Thursday, March 08, 2018

Happy International Women's Day

From my 2011 post...

"So I will begin with what is most vivid in my mind, and that is the lives of the people who work the tea fields.  The photo above is among my favorites.  Notice the dirt under her fingernail, the pretty silver band she wears, the lines in her hand, the vibrancy of the green leaf.  It's all there - the hard work, the beauty in it, the struggle, the love, the tea that sustains this community.  It was a privilege to be taken to these fields and see, for a brief moment, how these people connect with me.  They pick the teas that I drink.  That I will never, ever forget."

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Macau Tea Culture House

In the Lou Lim Ieoc Garden, Macau

After recently visiting Hong Kong, I had the wonderful opportunity to visit Macau.  I seek out tea experiences wherever I go, and was delighted to learn of the Macau Tea Culture House.  This museum opened in 2005 and is a project of the Cultural Affairs Bureau. Macau was the earliest port from which tea was traded to Europe. Super cool for we tea geeks!  Below are some of the things one will see here.  If you manage to be in Macau, most definitely visit!  The adjoining Lou Lim Ieoc Garden is also a must-see. 

The building is in Portuguese style, showing the connection between Macau and Portugal

Inside, one finds the smell of roasting tea, and a collection of tea utensils - tracing the development from handleless cups

To handles

A replica of a table at the famous Kun Nam tea house, in operation from 1953 - 1996

Upstairs, a replica of a tea house

And a very fine collection of clay teapots

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Yum Cha in Hong Kong, Lock Cha Tea House

Yum Cha is a practice, associated with Hong Kong and Cantonese-speaking parts of China, of having tea and dim sum (a variety of small dishes).  It's like brunch. I was recently in Hong Kong and had a chance to visit the Lock Cha tea house to enjoy this custom.

See the tea kettle to the side?  It's cleverly built into the table. 

We enjoyed a yellow tea (top) and a Phoenix oolong (bottom). 
The oolong was called "greenish" tea in English. 

Veggie dumplings

Cakes of pu-erh and other tea

Friday, January 26, 2018

Girl Scouts and Tea

I am lucky to the be the aunt of a very special Girl Scout, and also to have been able to share my love of tea with Girl Scouts in Washington. I received my cookies today and sat down with a cup of tea to enjoy them.  Lifting my cup to all Girl Scouts, past - present - future!

Girl Scout Law

I will do my best to be honest and fair,
    friendly and helpful,
    considerate and caring,
    courageous and strong, and
    responsible for what I say and do,
and to 
    respect myself and others,
    respect authority,
    use resources wisely,
    make the world a better place, and
    be a sister to every Girl Scout. 

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Afternoon Tea at Clockwork Rose Tea Emporium

Clockwork Rose Tea Emporium

Two friends and I spent a recent Sunday afternoon enjoying afternoon tea at the Clockwork Rose Tea Emporium in the historic part of Beaverton, OR. It's a charming venue, with weekends already booked out through the end of the year. (You can email to be added to the waiting list.)

The tea room is fashioned in the Steampunk style. It's interesting and whimsical, and makes me wonder why I hadn't seen the natural affinity of these things before. It's a light touch, with interesting artwork positioned throughout the space. From the website, "Steampunk is a sub genre of science fiction or science fantasy that incorporates technology and aesthetic designs inspired by 19th-century industrial steam-powered machinery."

What I can say in current time and space is that the food is abundant, fresh and delicious; the tea choices are worth getting excited about (they exclusively serve Harney & Sons); and the service is attentive. 

Afternoon tea is $30, and for that you will enjoy a bottomless pot of tea with salad, sandwiches, savories, scones and desserts. I took a fair bit home.  Some special diets can be accommodated, (vegan, gluten free, etc.), with advanced notice.

Wife and husband team Maggie and Harold are the designers and proprietors of the tea room. Their tea journey began on a trip to Ireland, where at a B&B they asked for coffee and were offered an old box of instant. They chose tea instead, and that choice led them on a path that ended at 12412 SW Broadway Street, Beaverton. 

I look forward to returning soon!

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

NW Tea Fest 2017

 A fantastic year at the NW Tea Fest 2017We celebrated the 10-year anniversary of the event in a larger venue, allowing for new vendors and instructors.  I've been fortunate to attend 7 out of 10 years, and my love of tea has grown with each year. Here are a few highlights from 2017:

Ephemeral filter, from the skeleton of a Bhodi tree leaf

Ingrid explains the Indiegogo Campaign for a Global Tea Exchange
(I've donated!  Consider an investment in tea's future.)

Brewing in the Wu-Wo tea ceremony, gifted with glorious sunshine

Celebrating friends - Shiuwen and staff from Floating Leaves Tea

The vendor floor, and Portlanders drinking tea

Oolong Owl Blogger Char

Aged white tea that Char brewed up

Excited to taste teas from Colombia, too!  More on that to come.

I was a panelist in a Blogger forum, and co-taught a class on Bowl Style Brewing.  Fun!  And thanks to my co-instructor Ana!

Congratulations and thank you to Julee, Doug and the team that has made this event fantastic for 10 years.  Lifting my teacup to many more!