As some of you may be aware, I am a small/slight/massive fan of coffee. While I limit myself to only one cup per day (otherwise things may get out of hand and we would have a speaking-so-fast-high-pitched-leprechaun-sounding-Hannah on our hands), the ritual and pleasure out of this one cup is amazing.

Hence it may come as a slight surprise that I also am a big lover of tea. Slightly Australian in that I do like to start my day off with a freshly brewed pot of Bushells premium black label while reading The Age epicure. Absolute heaven.

A few weeks ago I received a deal for a Chinese tea ceremony at Quali-T Teahouse on Chapel st, South Yarra. Not only do you get to pick at least 3 different types of tea, you get a guided tea tasting ceremony and snacks. Winner winner chicken dinner. Or perhaps I should say chow mein.

Using it as a great excuse to catch up with a bestie, Monday night saw Emma and I sitting at a carved oak wooden table with our host Nicole.

Emma and Han enjoying Chairman Mao’s favourite tea

After working our way through an extensive tea menu, we settled upon a silver-tipped yellow tea (chairman Mai’s favourite), a jasmine pearl green tea, and a peura raw tea (amazing health benefits including weight loss!).

We were taken on a journey through Chinese culture and tradition, including:
  •  How different teas are brewed in either glass, ceramic, or clay according to theirs properties; work you way across according as you increase the level of fermentation.
  • How one tea grows out of rocks and hence has a very high mineral content. This tea cured an emperors mum after all else had failed
  • How a three-legged frog will bring good fortune and finances if facing the right way and is continually included in the ceremony through pouring tea over it; naturally we formed a connection and I named ours Eileen…

Lucky Frog (AKA (above-the-knee) my new friend Eileen)

I think sometimes we can forget how cultural traditions help bring societies together, strengthen out bonds with each other, and provide those meaningful connections that are getting lost in our busy lives.

I also believe that learning about other cultures helps elicit out curiosity, and we can gain appreciation of how other people live their lives.

So if you are looking for something a bit different and special, why not head down to Quali-T Teahouse and participate in a tea tasting ceremony.

Or, have your own afternoon tea ceremony with some friends – make it special by using some beautiful crockery such as those found at Candoo.

Until next time,
Ride safe, ride with a smile, ride in the moment