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?

1 comment:

  1. Hi Sir! May I know if your Lolly Talk shop at Orchard Road is still opened? I would like to visit your shop with my group to interview you and find out more about your shop that is related to Chinese traditional culture. Hope to hear from you soon!