶区) consist of the whole YiWu villages as well as those region under ManSa Mountain (慢撒茶山). The region with more of those ancient trees are the Yiwu (易武)、MaHe(麻黑)、LuoShuiDong (落水洞)、GuaFengZhai (刮风寨)、LaoDingJiaZhai (老丁家寨) and ManXiu (曼秀) area.

YiWu is Yunnan's famous ancient tea cultivation region, with a long history of tea planting. As early as Tang Dynasty,  already existed several tribal natives (BuLang  布朗族, Wa 佤族, HaNi 哈尼族 etc) living at YiWu while growing tea plants there. Till today, we can find traces of few hectares of land filled with old ancient trees as tall as over 20 metres. All planted by the tribal people back thousand of years ago hence the trees aged for more than thousand of years.

In the market, it is very often to see tea leaves claiming its source from YiWu Mountain (易武山). A lot of brands having formula (undisclosed to the public the exact combination of tea leaves from various region) that based strongly with tea leaves from this region. It is very common practise for big brand to introduce certain series based on tea leaves gathered from various regions blended together under each of their tea blending experts working for the brand. And some brands will even market some of its series as pure leaves harvested from YiWu mountain.
"YiWu's Spring" by XiaGuan (易武之春 - 下关 2015)

YiWu Main Region - by TaeTea 易武正山-大益 2014
It is without fail that tea leaves from this region/mountain, somehow ensured a mark of quality. Which also explains why series related to this region usually are selling at higher prices than one that doesn't have the luxury to be called "tea harvested from YiWu". Not to mention the bigger brands which often gives consumer a even stronger assurance of the sources where these leaves are harvested (with China's ability and courage to fake anything, it isn't unusual for some merchant to falsely claim that the tea leaves are harvested in YiWu with some even faking the brand by changing its packagings).
For collectors, I always strongly encouraged to go for tea product that have a strong tea base to start with. As we all know value of pu'erh increases over time as the tea leaves aged and mature, and "time" is a constant factor that multiply the value of the tea depending on the quality of the "base value" of the tea leaves. Having a good "base value" provide the value of the collection (tea) to increase exponentially over time.

Some basic characteristic of tea leaves from the YiWu Mountain...
The leaves are generally black, long shred and shiny. The colour of the tea after brewing is usually golden yellow, very little bitterness to speak of. High in fragrance, strong hint of sweetness, generally smooth and giving a great after-taste that lingers long around the palate.

YiWu's freshly spring harvested tea after 3rd washing

The Tea leaves I trying/sharing today live up to its name indeed.

The tea leaves from YiWu region usually mature faster too. And also due to the fact that lots of these trees are reduced in height thru the years (a trimming technique some farmers practise), and that the leaves also do grow in the wild in this region, tea leaves tend to have subtle taste differences ranging from village to village within the YiWu tea region.

Take a look at the debris/leftover after the brewing...

These are the typical 一芽二叶 tea leaves (one bud and two tea leaves) combination that signal that tea leaves are the best to be harvested. If the tea leaves only showing one bud/one left, it is a bit too young to be harvested and likewise, one that showing one bud/three leaves, it is a bit too old for a nice brew.

To end the sharing/review, i would side track a little regarding drinking raw tea.... if you have a weak stomach, avoid drinking raw pu'erh tea with an empty stomach. These raw tea are high in acidity with the leaves still contains high dosage of caffeine.  Some connoisseur suggest to go with some light cracker in order not to be distracted from the taste of the tea. But to me, pairing it with nice food sometimes do make tea drinking a bit more interesting and gives you some unexpected result. So be daring to try and you might discover some good pairing that brings out the better side of your tea collection? It also makes tea drinking closer to our day to day lifestyle and makes it a more sustainable hobby, don't you think so?

Monday 2 May 2016

Tea Tasting with Sweet Man 品茶: Dragon Disc by TaeTea 大益 龙年纪念饼,简称《龙饼》

My first attempt to start off my Tea Reviewing Blog, going to share with you one of a raw Pu'er tea  (普洱生茶)i kept for almost 4 years....

Name/品名:Tae Tea Dragon Disc (a.k.a "Dragon Disc") 大益 龙腾盛世 (简称“龙饼”)
Year/年份: 9th Dec 2011
Type of Pu'er Tea/茶类: 生茶
Date of opening the disc:20th Feb 2016
Date of Review/Tasting: 1st May 2016

Pressed in 9th Dec 2011 for the year 2012 Year of the Dragon (Chinese Horoscope)...
(wow... The tea pressed on the birthday of one of my idol!!! )....

