My friend D, hosted a breakfast yesterday to teach us how to make Traditional Chinese Tea. I didn’t know tea could have so many ingredients! It is no wonder that the Chinese have such a sophisticated tea drinking culture, after all the beautiful tradition of tea came from the Chinese!
Tea is among the world’s oldest and most revered beverages. It is today’s most popular beverage in the world, next to water. Tea drinking has long been an important aspect of Chinese culture. A Chinese saying identifies the seven basic daily necessities as fuel, rice, oil, salt, soy sauce, vinegar, and tea. According to Chinese legend, tea was invented accidentally by the Chinese Emperor Shen Nong in 2737 B.C. Emperor Shen Nong was a scholar and herbalist, as well as a creative scientist and patron of the arts. Among other things, the emperor believed that drinking boiled water contributed to good health. By his decree, his subjects and servants had to boil their water before drinking it as a hygiene precaution. On one summer day while he was visiting a distant region, he and his entourage stopped to rest. The servants began to boil water for the skilled ruler and his subjects to drink. Dried leaves from a nearby camellia bush fell into the boiling water. The emperor was interested in the new liquid because it had a pleasing aroma in this new brew interested the emperor, so he drank the infusion and discovered that it was very refreshing and had a delightful flavor. He declared that tea gives vigor to the body, thus. That was when tea was invented, but it was considered as a medicinal beverage. It was around 300 A.D. when, tea became a daily drink. Click here for more on the history of tea…
Lily our Chinese friend provided the ingredients and instructions for making traditional Chinese tea.
A/1 Rose bud, B Ginseng, C Black (or white) Sesame seeds, D/2 Rock Sugar, E Walnuts, F Wolfberry (Gouji) , G Jujube, H/4 Jasmine Tea, I/7 Oolong Tea, J/5 Zu Ye Qing (bitter tea)
All the ingredients were put into a bowl and rinsed, placed into the teapot, then boiling water was poured over it. I love that the host’s tea-pot has a cute batik outfit, that prevents us from getting in contact with the hot teapot. It also catches the drops from the spout.
We thoroughly enjoyed the tea, which was so aromatic and had complex but subtle flavors and just a hint of sweetness that didn’t overpower the rest of the flavors.
Of course no Asian get together is complete without a lot of food. And as always our host D, prepared a feast for us!
Bubur Ayam (chicken porridge) with different garnish
D’s famous Kway TeowMilk and chocolate bread. Korean Sue brought kim bab she made – these are the Korean versions of Japanese Maki.The table was lovely with Capiz decor and some polvoron from the Philippines. Woot!Cookies and rice krispies on crystal bowls
I had a lovely time with these interesting women! One of the joys of expat life, is getting to meet people from all over the world and learning about their countries and cultures. Again thank you to D for hosting this lovely breakfast.
Next time maybe D can finally demo cooking her Kway Teow, Sue will show us Korean kim bab, and I’ll demo dessert! I’m thinking Molten nutella lava cake – how does that sound?!?
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