Where do I start with this blog post?! So much to talk about after a brilliant session at The Four Seasons after being invited to the Jing Tea Master launch.
On arrival I was given a cold brew Phoenix Honey Orchid Oolong. I’ve never had a cold brew before but it was deliciously refreshing and after discussing how it is done – I’ll be testing it at home and letting you know how it goes!
Then founder, Edward Eisler gave a little talk about the new Tea Master. It is a modern take on a gaiwan, used in traditional Chinese ‘gong fu cha’ tea ceremonies. However the typical gaiwan can be tricky to use if you are new to the ‘original teapot’ (like me) as it can be hard to pour and can burn delicate finger tips!
While it looks pure and simple it was actually a tricky product to design according to Creative Manager David Hepburn. Due to the double walled pocelain (keeping the tea hot and hands cool) it was very tricky to make a mould that didn’t break the porcelain when being removed – so it is a balance of good looking shape and minimal mould resistance! But the result is a smooth, practical design that is a good alternative to the teapot if you want to take time over your tea and make it a moment to enjoy and celebrate. (The spout is also designed not to drip – oh joy!)
So then it got REALLY good…as we were invited to move around the room to try the various teas. First up was a Taiwanese Ali Shan Oolong. The curled leaves opened up large and dark green and produced a light, fresh tea that was just as nice after a second infusion (you can do up to three with the same batch.)
On the other side of the room was David, serving up Dragon Well Gold West Lake 2015. This is top stuff – and at £10.50 for one bag, you won’t be surprised if I tell you it was damn good! Picked on April 9th (yes that exact date) you smell its freshness even before you taste the roasted chestnut, grassy notes and silky texture.
What could beat that? Well nothing actually, but the Traditional Iron Buddha Supreme
Oolong Tea was pretty tasty in itself – and could be brewed up to 5 times so I continued to enjoy the sweetness of this oolong.
While tasting teas, the Four Seasons’ staff served tasters from Amaranto’s Traditional Afternoon Tea. What a treat! Sandwiches and pastries which were all super tasty, but the Chocolate and Raspberry Macaron really hit the spot, wow it was good.
I’m learning about Far Eastern teas and this was a great taster session and inspiring introduction. It opened my eyes to the various teas out there and how they are prepared and served.
A thoroughly enjoyable afternoon which left me enlightened and tea-fuelled!