This "Dragon Disc" was bought in early year 2012 and instead of one disc, i have bought one whole stack (一整提) + 1 disc (total of 8 discs).

One reason why i bought one whole box/ tube... Because I always have this special affection to powerful animals such as Lion, Horse and legendary characters such as Dragons, Phoenix, Unicorn etc. It was the year of the Dragon in 2012, and TaeTea comes out with Horoscope collection every year and this is one of them.

And another reason why I bought so many to keep,  TaeTea (大益) is a reputable brand that enjoys a good increase in price over the years. Having a good track record on its appreciation value means I can just buy them and put them aside without worrying that it will depreciate.

Of course, with a major brand, it comes with assurance too for the hygienic environment where the tea are produced. After all, these are tea that we drink and consumed into our body system. (I will share more reason why we need to look into this aspect in future posts)

The tea was pressed in 9th Dec 2011. From the time i bought it early 2012 till now, the value gone up 2-3 times its original price. You might think since it is a horoscope-year special edition, it is only natural that prices gone up that much for special edition?
But the Rabbit series pressed the year before (The year of Rabbit), didn't really enjoy such a soar in price as its Dragon-disc did.

I open the new disc on 20th Feb 2016 after keeping it for almost 4 years plus. I have left this disc exposed to air by putting it on the shelving as a display hence giving it a lot of room to ferment and speeding up its maturing pretty fast. The tasting for this review was done on 1st May 2016.

Take a look a the tea leaves itself... 

The insert is just the standard insert TaeTea being using for a lot of its series...
(I believe there are a lot to learn from this insert but yet to do proper research,
 do share with me if you know something about this insert, ok?)

Personally, i like what i sees with every leaves clearly seen and pressed such a way that even inside the disc, it is the same leaves closely pressed, with a certain maturity and colour turning really dark. But i feel it could have being nicer if i can see some green for a 5 year old tea.

First, i started break the disc into manageable bits. I usually take 8-10g for each brew.

Using my Zisha pots (紫砂壶) which is approximately 220cc
(Will find a chance to share more on my pots on separate post).

Washed the tea leaves for 3 rounds (my usual number of rounds for older tea; will share more on brewing techniques in posts ahead).
here goes the various colour changes....
1st brew

2nd brew

3rd brew

Seriously didn't really expect much from the tea since it is only kept for less than 5 years, but surprising. it shown a very beautiful matured orange colour that only older tea would have.

4th brew, this is where i start to drink.

Fragrance wise, it isn't those that give out strong fragrance when brewingbut if you take the effort to notice, you can smell the fragrance that is light and sweet. Giving out a very steady, pleasant fragrance that isn't wild and isn't overwhelming.

I took the first sip... Marvellous! Taste almost as wonderful as a few disc of my 2002/2004 tea (will share more on separate posts).
Maturity wise, isn't that "overly-matured", still have some raw after-taste, but seriously, for a less than 5 years tea, couldn't have expect anything more than this.
The taste is sweet, pleasant, not overwhelming, not too strong. It didn't lose too much of its pu'er-ness of the tea (interestingly some "overly-matured" tea totally lose it) yet it is comfortably smooth. As mentioned, it DOES have a raw after-taste but isn't strong that it can easily be ignored by having the next cup. I feel it is matured to just-right condition to start drinking.

It is really satisfying. And even thou the price gone up 3 times compared to the price i bought it at, i seriously think it worth the price. But would i buy them at the current price?... maybe not for me. But for those who don't really have a wide collection of past stocks, it is worth the purchasing. After all, the dragon disc is a limited edition in celebration of the year of Dragon during 2012. The next one might have to wait till 2024.

Here is the remains of the tea leaves after all the brewing...

Here goes my rating...
Colour/色: mature orange
Fragrance/香:steady and comfortable, not overwhelming
Taste/味道: sweet and matured (a pleasant surprise that it matured so much faster than a lot of other tea i had)
After Taste/回味: pleasant after taste with nice lingering of the sweetness.

sustainable brewing/耐泡: average.
Looking forward for next brew: Yes.
extra notes: The tea was kept in Singapore for 4 years intentionally exposed to air to ferment, that could be the reason it matured so much faster.
But again, I don't have a disc that I kept in China or other climate to compare the differences.
Neither did i open the disc to try earlier years to monitor it maturing.
So if you do have something to share, please share to let us know how you find your Dragon-disc? And leave us some keynotes to compare?

Thursday 14 April 2016

Sweet Talk over Tea... My "Affair" With Tea.

It’s being awhile since my last posting. Was trying very hard to shed some weight but never got the chance to really do some serious exercising. Beside the procrastination to exercise, watching my diet isn’t really that easy too especially with irregular eating hours and meals over late night after closing of my little lolly shop.

