Belgium Chinese Tea Arts Centre

Authentic & Pure Quality Tea

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Danger of excessive consume tea per dag

The local TV, VTM, replayed a real medical program – De Kliniek tonight, in the program there was a mid-age woman who suffered the bone pain and was worrying for bone cancer.

The blood test result was surprisingly confirmed she has no cancer, but the source of the problem is because of her tea drinking habit – she liked strong tea and consumed 50 to 60 tea bags per day.

I was stunned when she told the doctor about her ‘healthy life style’ that she ‘loved’ tea.  The doctor was shocked when she explained how much she ‘loves’ the strong tea by using 8-10 tea bag per “cup” for nearly 10 minutes. I was shocked and wonder how could she drink such thing. Actually it makes me sick when I think about the tea that she had in her cup already.

A similar case was posted a year or two ago. A woman in the UK died from drinking excessive amounts of the cheap bagged tea.

The diagnosis revealed the problems in two folds: ⋯⋯
1. The quality used for tea bag is either BOP or dust, in one word “cheap quality”
2. The danger of drinking very strong tea for a long period of time.

Tea is a very healthy drink, but excessive consumption could cause more problems than can be anticipated.

Tea actually is a very economical drink, but if you calculated the cost of 50-60 tea bag per day, I am afraid her daily tea cost more than the 3g of fine tea that I normally like to drink.

Tea provides, tea does not speak unless one is willing to listen. So who or which to blame for this problem? Certainly the problem is not coming from tea itself, this is the case how people misuse the tea.

Tea does not hold the key for your health, it is up to you to manage the life style yourself.

Our Commitments

dav

I have been doing my best to promote tea and Chinese tea culture in Belgium since 1995, I can’t complain and say that I haven’t achieved a lot, because my efforts were noticed by the local government that I could have opportunities to participate intercultural activities organized by them; also my intention to promote the old traditional Chinese tea culture that we preserved in Taiwan has been recognized by the Taipei Office in Belgium and EU.  My migration story is kept in the Red Star Line Museum.  Currently I have a “Tea Talk” column on the local Chinese newspaper and I am posting my daily learning on my blog so I can leave something behind about my learning journey…. I am doing everything as much as I can.

Frankly speaking, I have indeed thought about having a tea shop, but it has been very difficult to find someone who actually shares the same values and passion for tea.  For me, tea is more than a business but it’s a social as well as cultural ethnic responsibility to promote pure and authentic quality tea.   I am too trying to find the right solutions to promote quality tea via internet, for example a webshop.  With limited of resource under the current low economic curve environment, it is important for me to be realistic of finding some pragmatic online marketing approach that can maximize the return of investment.  And, it is another challenging learning ahead.

Continued learning has always been the primary attitude that I have for every job in the past, certainly it has even higher demands in tea and Chinese tea culture. So I have to manage different planning for marketing, culture promotion activities;  cooperation with local partners and tea farmers/makers in China and Taiwan; carefully update the quality evaluation and constantly practice of Chinese tea ceremony in order to deepen the understanding the essence in our culture. Not to forget to manage the office administration and household…..In short, I am a crazy woman who is devoted to tea and Chinese tea culture; I am a story teller for tea.  Sometime I feel tire, frustration and even stress, but I only give in for few minutes, after having a cup of tea, keep my head up and continue my efforts again.

Few days ago, a friend asked “Can I buy Taiwanese tea from you?” I replied “Of course”. But somehow I would feel more relax if people could have an opportunity to taste the tea, know more about the tea that s/he would like to purchase and know how to brew tea at home afterwards.   Because I truly believe my responsibilities are not limited to sell or to promote tea, but are helping people to have better understanding about tea, knowing how to brew tea correctly so s/he can enjoy the benefits from tea in their daily life.  Tea and Chinese tea culture are not just a simple business model that standard calculation of ROI, but it is something I must take the social and cultural responsibilities seriously.

That’s why some of my friends joked and said I am just like a prodigal girl who spends a lot of money on quality tea and tries to promote the Chinese tea culture without considering the profit gaining in Europe.  But for me, this is something that I can do and I think I should do my best.  When following my heart and doing my best, I am not just promoting quality tea and Chinese tea culture, but also it gives me a chance to know myself better that I can indirectly reciprocate the upbringing from my parents.  Also I hope I can establish a good example for my children.

