Belgium Chinese Tea Arts Centre

Tea Sommelier Centre

Oolong

Oolong is an unique tea type which is also known as ‘Qing Cha青茶” in Chinese , inFrench they translate “Qing” to “bleu”, therefore in Europe, some people know it as “thé bleu”. But if you search the color definition of “Qing 青” on Google, then you will get series of color from green to blue.  Instead of “Blue-Bleu”, the color definition of “Cyan” would be more close to the color of Oolong. 
“Qing 青” also implies the meaning of life, also is the symbol of “Spring” in Chinese culture.
 
Comparing with other tea types, Oolong is the youngest in the tea family but it has the most sophisticated requirements from tea tree cultivars, oxidation, fermentation and roasting processes.
Actually the color of Oolong has nothing to do with “Blue – Bleu”.  The color of dried leaves shoul be Olive green to dark olive green or even dark grey green  and the color of tea lique is from yellowish amber to rich amber, subject to the level of fermentation and with or without wood-fire roasting.   Multiple layers of flavours and taste, especially the after-taste somewhat driness reaction and stimulate of lymph secretion, are something unique that we should expect from good quality of Oolong tea.
Whether you call it Oolong or Thé Bleu, it is important to recognize that
  1. the Oolong is an unique type of tea from China.  
  2. The oxidation, fermentation and roasting processes in Oolong create a lot of interesting and diversed flavours and tastes.
  3. Now many other tea regions in the world try to duplicate the Oolong process.  However, it is possible to transplant tea trees, can even learn and copy the process, but it is not possible to duplicate how the flavours and taste are transformed from the unique micro-environment, weather, surounding biological environment and accumulated experience from China, Fujian, Guangdong and Taiwan.
 
But is it ‘half fermentation’ already mean it is an Oolong? The answer leaves to those who know which type of tea tree cultivars and type of flavours and tastes to expect from various Oolong teas.
You can transplant the tea tree
You can learn and copy the process
but still,
you can’t duplicate how the flavour and taste from the micro- & bio environment, weather and accumulated wisdom in Oolong processes.
 
You can learn and copy the movement
You can perform the tea ceremony
but still
you can be far from Dao, without knowing how to implement the essence in life

Cha Dao, What Dao?

Every time think of those questions I have came across, I can only laugh with tear and don’t know how to answer:

  • How long will it take for me to become a Tea Master?
  • How long and how much will it cost to learn Cha Dao?

Cha Dao, Cha Dao, The way of Tea, what tea? which Dao?

Only learning how to brew tea, nicely name it tea art, talking about tea culture with words;

No knowing the reason behind, not able to implement the essence of morals in actions;

Not able to commit without asking things in return, speaking without heart;

What come with teas? Where goes with the Dao?

Cha Yi, Cha Yi, the art of tea, which art? is it really for tea or for egoism?

Not have sufficient knowledge about tea, knowing the name without knowing its soul;

Dressing up with beautiful cloth and performing fine looking movements, emptiness under the appearance, like a dancing butterfly that does not last long if not knowing the essence behind each movement and meaning of Zen.

Which future good pure quality teas can have, if not enough people knowing the roots of tea, not showing how to show respect and to learn tea?

Calculating price when purchasing tea, chatting loudly when tasting tea, how do you management tea moment when you normally should listen to the value of “Harmony, Tranquility, Purity, Respect” in tea?

It’s sad to see how thousands of year Chinese tea culture end up with a simple show of Cha Yi (the art of tea); sometimes it worries me out and makes me sad, after all I am just a normal human being.

The more exhaution I have, the more it motivates me to clean my head up. No matter what, the teaching from parents forever live in me;

The pocket can be empty, but the heart may not;

muscles may feel tire and weak, but not with emptiness in heart;

regardless how many challenges lying ahead, must keep the back bone straight;

I am just a small Cha Ren (Tea Woman), devote my life to tea with joy.

Come on, let’s have a cup of tea !