For a start, I got myself active again in drinking tea. In comparison to last few years, I slowed down with lots of hobby and activities... including my hobby of tea drinking; due to busy period when I just started my first ever retail shop in my life.

Knowing the health benefit of drinking tea as well as the weight-control benefit of tea, I happily started back this habit once again. Moreover, nothing beats a nice pot of warm tea at the end of a hard day at work. Great pleasure of enjoying tea while writing a blog, handling admin and replying emails. Beside the fragrance from the tea that brings calmness and peace to my soul, the wonderful taste of the tea and the act of brewing the tea is pretty therapeutic.
Brewing Tea slows down my pace of life and makes me start to enjoy and appreciate little details around me.

Started this habit of drinking tea since few years ago while working in China (Yes, almost the most prime years of my life were spent in China). Got myself drinking all sort of tea but only seriously got myself into Pu’er Tea around 2011/2012 when i started to “collect” the pu’er tea instead of plainly drinking them.
A very small portion of what i collecting.
I saw some of the Pu'er (普洱) tea i collected in early years soar in prices, some two to three times its original price when I bought them a few years ago. For some, it just take a few months, from a tea a commoner such as me can enjoy, becoming a precious delicacy only the rich can afford to drink. It isn't for no reason why in China, Pu'er (普洱) tea often associated with 土豪 (a term used to describe the rich locals; usu with little education and very often, owns many plots of land in the most prime area).

Another reason i like about Pu’er tea is its lasting properties that i can keep and store them many years without really having an expiring date to speak of.
Beside Pu’er Tea, i collected a lot of liquors and liqueurs too. My whole kitchen cabinets are filled with my liquors, interesting liqueurs and some wines collected all these years.

I have interesting stuff such as Organic Banana milk liqueurs among the collection. But sad to say, after a few years, the milk contents just doesn’t work out well.
Contradictory to what a lot believes that wine will be more expensive if older… to be honest… only some good (and often expensive) wine ages well in bottles. And a lot of my wine collection simply goes to waste because of keeping too long. Of course, i have a lot of whiskey, cognacs in my collection too, and yes, they don’t expired but neither would they become much better in years to come (hard liquor usu aged in barrels instead of the glass bottles).

Pu’er (普洱) is one kind of tea leaves that not just don’t expires, it gets better and better & it get more valuable as years go by. From some information found on the internet, you can see some of these old-tea (老茶) selling at prices as high as 2 million RMB for one disc!!!

One reason behind the appreciating value of Pu’er is the fact that it is lightly fermented or fermented. And it will continues to ferment itself in years to come. What makes it interesting also the weather, the ambiences, the environment and the region it is being kept and stored, all contributes to the fermenting process, making its taste less predictable in years to come.

Beside the affection towards tea, i also have a strong affection towards the pots used to brew the tea.

And inevitably, I fell in love with zisha pots (紫砂壶) during the pursue of brewing a good cup of tea.
I always find it amazing that how these mud are being used, under the craftsmanship of the potter, transforming literally from “dirt” to “gold”.

Being a handmade candy maker myself, i always feel that people eventually will want to find the roots of everything we see, use and eat; Wanting to know how things are being created, starting from their origin to the finishing. Eventually people will realized handcrafted items, rise above those machine-made ones. There exists this element of sincerity and a natural touch of the product itself which machine cannot imitate. These are the x-factors we always craved for, factors missing in products made in the factory in this industralization-era, where everyone talking about productivity.

I believe every pot have a story to tell. When we getting a pot, it is not just the pot we bring back. It comes with a story and maybe a small history behind every pot. These stories sometimes reveal itself clearly the moment we found them, for some, it is about a journey of slow discovery.
Because of this passion with pots, i went for my pilgrimage to Yixing (中国宜兴; China) earlier this year, to the land of Zisha Pots (紫砂壶).
The Legendary 古龙窑 where lots of famous pots are being baked into the final products.

Will share more on my tea collection and my pots collection in the blogs to come. Be sure to watch out my blog as I really have a lot to share.

With this, i am going to start blogging more on "tea" in coming days. Based on a simple structure I am going to use. My Tea-blog (beside the other lifestyle blog i having) basically divide itself into these categories…

1. Sweet Man Talking about Tea (My story with tea) 甜蜜茶语
- Example like this introduction, it touches on my personal story between me and my journey in tea drinking. Occasionally a few facts here and there, but the focus will always be an expression of my love (or hate) towards my tea.