Belgium Chinese Tea Arts Centre in an unique center for tea and Chinese tea culture, we offer tea lovers :

  • A home-like comfortable and cozy environment where people can taste various fine quality tea and enjoy reading
  • A calm and serene space for individual and/or small group of people to learn tea and Chinese tea ceremony
  • A reliable tea room where you can purchase the pure and authentic quality tea from Taiwan and China

Reservation in advance is needed.  For more information please contact Mei Lan Hsiao via email: info@chinesetea.be  or telephone +32494506899

There is ONLY ONE planet

We can think and talk a lot about the importance of enlightenment or finding Tao in life, we can talk about how important it is to live in ecological way or what kind of benefits we can get from mediation and/or relaxation…… Yes, we can talk a lot of wisdom and to share many clever ideas, but at end it all goes back to a simple question of are we really managing our daily life by  respecting the ecology in the nature balance and harmony?

An astonishing film that urges us to rethink our life style. Please share it with your family and friends.  We can be different in many aspects but we share the same planet and life together.  It’s not yet too late for us to wake up and cooperate with each other to save the planet not only for ourselves but for our children and generations after that by taking actions together .

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-86806fxJ8

We are the one who are killing the planet, how can we deny our responsibilities further? Indeed talking is important, please spread the message and let’s live by example. Give our future a chance.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cs2YSxxGmo8

Learning in Life

Life can be simple and yet it is much more complex than what we could imaging when we were young and confident. At the first, we thought we knew everything and we were ready for all challenges, then the life gave us priceless lessons, some are good and some are painful, that we probably only knew some dots that we thought we know but without the full picture.

The clock is clicking, soon we realize we can not stop the time in life, but we can decide how to live by accepting and tolerating。

We can not redo what have already passed just like we can not rewarm he flavors and tastes of tea when the tea gets old. Fine quality tea offers fine natueal and complex flavours and tastes, it is better to enjoy it in time when still is warm。Because you can never have the same flavours and tastes after it gets old。

In life, we want plenty but actually what we really need are few. We probably have many acquaintances but only few friends.

Understanding from others are not something you can expect without efforts from self。

Respect is not what you can demand without showing respect to others and self first。 Respect is not something you can demand but have to think how to win without impulsiveness.

Inner peace is a process that one must learns how to manage him/herself from within。

The life journey is as brewing a cup of tea, there are many possibilities that each has to learn how to manage through life-time learning.

Change of pH and TDS

Evaluated the chage in pH and TDS in water from beore boiling and the chage with the green tea brewing.

Water selection: Lifialla, untreated mineral water from Iceland. Even though the pH level according to their brocure is about 8.2, but actural testing showed 7.8. The TDS according to the meter is between 49-50ppm.

First boiled the water, and took some sample for measurement when cooled down.

Added some fresh mineral water to the pot, to bring tge temperature down to 80℃ and brew Chinese green tea, #LungJing.

Tea :Water 1g:50ml

Water temperature : 80℃

Steeping time: 30sec plus 1minute

Here is measurement of green tea

Forever Young in Heart

When I was young, I couldn’t wait to grow up.

Sharing is a way of moving forwards

Before 30, never thought or worried about age, I was so confident and playful that I forgot about time.

In the late 20, I wanted to stay on 20 longer and thought I still have plenty of time, I did not worry too much because I was so occupied by many other things about work, relationship and preconceived self. I forgot about taking time easily until one day I stood on the cross road and asked what have I done in life, who was I and what did I want in life. My first awakening happened in time that I found my way in tea, the practice of Daoyin Qigong for health and inner peace.

In the late 30, all in sudden, I realised the time pressure. psychological pressures started to mount up, the risk of stress rose; the only thing I thought what I could do was to continue my life as in the 30, I thought could gain time by accepting and tolering. Of course, I was wrong because nothing could stop the clicking of clock,not in the past, now or future.

Life is like a boat journey, don’t ask why you’re on board, because you are already on. The when is not upto our choice, but the key of what and how is on our hands that we have to learn how to manage it ourselves.

Soon stepped into 50 from 49, I realized I couldn’t stop the time and the youth was flying out through windows that I forgot to close in time. I hoped I could stay forever young, ignored menopause crisis; but of course nothing could stop the clock. I started to think and worry about the time and fun that I lost and hoped to stay young longer. But I didn’t know who could I talk to, so I became more silent and submissive. Hopefully the emptiness and pain would go away. Of course, they didn’t.