 

 

 

 

 

Caffeine in Gongfu Cha?

In a Gongfu Cha group one who worries about caffeine consumption asked what to do with Gongfu style in the late evening.

I am too very sensitive with caffeine especially with coffee, but seldom suffer this problem when enjoying Chinese traditional brewing tea late in the evening There are three basic things that I would like to share with.you to consider to clarify this question:

  1. Gongfu style does not mean high caffeine if you used the right quality and brew it right
  2. Strong astringency or bitter taste =/= Gongfu style
  3. If you are very sensitive with caffeine, then should consider health first, the Gongfu style of tea can wait till next day.

I can make a list for traditional Oolong that offer us various unique flavours and taste and after taste, but bitterness definitely shouldn’t be one on the list if you have good pure quality and breq it right. Besides, you always have time to enjoy a quality tea time.

#gongfucha #chineseteaceremony #teasommelier #puretea #authenticquality #correctflavorandtaste

Enlightenment from the definition of “Organic Farming”

In a exploration and documentation program of Simon Reeve on Canvas tonight, one  Irish organic farmer has drew the perfect definition for Organic Farming:

Organic farming is not just about environmental concerns, but most importantly are about commitments to ethics, integrity and morals

We can and certainly should extend this definition to what a good person means – it is not just about behaviors and manners, but most importantly are the underlined respects and practices of Ethics, Integrity and Morals in everyday’s life.

With the same principles, we should question ourselves the following questions:

  • how can we introduce ourselves as Cha Ren (茶人, Tea Person) if we fail to emphasis the importance of Professionalism, Ethics, Honesty, Integrity and Morals?
  • Often I received question about the Tea Art training program from tea sommeliers.  Perhaps it sounds hard but here I have question to tea sommeliers: How can we introduce ourselves as Tea Sommelier if we only focus on the presentation of tea (茶藝 Cha Yi) without solid knowledge, missing the continuous learning attitude and basic respect towards to pure and authentic quality in flavor and taste, and Nature; without the basic understanding and respect what Professionalism, Ethics, Honesty, Integrity and Morals?

 

Life is like a cup of

Life is like a cup of tea
It will get cold one day;
the cup will become empty one day;
the pure flavors and fine tastes won’t last forever.

So,what are you waiting for?

Enjoy when you can and enjoy when it’s still warm; show respect and appreciation for what you have in time, because the essence of time is not on our sides.

People come, people go; the party is over when the door is closed.
Don’t take thing or people for granted, because it’s not right to undo for what you don’t want to happen to you too.

The most beautiful memory is not about how excited or complex it has been, but it is about how purity and simplicity have enriched your body, mind and energy and how those beautiful memories continue to ferment till the last moment in life.

We cried when we came, but can we leave with a peaceful smile, that’s the choice we can manage, in time.

 

Daylight Withering in tea

Saw a question on line today about the sun drying tea.

Often a tea will be described as having the virtue of being ‘sun-dried’. It sounds very wonderful, natural and romantic – conjuring up a sense of gourmet quality in the same way that sun-dried tomatoes do. The sun is free, although unreliable, and is an energy that has been around since tea was first made but does sun drying produce a better tea compared to other forms of drying; or is it just fluffy marketing? And if it does improve quality, why is this?

First of all, it’s important to establish some basic clarity for Withering process in the tea production process:

  • Not all teas are suitable for sun dried (it is a Solar Dried process also known as Daylight Withering ) approach.
  • Basically the withering process is a process for oxidation.  The management of oxidation process (also known as Withering Process) plays an important role to simulate for the fermentation process. The oxidation process will not be stopped completely by the Daylight Withering process, because the oxidation process can only be stopped by applying extra heat to the leaves in order to deactivate the oxidative enzymes present in tea leaves.
  • Sun Dried (or Daylight Withering ) is a very traditional and yet a must technique used for (some) White Tea, Oolong, (some but not all) Black tea and Pu’erh.  Withering is also an important step for green tea, but the chance to use the Daylight Withering is less; because the color of fresh leaves will get dull and greyish in the Withering process with daylight.
  • Indeed sun is a free of charge energy but not reliable; and its strengths are varied in different time in a day or in season. So which tea has to go through how long in the Daylight Withering process, it depends on the timing when freshly pluck tea leaves are back to the production site and the strength of the sun; and most of all, which tea are to be produced?
  • For Chinese tea, the first and utmost definition for “Quality” are
    • Fresh tea leaves are hand pluck
    • Each process is well and thoroughly managed
    • A lot of machines are used to aid the process but can’t replace the experienced workers.
  • Basically there are different drying processes in tea production processes,
    • Outdoor oxidation and fermentation process, i.e. either solo or mixture of Daylight- and Shadow Withering
    • Various indoor processes

The Daylight Withering Process for Oolong Tea

Shadow Withering

Continue withering to stimulate the fermentation in a temperature controlled environment

Learning is an endless process in life and each question opens a door to deepen the learning.

Who are you?

Want to learn how to brew tea?
It’s easy!
Go on youtube, then you will find many interesting video’s.
But,
Does that make you a tea sommelier?
Even if you know about tea, but again does it mean you know what and how to become a Cha Ren (茶人, a Tea Wo/Man)?
Even if you know all the above, does it mean you know what does tea culture represent? what are behind and how?
 
At end, the question is ‘WHO ARE YOU?”
 
Who are you?
An artist who knows how to show the tea art?
or
Someone who has the pre-conceived idea about tea?
or
Someone actually has gone through training? For how many hours / days? How much do you really know? Are you sure you have learned enough?
or
Someone who appreciates and loves tea?
or
Someone who is committed to the life time learning?
or
Simply someone who knows the essence of keeping head down and how to enjoy and appreciates the learning behind tea leaves?
or…
 
Well, the list of question can go on and on and on and on…….
and how often you honestly confront these questions with yourself before trying to convince others?

Who should consume less Goji?

Image resultNowaday many people like to eat or use Goji in tea. Indeed Goji is a very common and healthy ingredient used in Chinese traditional Yang Sheng or medicine.

But if you were one from the following groups, then probably it is better not to consume too much:

1. those who have stomach problems, especially not for those who have diarrhea problem
2. those who suffer from having too much Yang (陽) in body because Goji can easily stimulate the rise of Yang energy in body
3. when suffering from having fever or flue

Goji can also be used in cooking or in soup, suggest to stir fry it in dry wok first.

In this Autumn period,  Goji with Tremella soup is a very delicious and healthy dessert.

Image result for 枸杞銀耳湯

Dong Ding Oolong Tasting report

what in the name of Dong Ding Oolong is not knowing how to distinguish:

1. Authentic flavour and taste

2. Change of tea tree cultivar

3. Effect from global warming and the acidic environment issue

4. The influence from tea production processes

Here is a taste comparing report from

1. Tea sample from a Belgian who brought back from Lugu, Taiwan this summer

2. One Dong Ding oolong collection from our centre

 

Our Commitment

We don’t have the stamp on the package for fair trade, WE SIMPLY DO FAIR TRADE.

We don’t have the organic label on the package, WE AND OUR PARTNERS SIMPLY  COMMIT TO ECO BALANCE. Just because Nature and health are important.

We believe each pesticide analysis  handles by European laboratory to assert the organic quality serves as more true evident than stamp or label.

Do we have to “visit” the tea garden and “check” the quality every year? No, we don’t have to with the close partnership with friends who share the crazy commitment. Especially when we choose to work base on partnership, commitment and trust to the Mother Nature, wisdom from Chinese old traditions, health and QUALITY.

Honesty and commitment not only important to TEA, NATURE  but also to  friendship in life.

If we have more profit, we rather to invest on tea but not on hotels and flight tickets for pleasure.

There is only one planet we treasure, and we are committed to eco-balanced healthy tea.

 

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