2. Tea Tasting with Sweet Man 品茶
- This type of blog touches on various tea i am enjoying recently, sharing with you some of my personal opinion as well as my findings on the tea I drinking. Hopefully i will come out with a template too in gauging the colour, taste, after-taste of the tea. I will let it naturally form in these blogs to come.

3. Tea knowledge Sharing 知茶
- This section share with you some knowledge, or i should say limited knowledge of what i know about Tea. Some could be simply digested what i Google-ed and Baidu-ed, and translate them into layman terms with my limited command of English. Feel free to correct me if what i wrote could be non-factual or wrong. ermmm… i am a human too… i can be mislead and made mistakes, k?

4. Tea Brewing knowledge 泡茶
- Will share with you some of the tea brewing techniques & knowledge so that you can start brewing your cup of tea no matter where and with what you have with you. You will realised every steps and procedure is so “human”. After demystify some of the steps, you will soon realised, there isn’t any excessive elegancy we are talking about here when it comes to my sharing on tea brewing. Can't deny there are lots of

5. Tea Industry Sharing 茶商
- This type of blog touches on various brands of tea and findings  with small writeup and findings i have about the development of the tea industry. And again, if anything i wrote is not correct, do feel free to approach me via email as I am learning too.

6. Tea Pot Collection 壶说
- This type of blog will touches  on my collection of tea pots. Not a big collection i having, but enough to write quite a few blogs thou. Will share a bit on the potter who handcrafted them too.
Hopefully this type of blog will grow to feature some of other friends’ tea pots too in time to come! If i have enough information and time, will share with you guys some legendary masters.

With this… i will end my introduction on my upcoming blogs to keep you in suspend! To find out more about Tea… remember to check out my blog once again?! Hopefully the next blog will not wait for another year?

Wednesday 15 April 2015

FAT Man Talking... not sweet.

It's being a while i decided to blog again. Still remember how I was inspired to start blogging because a staff cum friend, despite having terminal cancer, she still press on in accomplish what she wants to accomplish in life. And this time round, my inspiration to blog is no other but our Singapore's founding father Mr. Lee Kuan Yew.
Mr. Lee Kuan Yew jogging. Photo source: Straits Time

Watching some of his documentary and realized how hard working he was to keep healthy. Be it swimming, stationary bikes or even jogging. Also chance upon one part of the documentary where someone mentioned he gave up his favourite golf for some other exercises that scientifically proven better for cardiovascular; telling us how much he is willing to cross his comfort zone to stay healthy.

All these reminded me on how lazy I am at times when it comes to keep fit; always finding all sorts of excuses that includes "walking to kitchen to get my can of beer from fridge" as a form of "exercise". 
That links me back to what my post title is... FAT Man Talking is not Sweet (at all)! I WANT TO LOSE WEIGHT!!!!

Those that knows me for many years realized how rubber band my weight can get. This was me in my early teens...

And interestingly, during my "prime" years, my waist line reaches 32, still 6 inches far more than Karl's Lagerfeld view of perfection of 26, but I was really happy with that achievement...

When i just open my little lolly shop near my neighborhood, my body weight was comfortable, BMI considered healthy but not perfect....
Photo taken during grand opening of LollyTalk
with my friend Jeffery

Life is not always a bed of vegetables... sometimes you lose it, sometimes you gain it.. including weight.
Just within 2 years, my body weight gained 25kg (stop guessing my weight now... so embarrassing).

Some says it is due to the lollies i being eating, but seriously, I know deep inside what happened...
1. Lack of serious cardio-exercise. Yes, making candy is energy consuming, and it makes me more hungry than ever. Tends to eat more than required.
Having a feast at the back lane of my little lolly shop

2. Long hours of "forgetting to eat" hence "Bruncherper" (breakfast cum lunch cum dinner cum supper) isn't that healthy. Not sure if the late night hours affect me too?

3. My hobby of experimenting with food and the habit of not wanting to waste food... These two don't goes well together.

4. Travelling to places like Penang, Kuching, Muar, JB... errrr... Can figured out what happened during those trips?

5. Habit of snacking (I was chatting with my blogger friend Cookies while blogging and she asking me to control my food, I was basically snacking while she says that to me)...

Honestly, I didn't really noticed of my own weight gain at first (or maybe I should say I wasn't worried at first?) until i had an interview last year with MediaCorp Channel U...

When I look at the footages over the TV, I see a FAT Man Talking.... not sweet.

I have gained so much weight just after two years, and this was me at MediaCorp Suria Channel, just  years ago...

And so.... I decided it is time that i should take my weight back into control.