The bitter betray and chaotic change that my ex-husband (father of my children) forced me through were like iced cubes over my head. I lost the family that I have dreamed about, I lost everything, luckily I and children were protected under Belgian laws. I was alone, I have no family to turn to and I didn’t know who to trust; I was forced to stop my carrier because of the responsibilities for two young boys. Despite all those unthinkable chaos and pain, I found myself back. When it seemed I was abandoned by the world, I realized “ I can’t change others, but I can change myself”. Others can fail me, can deny me, but I have to do my best to be myself and I can’t forget who I am and may not deny myself, simply because I am daughter of General Hsiao Li-Guay. I found so much strengths from the Chinese traditional moral teachings that I was fortunately inherited since childhood, I was enlightened by the wisdom of Chinese Buddhism, Daoism and saw the beauty of implementing the practices of Confusius teachings in life through tea, Chinese tea ceremony and Daoyin Qigong. This time I refuse to be submissive without trying best with a peaceful mind and devoted actions.

When one door is closed, another one is opened. Life goes on and on.

Once said goodbye to the 50, started the number with 6, I realized I couldn’t stop the time, regrets won’t help. I reborn from heart. Everyday from heart I appreciate the time that I gain, I am doing my best for myself through tea without asking why.

My life as tea and tea is as my life. I don’t live for tea, because I am tea, tea is in me.

Indeed I can’t stay as young as before, so what. Because I can keep the young in heart forever, and I am trying best everyday.

My health, my choice; my life, I live with gratitude.

Water to Tea Flavors & Taste

Water as Mother to Tea; Teaware as Father to Tea

Nearly 25 years ago, I met a good friend of mine in Taipei, Olga, who then just returned from Hangzhou and bought back some Xihu Long Jing. When we had a cup of tea in the tea room, she complained the flavors and tastes of Long Jing she bought were not same as the one she drank in Hangzhou, she thought she has been cheated by the tea shop. I explained to her, the chance she was cheated is small, especially when she bought it on spot where it was freshly made. I briefly explained the reason she felt differently was because of Water.

Water used for tea brewing does influence the color, flavors and taste of tea greatly. The first factors we should check are pH and TDS,

  • First of all, the pH and hardness of water from the water source in Taipei is different from Hangzhou
  • The average pH of our body is between 7.35 – 7.45, therefore the most suitable pH of tea liquor should be as close as to the pH level as in our body.
    • When the pH is lower than 7.0 : Basically the water is more towards to acidic instead of base. Even though the flavor of tea is fine and soft and the color is brighter, but the taste tends to be more flat and weak
    • When the pH is between 7.0 – 7.5 : The tea flavors are more full, the color is more brilliant, the tea liquor is more fine and soft; more able to bring out a good balance in flavors, color and tastes
    • When the pH is between 7.5 – 8.0 : It would weaken the flavor notes, the texture of water is more rough that darken the color of tea liquor. Even though it could present in more full body in taste but sometimes could increase the risk of imbalance in taste.
    • When the pH is higher than 8.0 : The taste of tea is more flat, dull and tasteless; and darken the color of tea liquor.
  • Besides checking the pH, we should also consider the influence from TDS (Tax Deducted at Source) value. TDS values represents the amount of dissolved impurities in water (ppm) , which indicates how many milligrams of total dissolved solids are dissolved in 1 liter of water (mg/l). Normally you can find such index on the water bottle package. The content of dissolves, such as Calcium, Magnesium, Ions, Colloids, Proteins, colloids could make a significant influence to the color, flavors and taste of tea as well.
    • the larger TDS value, the greater the impurity content in the water and vice versa. The value should be suitable for human body’s absorption, suggest to avoid either too high or too low.
    • The WHO suggests less than 50mg/l. But the standard is varied in different countries, i.e. 0-50mg/l in the US standards, 0-70mg/l in the EU standards. Basically speaking 100 or less can be accepted.
    • Some water filter system can reduce the TDS to Zero while maintain the neutral pH values, even though the taste of astringency is less, the color of tea liquor is brighter, however, it also weakens the fullness in flavors and tastes that we expect from certain teas.

The above data can give us a guideline when choose mineral water, but still is not the absolute factor. Years ago in a tea event which was sponsored by a very well-known mineral water company. The pH is <6.0 and the TDS is also very low. When I used that water to brew Taiwan Gaoshan Oolong in the first evening, even though the color was nice (bright and transparent), but the flavors and taste of my Taiwan Oolong were flat, dull and tasteless. So quickly I changed the water for the next day by mixing that expensive mineral water with the tap water from Brussels, then my Oolong was alive and tasty. Recently I tasted the natural untreated mineral water from Iceland, Lifjalla, the pH is between 8.2-8.5 and the TDS 9.4mg/l. The natural taste of that water is sweet, and it matches perfectly well with traditional Oolong, black tea, dark tea and Pu’erh with the representation of full body in flavors and taste, and the color is brilliant and transparent.

