Belgium Chinese Tea Arts Centre

Authentic & Pure Quality Tea

Category: Tea Talk (Page 2 of 11)

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.

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

Cha Dao

What is Cha Dao, the way of tea? What does the way of tea means in life?
In general, what people observe are complex processes that have been emphasised over years from people before us to practice in tea ceremony.
But does that mean one is able to comprehend the philosophical teaching behind each step? Does that mean one really understand what tea is and what to learn from tea through the practice of tea ceremony?
There is no right or wrong in answer, because it ups to each individual to make her/his own choice based on the individual enlightenment.
Nevertheless, it is important for those who would like to deepen learning in life through tea to face her/his own self and asks the following question, which is more important?
The complex procedures in tea ceremony?
The pure quality, authentic flavors and tastes of tea?
The mind set and intention of the present moment?
or, is it about how to embed heart in tea?
or, understand how the flavours and taste reflect in tea is heart?
Mei Lan Hsiao, Antwerp/Belgium,  26/11/2018


No man or no power can ever turn the last second backwards, so as to history.

The past pages have already passed, there is no way to redo, just like nothing can turn the wind backwards, river water flows can never reflow.  No matter what kind of feeling you have,  love, complaints, joy, sorrow or hate will disappear.

Fate comes and there will be a day for disappearing;

the circle of relationship is formed and there are reasons for its broken up;

the rise and fall of fate is just like sun rise and sun set.

It is like a cup of cold tea, it can be warmed up but cann’t retrieve the fine flavors and taste, moments of having fun with friends have already gone that cann’t be recalled.  All became memories.

There are plenty priceless learnings from the history when we are willing to learn with an opened mind.  Want to profit from those learnings can be easy, all we need to is to learn facing history honestly, learn to accept with an innocent and joyful heart, able to adhere to continuous learning without complaints, no anger, no guilt or hate. Learn to respect from heart and able to get rid of greediness, keep head down and focus, the light of wisdom would shine without asking.

Asking why won’t help, why not simply learn to accept and adapt to the change?

When consciously aware the rising of distinguishing mind, it’s time to enhance the self-discipline.

“Hand of Peace” in Antwerp

All major European cities or harbors like to claim themselves as “the center of Europe”, but center can only be one, so where is the true center in Europe exactly?  As matter of fact,  that was my question when prepared the market competitiveness analysis during the time I worked as Executive Director for the state of Bremen/Bremerhaven before I moved to Belgium in 1991. It’s said a photo speaks better than thousands of word, the answer for this question is clear from the following photo, because the heart for trade and investment in Europe requires well structured, convenient and efficient transportation networks  by sea/land/river for the distribution of goods from one point to other European destinations in 360 degree radiation range:

27/09/2018 was a proud day for Chinese and all Antwerpenaars when international diplomates got together in  “Palace on the Meir”, a protected monument built in the 17th century, to witness the signing of MoU (the Memorandum (memorandum of understanding) by FEMOZA, Diplomatic World and EFTCC for the Diamond Silk Road train connection project.

It is also the day when Chinese sculptor, YAN ShuFen’s outstanding sculpture based on the symbol of hand and pigeon available to the public in the Antwerp Central Station. The Antwerp Central Station is known as the most beautiful station in the world, built in 1898 and finished in 1905. ShuFen’s sculpture “Hand of Peace” will be first displayed in Antwerp for one year and then tour to Shanghai and then return to her permeant home in Antwerp.

Hand is a city symbol of Antwerp that has an amazing legendary story of why our beautiful city was named as “Antwerp (Antwerpen)”. The symbol of Antwerp Hand stands for FREEDOM, EQUALITY, LOVE, OPENNESS and FRIENDSHIP, these are what Antwerp standing for hundreds of year in Europe. The symbol of pigeon, as we know,  of course, stands for universal beliefs in PEACE and HARMONY.

The combination of these two symbols in one unique art work spells for hopes not only for economic, trade and industrial links, mostly it means to fulfill hopes and dreams of people from different cultures and nations to cooperate alone the modern Silk Road train connections in the One Belt One Road project.

In the inauguration ceremony, it is very interesting what Mr. Ludo Van Campenhout, the Alderman of Antwerp City, mentioned in his speech that Antwerp has played an important role in the tea trade from China to Europe since 1720’s.


