文 By: 許玉蓮 Hooi Yoke Lien
We all agree that a cup of fragrant and flavourful tea is gratifying any time of the day, be it a thirst-quencher or a refresher. But is there a way we can get the most out of each and every cuppa throughout the day? In this issue, we are looking into ideal ways in which tea can be taken – anytime, anywhere –to the uttermost satisfaction of the drinker.
For a lot of us, tea drinking begins at home. This could not be more familiar – every day, a small amount of tea leaves is added to a big teapot. Hot water is poured in and the tea leaves are left there steeping, making the tea infusion available all the time. This is the heartiest way for everyone in the family to have tea; its refreshing lightness is especially pleasing. Another advantage is, it can be served to occasional guests without hassle. The tea would probably be finished by the afternoon; there is no need to refill it with hot water.
After dinner, family time can be enjoyed with a round of tea over half an hour. Gather family members together at the living room. Bring out the tea set and serve tea the more formal way using ‘the small pot brewing’ method. Encourage children to prepare for tea and serve the family members.
Circumstances allowed, business organizations may set up a ‘tea room’ in the office. Prepare three types of tea utensils for different occasions. The first calls for some mugs and tea bags – this will be great for a fuss-free morning beverage where all you need is to pour hot water into the mug. Meanwhile, encourage unhurried enjoyment of tea by having some lidded cups ready for meetings or guests -- steep a pinch of tealeaves in hot water, which can be refilled where necessary. A complete tea service for ‘the small pot brewing’ can be laid out on the table instead of being put away in the cupboard – this way, everyone can gather around the table for a relaxing beverage after lunch, before feeling recharged for the afternoon.
For students and people on the go, their family members may keep some freshly-brewed tea in suitable thermal flasks before they leave for school or work each day. . This way, they get to drink tea anytime, anywhere. For people with a hectic schedule, give yourself a treat by taking time to brew some choice tea with a good pot over the weekend and in the afternoon on off-duty days. For families who can afford the time, have green tea in the morning, puer in the afternoon and aged crag tea in the evening – this is a sure way to fill your days with fragrance and flavour.
Tea drinking is a very enriching experience, given its appeal to our five senses of touch, sight, smell, taste and hearing. On the intellectual level, our cup of tea is a demonstration of the knowledge in processing and brewing. On the emotional level, the tea ware, infusion and technique open up a world of beauty. The more we are touched by this experience, the more we will realize what wonders our life has to offer.