Therefore selecting the right water is important for tea. However, there are other factors could also influence the flavors and tastes of tea, i.e.

  • The conditions of water pipeline would make a great difference to the quality of water from the tap.
  • The temperature and humidity in the tasting room would also influence the flavors and tastes, suggested room temperature between 15-27°C and humidity around 70%.
  • Even the light, the quality of air, air flow, colors in the tea tasting room should take into consideration.

Making a cup of tea is easy, but there are many fundamental factors could influence the flavors and taste of the tea that you would like to enjoy. Small details require great attention.

Requirements for Beautiful Tea

Any beautiful cup of tea requires:

  1. Well balance in the Eco-environment
  2. Well match with the climate conditions
  3. Beautiful and skillful people who are devoted to ensure the quality in production, starting from tea picking and then each step in the tea production
  4. Well identified and selected quality
  5. Well matching water, including pH, hardness and temperature
  6. Well matching tea ware

Last but at least, a beautiful and peaceful mind, attitude from heart and willingness to listen, to sense and to learn.

Respect Privacy & Copyrights

Dear all,

In this cyber-world and social media on internet today, learning what and how to respect copy rights and privacy are must learning.

Here I repeat again that I do not give Facebook or any one who I connected or associated on Facebook the permission to use my photos, information, text or posts, from past, now and future.

PRIVACY LAWS

Based on The General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679 (GDPR) A data controller must provide, upon request, an overview of the categories of data that are being processed (Article 15(1)(b)) as well as a copy of the actual data (Article 15(3)). Furthermore, the data controller has to inform the data subject on details about the processing, such as the purposes of the processing (Article 15(1)(a)), with whom the data is shared (Article 15(1)(c)), and how it acquired the data (Article 15). Profile definitely should be treated as private and confidential.

Besides the definitions as a criminal offence according to national law following Article 83 GDPR the following sanctions can be imposed:

  • a warning in writing in cases of first and non-intentional noncompliance
  • regular periodic data protection audits
  • a fine up to €10 million or up to 2% of the annual worldwide turnover of the preceding financial year in case of an enterprise, whichever is greater, if there has been an infringement of the following provisions: (Article 83, Paragraph 4)
    • the obligations of the controller and the processor pursuant to Articles 8, 11, 25 to 39, and 42 and 43
    • the obligations of the certification body pursuant to Articles 42 and 43
    • the obligations of the monitoring body pursuant to Article 41(4)
  • a fine up to €20 million or up to 4% of the annual worldwide turnover of the preceding financial year in case of an enterprise, whichever is greater, if there has been an infringement of the following provisions: (Article 83, Paragraph 5 & 6)
    • the basic principles for processing, including conditions for consent, pursuant to Articles 5, 6, 7, and 9
    • the data subjects’ rights pursuant to Articles 12 to 22
    • the transfers of personal data to a recipient in a third country or an international organisation pursuant to Articles 44 to 49
    • any obligations pursuant to member state law adopted under Chapter IX
    • noncompliance with an order or a temporary or definitive limitation on processing or the suspension of data flows by the supervisory authority pursuant to Article 58(2) or failure to provide access in violation of Article 58(1)

COPYRIGHT PROTECTION LAWS

The following rights are protected by European Union law:

  • Right of reproduction for authors, performers, producers of phonograms and films and broadcasting organisations
  • Right of communication to the public for authors, performers, producers of phonograms and films and broadcasting organisations
  • Right of distribution for authors and for performers, producers of phonograms and films and broadcasting organisations
  • Right of fixation for performers and broadcasting organisations
  • Right of rental and/or lending for authors, performers, producers of phonograms and films,with an associated right of equitable remuneration for lending and/or rental for authors and performers
  • Right of broadcasting for performers, producers of phonograms and broadcasting organisations
  • Right of communication to the public by satellite and cable for authors, performers, producers of phonograms and broadcasting organisations
  • Right of computer program reproduction, distribution and rental for authors

In case you want to use my photos, text or articles, please do first contact me for permission in writing in advance.

In case, by accident I used yours which you do not want me to show it on FB or Instagram or my blog, please do let me know. I will take it off immediately.

在這網絡與社交平台快速成長的時代, 尊重智慧財產權, 影像權與隱私勢必要學習的課程. 

在此我再三重覆, 未經本人書面許可, 不管是再臉書或是 Instagram 或是網域皆無權利用拷貝, 儲存, 或是使用我的資料, 含文字, 照片影像,與文字資料. 