In coming blogs, i going to share more and more what I am going to do and what I am doing (or maybe what I am not doing) to keep my weight in control. I being procrastinated to write this blog, worrying that this will come back to haunt me in coming days if my weight goes up further... but... like all great politicians who strive to remain transparent, I need to let public to scrutinise me on my journey to lose weight too! Not that people cares... but by sharing, hopefully I can inspire someone too to achieve that something special you always wanted to do?

Friday 5 September 2014

Doraemon 100 Secret Gadgets Expo Grand launch at City Square, Johor Bahru, Malaysia....

Due to my little lolly shop upcoming projects, was being invited to the grand launching of Doraemon 100 Secret Gadgets Expo at Johor Bahru City Square. Very honoured indeed to witness such an amazing opening. Got into JB early afternoon with my group of kakis from my little lolly shop.

And we were greeted with a very beautiful goodie bag with nice goodies at the door...
The Grand opening was filled with people from media to celebrities...

The grand launching event started with a long speech by the officials 
(if memory serves me well, he is the minister of trade for Johor Bahru?)...

After his long speech in three languages, all the guests artists and ambassadors of the Expo were being invited onto the stage...

And the event cannot be completed without... 
Doraemon and his friends!...

And it happens to be Doraemon's birthday too hence the cake cutting ceremony....

 they also gave out gifts to less privilege during the grand launching ceremony....
And these became the highlight of the Grand Launching too.

After the grand launching, all of us are invited to have a tour at the exhibition area. 

Greeted us at the exhibition hall is the amazing "任意门" being the first gadget of the show...
 For those familiar with Doraemon's story, this is a super gadget Doraemon always uses! It supposed to be able to teleport everyone from one place to another who walk pass the door....

Was an amazing experience seeing more than one hundred Doraemon each with a gadget that does amazing thing.

Of course the expression of every Doraemon also cheer people up easily...
Was trying to take all the 100 doreamon one at a time...

But the photo taking of the stationary figures quickly stopped as the moving ones start entering into the expo one after another!!!....

Doraemon is not just moving, but interacting with the crowd too with a lively characters that stays true to the story...
Had a fun time playing with Doraemon! 
Everyone in the crowd too. All the kids just couldn't resist teasing the short and round Doraemon that have various mischievous behaviours while interacting with the kids...

If that isn't enough fun, the rest of Doraemon's friends are all appearing one after another, all ready to have photos taken with....

Along the way, we spotted some celebrities together with Doraemon's friends!
We spotted the famous group "The Freshman" (插班生).
Carrie Yeo and Chen Diya make up the Freshman. The girls met in 2007 at the audition for “Project Superstar II”, a nation-wide singing talent search competition organised by some local television station and emerged the top two winners of the female category. Forging a friendship in their rivalry, they continued their dogged pursuit in their common dream – singing.
To find out more about "The Freshman", check this out...

These two ladies are very friendly and down to earth (很接地气哦)... couldn't resist to take photos with them too who are both adorable and friendly enough to play along every photo!
Beside "The Freshman" (插班生), it was a star-filled day too with Malaysia upcoming singing Group Fu Ying & Sam...
As well as the famous DJ cum actor cum director... Lin De Rong (林德荣)
He looks so amazingly charming, without rejecting anyone who wanted to have photo taken with him.
As we were all guests invited to the expo, we all spend some time shopping together at the merchandise area and we witness how long it takes for him to just buy a t-shirt when the stream of fans coming one after another to have photo taken with him non-stop. And yes... he didn't reject even one although I can guess how much he would want to get his shopping done and proceed to refreshment!!!

And the event was a fun one also because of the friends who went together with me
(also the team of ambassadors who help out with my little lolly shop for the past year)...

Had lots of photos taken with Joey & Wee Liang in different settings in the exhibition...

After all the photo taking is done at the exhibition, just when everyone thought the fun might just end there.... we choose to end the outing with a nice coffee at the Doraemon Cafe!
Although it a temporary fixture instead of a full cafe, it does serve a good variety of Doraemon theme snacks. Including the "gadget" memory bread (记忆面包)...

We ordered some of the wonderful snacks based on the menu available, but if you were to ask me tp give a rating based on the food and beverages, i would only give it a 2/5.

But we do have some bonus point (加分题) given...
The wonderful companions that shared the coffee and pastries after a fun day of photo taking gives us another 1 point to the Doraemon cafe,  so it is 3/5, making it a just pass rating!

As for the overall experience of the Expo... Is a "must go" if you are a Doraemon fan.
For more information, check this out...

Event : 100 Doraemon Secret Gadgets Expo Grand Launching
Date  : 3 September 2014 (Wednesday) 
Exhibition starts from 30th Aug 2014 till 4th Jan 2015.