The “tea pet”, the tea enthusiast’s best friend

Pooring tea on a tea pet

Pets are wonderful creatures that can show the greatest humanity at times when our fellow humans may be lacking. We find these friends to be so sensitive and loyal that the description of animal does not do them justice.
In China, all tea connoisseurs and enthusiasts who use the Gong Fu Cha to prepare their brew have one or more “tea pets”. The tea pet is a terracotta figurine placed on the tea boat, over which tea is poured from time to time, to share special moments with it. Over the years the figurine acquires a patina through repeated dousing. The tea pet can be an animal or a human figure, as seen here.
A tea pet, or company being, shares your day-to-day life. Like other pets, it is always in an agreeable mood and is good at listening. You know where to find it. It is always there for you, loyal and happy.


Posté dans Country : China par François-Xavier Delmas | Tags : , ,

Tasting a fine tea using the Gong Fu Cha method

To appreciate a tea as fine as the Taiwanese “Black Pearl” I recently selected, there are two options: either use your usual teapot, or prepare it according to the Gong Fu Cha method. This involves placing the tea in a very small teapot and steeping the same leaves several times in succession. It is a different way of discovering the rich aromas of this fine tea, whose fairly sweet notes make it perfect for the season.


Posté dans Country : Taiwan, Professional tasting par François-Xavier Delmas | Tags : , ,

The “zhong”: a good means to assess a tea’s potential

There are many ways of drinking tea. At home you can use a teapot, a mug, a “kyusu” or a “zhong”, to name a few…

When I visit farmers I discover other methods of preparing tea, sometimes using different equipment. So I adapt my approach to the tasting according to the method used. Here, with our producer of Dan Congs, the teas are infused three times in a row, in a zhong, and each infusion is poured immediately into one of the bowls set out in front. We taste each of the three liquors, and can then easily assess the tea’s potential to be prepared using the “Gong Fu Cha”.


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A good reason to use a tea boat

When you make tea according to the Gong Fu method, you fill your teapot right to the top, even letting the water spill over to get rid of the scum. Hence the use of the tea boat, the recipient on which the teapot is placed here, which serves as a receptacle.


Posté dans Country : China par François-Xavier Delmas | Tags : , ,

The “zhong”: two ways of using it well

In China, there are various ways of using the “zhong”. This recipient – also known as a “gaiwan” – can be used as a cup in which the tea infuses. You drink directly from it, retaining the cover and leaving a slight gap to hold back the leaves.

The “zhong” can also be used as a teapot for “gong-fu”, in which several short infusions are prepared. After each one, every last drop of tea is poured into a reserve pot, from which the guests’ tiny cups are filled.

Everyone then gets to taste a tea with particularly concentrated aromas, and to observe the changes in the liquor’s texture and fragrances, infusion after infusion.


Posté dans Country : China par François-Xavier Delmas | Tags : , , , ,

The author

François-Xavier Delmas is a passionate globetrotter. He’s been touring the world’s tea plantations for more than 20 years in search of the finest teas. As the founder of Le Palais des Thés, he believes that travelling is all about discovering world cultures. From Darjeeling to Shizuoka, from Taiwan to the Golden Triangle, he invites you to follow his trips as well as share his experiences and emotions.

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