個人資料絕對牽涉個忍隱私與專屬權. 任何惡意使用將被受”違法處置”. 

如果你想轉發或是使用我過去, 今天與未來的文字或是照片與影像請與本人聯絡. 待獲得本人書面同意之後方可行之. 

若是過去我不慎有使用你的照片或是文字資料, 請告知. 我會立刻刪除處理.

海外推广优质茶的挑战

自1995年至今国外的茶市场确实在缓慢成长, 然而市场依然是被加了香精或是使用精油的加味茶为主. 市场在成长, 虽然加味茶的佔有率与成长率更大更快, 但是我确实也观察到对优质茶的需求也在开放成长之中.速度虽然慢, 但是成长的曲线是存在的,对进口商来讲他们以利润优先,压低购买价,低价出售,求量为主,但是对逐渐在成长的茶饮爱好者他们关心的是健康, 长见的问题在 ”又要马儿好又要马儿不吃草“的现实品牌建立, 如何立信与持续经营的战略挑战。

但是若是对基本品质没有基本瞭解的情况之下,可以想像,消费者很容易被误导。因为许多消费者仍然无法分辨纯真的茶香以及加了香精香料茶之间的差异性。

拿一个臺湾的金萱乌龙来说,一个对”乳” (ㄖㄨ三声) 字拼音的误会造就了以为加了牛乳(ㄋㄞ   三声) 香料浓郁的“牛奶乌龙”就是最好品质的乌龙。这只是一例。也曾接触许多国内的饮茶人误以为伯爵红茶比国内的红茶好,而不知那是加了香精的红茶。诚实标示产品内含物是一个法律与道德的问题。

前阵子在看一本国外的花草茶书籍时,虽然那位英国作者是专精精油, 然而在书中有也提到慎用精油的必要,在书中作者有提到这些年有许多好动儿 (ADHD, ADD) 的产生似乎与食物与饮料中使用香精与长期过量食/饮用有相当的关联.但是书中并未提到国 外哪些单位或是专家有做这方便的研究。

不知国内有没有哪一个单位有对香精或精油食用长期对人体健康的影响的研究报告? 因为这类研究报告会对在国外推广中国精品优质纯茶突破价格瓶颈会很有帮助。

这麽多年来不是没有想到到国内参加茶艺师或茶评审的考证, 一来是不知有哪些严谨的单位在哪时有办类似课, 二来我对市间那些课程是真的有扎实的学术基础不是很清楚。 与其因渴望学习而被误入丛林不如谨慎行之, 所以我选择漫长的不断的品比, 自省与自修方式深入学习. 更重要的关节点是,我所面对的市场是国外而不是国内. 所以国内的证书对我来说虽然是很有吸引力, 那可以验证我的我对茶的知识与能力水平的肯定, 但是这些证书在国外没有相对应的教育单位会认同, 所以也没有绝对必要性与紧急度。

目前在国外确实有一些人与个人办的茶课, 绝大多数是短期, 拿了一份 Tea Sommelier 的证书却依然无法分辨纯茶与加味茶的区别, 因为有许多是以低挡次或是加味茶为学习标的物。 所以几年前我决定在我协会的架构下成立中华茶学院, 就以中国精品质优纯茶为根本. 对在国外推广中国精品茶的我, 认为更重要的是能有正确的资讯, 正确的态度与方法学习茶与分享茶知识。

多年前我也曾跟范老师坦白表达, 我很感激与尊重他们80年代在台湾一些爱茶与珍惜茶文化的前辈为復兴中华茶文化所做的传承的投入与努力, 因为他们给我们树立了一个很好的榜样。然而当时他们为了能想把中华茶文化的传承与日本茶文化的差异做区隔 ( 因为日本已经成功的把”茶道 Cha Dao”两字植入外国人的认知) 所以创建了”茶艺Tea Art”二字, 而这”茶艺”二字也间接的造就了今日茶艺界的乱象。 反观这三十多年来中国传统茶文化由台湾再回故地復甦与发芽, 似乎造就了市场更努力的在茶艺两字上营造文化市场. 优美的服饰, 漂亮花俏的泡茶姿势, 其中又有多少与茶有关呢?

为什麽我们的茶艺虽好看却不入人心? 麽这麽多年来在国外甚至经常有外国人问我 “啊, 你们中国也有茶文化?” 没错, 这些年来到中国旅游或是公干的人数有增加, 但是还有更多的人是对我们中国或是不了解或是带有有色眼镜来评断我们.  这些挑战激励我自1995年开始就时时刻刻提醒自己要警惕必须严格面对与处理的挑战。

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