Tea trade since the first Grand Silk Road in the East-Han Dynasty (25 – 220 A.D.) via land connected people and culture through trading;  The route connected East with West stretched futher from land to sea via the Maritime Silk Road.  Series of treasure voyages (1405 – 1433) lead by Admiral Zheng He in Ming Dynasty further lead to the connection from China all the way to Europe (to Antwerp) directly.

Here I would also like to highlight another tea trade route that  has almost dust sealed in history which was the Sino-Russia Tea Trade Route.  Traders  brought tea from Wuyi to Hankou (Wuhan, Hubei), then continue the journey through safari by camel to Russia. That Sino-Russia tea trade route brought Chinese tea to Russia via the Mongolian Plateau and the Siberian hinterland that spreaded tea seeds in different cultures alone the way.

Tea trees grow slowly, so as to the integration of tea culture in human history; once tea seeds were embedded, another page of exciting story  of tea culture began. The taller tea grees grow, the deeper roots go.

That Sino-Russia Tea Trade Route definitely played an important role to bring tea seeds from Russia to Europe; tea drinking culture quietly integrated in East European cultures in the 18th to the 20th century. The Sino-Russia Tea Trade route completed a pocket for tea trade and cultural influence from China to Europe with the Maritime Silk Road.

Image result for tea trade to Europe

These significant historical Silk Roads plus tea trade routes built in the past over 2 century were able to stimulate the trade of Chinese tea from China to Central Asia then extended to Europe.  Whether it’s by land or sea, what those trade routes were able to achieve not only significant economic growth through the exchange of merchants, they connected people across nations, overcome cultural hedges of languages and religions; most importantly,  tea seeds were embedded and integrated in different cultures, a new tea culture was created in the world today.ZhengHeShips.gif

Tea is more than just a cup of delicious healthy drink, it reflects how we can live with peace and harmony in a collective society.  When examining the tea history in the past >3000 years, the rising curve matched with the improvement of common wealth, the national strength and culture development in China history.  The Chinese historical learning curve enhances our hope for a better future in the time of change today.

The undergoing modern Silk Road train connections is based on the One Belt One Road project will not only stimulate the growth of trade between East and West.  The modern rail way engineering technologies and networks could broaden its impacts on economic, political and cultural exchange.  The Diamond Silk Road train connections from Shanghai to Antwerp will boost the economic growth through trade across continents from the North Sea to Pacific and will further enhance the understanding and connections of people, especially the future generations and cultures, to shortern the distance between Europe, Africa, Central Asia and China.  The Diamond Silk Road aims to stimulate the free trade development across continents, mostly hope it will bring the vase diversity to become a better collective continent for PEACE, HOPE, HARMONY and PROSPERITY.

Certainly we hope the train connections can more efffectively deepen the connection of cultures, not only for tea trade but can enrich the connection of people across cultural barriers, stimulate the humanitarian communication and respect through a cup of tea.

Image result for tea culture

When China President Xi Jinping first mentioned the concept of the One Belt One Road to build the “Silk Road economy together” during his visit to Kazakhstan in September 2013, at the first many thought it was just a political slogan and there were many doubts about its feasibility. With the serious investments, agreements and railways structures, more and more nations realized “One Belt One Road”  is not a slogan but a real deal, economically and politically. More and more nations want to join tge train of prosperity.  Even though the cloud of suspicious, questions, even worries are not yet completely removed today, but obstacles are removing aside gradually, because the benefits of mutual economic growth are hard to ignore.

As we can imagine there are still many challenges are slying ahead before this gigantic One Belt One Road project;  there are still plenty political, train network engineering, customs clearance, border control issues should be overcome through complex negotiations.  However, the hopeful sphere is enriching everyday and hopefully we can celebrate a bigger ceremony for the inauguration of Diamond Silk Road train connections between Antwerp and Shanghai soon.

#hope #peace #harmony #prosperity #handofpeace #antwerp #antwerpen #antwerpcentralstation #belgium #chineseteacentre #chineseteaculture #silkroad #onebeltoneroad #diamondsilkroad #culturaldiversity #allinone #oneforall #euasia #connectingpeople #universalvalues #humane

copyrighted of Mei Lan Hsiao, founder of Belgium Chinese Tea Culture Association on 28/09/2018,  Linkeroever, Antwerp, Belgium

Page 2 of 11

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén

Skip to toolbar