Sunday, November 26, 2017


On Saturday, I went with friends M and V to a Chinese tea tasting followed by a yum cha lunch at the Dragon Palace Restaurant in Northbridge. It was led by Gary Sigley, who describes himself as a Chinese Studies Scholar and Tea Aficionado. He has a blog: but hasn't written much on it recently.  He goes to China a lot and certainly knows his tea!

The first tea we tried was Puer Tea preserved in a small dried mandarin (which looked like a gum nut!) The second was White Tea (pic below), which like many of these special teas can be used for several infusions. Gary brewed it in tea glasses, with a plastic plunger inside, apparently better than the stainless steel devices sold at T2 stores. You can buy these at Chinese groceries. We tried Yunnan Tea some of which was the subject of the 2007 "Tea Bubble" when speculators paid ridiculous prices intending the cakes as an investment, even paying up to $10.000! This black tea can be kept for long periods (unlike green tea which should be drunk fresh and is good for the digestion). The expensive teas are always drunk before a meal, on their own, to better savour the flavour.

The restaurant was packed with 99% Chinese people in large groups. The yum cha trolleys kept coming past, but Gary waved them away till he had finished his exposition! We were pretty hungry by this time and tucked in to all manner of delicacies including chicken feet.

White tea; the most expensive and the least processed tea; picked carefully with 2 leaves and a bud, then dried in the sun. brew at 85 degrees, wash first to get rid of dust.

Beautiful carved teacup stand.

Puer tea; produced near the border with Laos at Eiwu; this compressed "cake" stores well and is 2 years old.

Yunnan tea

"Red tea," with golden buds; produced near the border with Myanmar; when brewed it is a pale yellow colour and good for iced tea. My favourite!

Food at last: various steamed buns

L to R: chicken feet, BBQ pork, roast duck

 Chicken foot: a delicacy!

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