I love Asian tea, I drink copious amounts of it and anytime that I’m in HK or China I’m always making sure I seek out a good tea house to stock up on new and exotic teas. My favourite teas to have at home are ginseng oolong or ti kuan yin with osmanthus flowers; and I have proper tea sets at home including my red clay (zhusha) teapot that I use on special occasions.
But at work, I only have a small selection of teas – mainly because I find it messy to drink without a strainer, and unauthentic to drink with one. What a dilemma!
But all of that is set to change! I have a new Beehouse teapot from the Japanese maker, Zero. It is perfect for the workplace – with its stainless steel strainer insert that keeps those little bits of tea leaves in the pot and not in your mouth. It takes a tea like genmaicha, the Japanese green tea with roasted rice kernals and popcorn for you to appreciate this teapot. It takes an experience like sitting in a meeting extracting twigs that have made their way into your mouth whilst the sales director sits opposite you staring at you with a perplexed look on his face and possibly wondering whether you eat handfuls of bark and twigs in your spare time, to appreciate this teapot.
It’s not new to the market, and I’m sure there are similar designs out there but check out the rainbow of colours available. I settled on sky blue but desperately want the mango and aqua mist colours too. Besides – it’s Japanese and it’s cute so I had to have it.
I saw this teapot in Bayswiss for $60, on Everten for about $45 incl shipping (the most variety in colours) but I ended up buying mine online from Pulp Kitchen’s online site for about $38 (less colour variety than Everten). Although, they’ve mysteriously increased the price of my teapot since then.
Try the different teas available at yum cha!
As a final note for the uninitiated tea drinkers, try the tea selection at your local yum cha. They’re bound to have at least 10 different teas, but will usually offer Westerners the stock standard Jasmine tea. It’s not a racist or discriminatory thing it’s just that the teas all have strange names and are difficult to explain, especially if the waiter has poor English skills. I’ll do a special tea post exploring the standard teas available at yum cha sometime in the future, but for now, try my favourite tea at yum cha: pu erh and chrysanthemum flowers otherwise known as gook bo cha (this is in Cantonese phonetics which literally comprise the words “gook” or chrysanthemum, “bo” or “pu” in Manderin from pu erh red tea and “cha” which means tea). I find the taste is strong enough to cut through the often strong flavours you’ll encounter at yum cha as green tea often ends up tasting like hot water.