Belgium Chinese Tea Arts Centre

Authentic & Pure Quality Tea

Not to forget the aims

Last night I posted a question on Instagram

What does a title of ‘tea sommelier’ or ‘tea master’ mean?  Is it a job title to show the progress of achievement? Or a passport that helps us to stay on the right track in life with tea? 

Actually that’s the basic question students who follow the Tea Sommelier Certification Program in the Chinese Tea Academy.

I am very grateful for the reader’s feedback from a German tea lover:

I get different associations from both words. From tea sommelier more of someone frequently dealing tea trade and therefore a lot of tea tasting for commercial reasons. And tea master suggests a deep knowledge of tea culture and most importantly a profound philosophical and medical approach to tea. Also the methodology of tea preparation is advanced and refined. While it is true that both titles share some fields of activity, I get the impression they differ in their approaches, aims, means and values. 

The feedback helps to stretch my self-reflection further:

Actually I do think it does not matter which title is using, we always should remember what attracted to us at the first place, not to forget our original passion and commitments to tea and learnings through tea. It does not matter how differ from original aims, approaches or methodology, we should always keep the learning windows opened and learn to listen to TEA.
The world of tea can be even bigger with the collaborating and respectful attitude towards diversity, maintain positive energy with calm and assertiveness; of course, how to implement it might be very challenging because each person might has his/her own ideas and/or agenda, but there is no excuse not to try it.  It does not matter how the title was granted, received or claimed; it serves as a passport for the journey of tea and responsibilities as a traveler.
Correctness in information and knowledge in fundamental theories are critical basic requirements to plan and to manage our journey; but it does not set the limit to only information or technical know-how that we can find either from internet, book or even workshops, the most profound requirement is the sub-conscious attitude.

Of course, I have to admit that I have higher expectations to tea sommelier, after all, anyone can sell tea and to organize tea tasting without receiving or claiming a title.

Tea and the learning in tea and Chinese tea culture have great values in my life journey, because now I know myself better, what and how to manage the focus in life better.

Mei Lan Hsiao, Belgium Chinese Tea Culture Association / Belgium Chinese Tea Arts Centre, 14/02/2019, Antwerp, Belgium

I connect

What is I?
Who am I?
I do not exist, I simply connect.
I expand when I am willing to share
Egoism boosts up the desire of the selfish “I”.
The selfish “I” builts wall to block me from the rest.
I can not go out when I do not let others to come in.
When I see me in you, I love you as loving self from within, 
then, the world peace is not so far.
Dao means way, when can be named already is an extraordinary way.
Is it a question? Is it not a question? Which question?
Your way, my way, which way?
Good tea, bad tea, which tea?
Mei Lan Hsiao

甚麼是我? 我是誰?



當我不讓他人進入, 我也走不出去

當我目中有你, 由心視你如視己, 那麼我愛你也將如愛己

那麼, 世界大同有何難?

Learning in tea

Learning tea is easy, starts from liking tea, willing to summit to learning and take time with yourself. Learning life can be easy too, starts from facing own subconsciousness with honesty.

When able to transforn the balanced and peaceful scent in heart to tea, can then refine the fine flavors and taste in tea; the aromatic additives will then not needed in life.

The genuine intension in heart and mind transform scents to tea;
The authencity in quality and scents reflect the straightness of the person;
tea is like life, living as tea.

Convince self before trying to convince others.

The beauty of tea is that we can easily integrate those principal learnings in actions through a cup of tea.

.       Mei Lan Hsiao
#wisdomintea #meilanhsiao #chineseteamaster #learningintea
Belgium Chinese Tea Arts Centre
Tea Sommelier Centre
Tea Culture Rendez-vous
Cha Dao – The Way of Tea.
Antwerp  Business Community Group

©Mei Lan Hsiao

Belgium Chinese Tea Arts Centre / Belgium Chinese Tea Culture Association, 9/2/2019 Antwerp, Belgium




Possible vs. Not Possible

I can have tea seeds from China, India or Japan, but can I grow and make tea with the same quality flavours and taste as they produce in China, India or Japan?  The answer is …………. OF COURSE NOT !

Tea and tea culture migrated from China to the West and now even travel far in the world. So as to tea trees and production methods. Well, answers actually are quite simple ……………

Tea tree cultivars?  It can be migrated and planted in other part of the world; but the macro- & micro ecological environment, conditions, weather, air, water and energy in the air and under beneth in the core….these are simply not possible to be duplicated or re-engeered!

Tea production methods ? Production processes can be copied and learned, but experience and accumulated wisdom based on feeling…….can not !

The local tea growers need to understand the characters of their plants in their environment and know when and how to abstract the best but not try to copy with blind eyes.

Learning Tea, Learning Life

Egoism and self-confidence are very similar, often the difference is so thin as a see-through rice paper.

The basic theory about tea and how to prepare tea are not the most difficult learning in tea, but willingness, respectful and submissive learning attitude are.

On the journey of tea learning, I remain as a white paper so I can receive all information, but I do not take  information for granted, because I like to maintain objective digestion and diagnosis without preconceived ideas, certainly to avoid pre-judgement before I even have a chance to know more.

Learning tea, learning life.

Mei Lan Hsiao  蕭美蘭

Belgium Chinese Tea Arts Centre / Belgium Chinese Tea Culture Association 8/2/2019


Air quality for tea storage

One of most commonly asked questions is
How long tea can be stored?
As matter of fact all teas can be stored for very long time under the appropriate storing conditions.  Of course, some teas will lose its natural fine and sexy aroma and the taste might become woody.  We certainly should understand how the post oxidative fermentation might occurred because of the long time storage.
There are four basic principles for tea storage:
  1. Air flow environment
  2. Avoiding direct light
  3. Avoiding humidity
  4. Avoid bad odors
Air quality is the fundamental element to consider in the first principle, and it is even more crucial and important especially to those teas that can be stored for longer perio, i.e. traditional fermented Oolong, Black Tea, Dark Tea and Pu’erh. 
In the tea storing either warehouse or room should avoid:
  1. parfum nearby, personnel who work in the tea environment should also not to wear too much or strong parfum
  2. environment or compartment where there are bad odors easily presented
Above suggestions also are suitable to consider for tea shop layout.


#flavours and #tastes subject to #individual #preferences #individualpreferences
but there are fundamental #differences between #naturalflavors vs. #aromaticflavors

Attitude Matters

What is the  reality when you fall in love with Pure flavours  and tastes in tea?

It is a journey like water that does not float backwards, once into the world of pure, authentic and better quality tea, it is hard to go back.

I started with Pure and Authentic Quality teas without aromatic flavors or taste additives, thus the cosmetic flavours and tastes are TOTALLY not attractive to me AT ALL.

Being able to identify pure  vs. aromatic flavours and tastes is only one of fundamental requirements from a #teasommelier. The utmost foundation is submissive learning and respectful attitude;it is not just about the what/which/how in tea, it is about what kind of person you become to.

copyright Mei Lan Hsiao, Belgium Chinese Tea Arts Centre/Belgium Chinese Tea Culture Association 3/2/2019 Antwerp, Belgium

Useful Tips for Tea lovers

Who do no like good meal, fine drink and party in this holiday season?  Here are few useful tips for tea lovers:

  1. Wash tea ware every time after being used. Can consider to use either pre-heated vinegar or soda to remove nasty tea stains when necessary
  2. Avoid drinking too hot tea because the temperature that the swallow pipeline can tolerate is between 50-60℃
  3. when tea gets cold, the continued oxidation with air may generate lots of oxalate. Excessive oxalate might increase the risk of kidney stones to some people, according to the research
  4.  Some people misunderstand drinking tea can dissolve alcohol, actually it increases work load to liver. Advise not to flush alcohol with tea after meal, especially if have dronk wine or liquor; it is better to take time to enjoy some desserts or have some acidic fruits or juice;otherwise have some water before drinking tea.
  5. Avoid to pair tea with crabs. Suggest to give 2-3 hours time gap after eating crabs.

copyrighted Mei Lan Hsiao, Belgium Chinese Tea Arts Centre, 2/2/2019

We are responsible for the climate change

We all concern about the global warming, we all are affected by the climate change. But can we recognize that we are responsible for the climate change?  Perhaps it is not yet too late if we could start to take actions together.   We all want peace and harmony, but it’s us who tolerate the world super powers to sell weapons and to accelerate conflicts and wars, because the only thing they care is how can they make themselves great and profit from conflicts but not peace.
They said they care about climate and us, but how much actions have we actually saw from them?  Some do, some not; in short, it’s simply not enough.  On the other hand, how much actions we are committed to the protection of the environment and communities around us? 
There are several reasons to motivate me to the promotion of authentic quality tea and Chinese tea culture since 1995, the most profound motivation  is because of my fundamental belief in “Ecological Balance and Eco-Life Style” to the health in body and mind.
We can easily start to act together by supporting authentic pure quality tea. Reasons:
  1. Instead of using 1 bag of low quality tea per cup, 4-6 bags per day;  do you know you can easily enjoy 4-6 cups (or even more, subject to the quality) with fine flavours and tastes from 3-5gms of good quality loose leaf tea per day?
  2. Do you know you can recycle the left over as natural fertilizer to your garden or plants?  Even if you wanted to throw it away afterwards, it will become very good natural compose
  3. The more we support for eco-quality tea, the more we can motivate the growing regions to do the right things to maintain the ecological balanced environment correctly.  We don’t have budget to pay for the “Fair Trade” logo, we simply do with the growing regions and farmers. 
Of course, I absolutely support and endorse recent protests for climate change, instead of   #scientists4climate I think we perhaps should change the slogan to #we4climate instead of hoping efforts from scientists.  Instead of speaking about our concerns, we should demonstrate our determination and courage by challenging ourselves if we would willing to change our life style but not just hoping others to change for us?
#ecobalance #ecolifestyle #ecologicalbalance #savetheplanet #climatechange
#teasommeliercentre #wisdomintea #purequalitytea #healthylifestyle #ecolifestyle #climatechange #chineseteacentre #justdo #collectiveefforts #ecoquality #looseleaftea #chinesetea

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