Hong Kong: Ming Cha Tea Tasting Experience
One of a Kind Experience
One of the most special experiences I have ever had was being able to have a 1 on 1 tea tasting with the master herself Vivian Mak. Not only did this woman teach me all about the art of tea, she gave me some deep words of wisdom that I carry with me to this day.
Brewing The Tea
A perfect sip of tea begins with the perfect brew. We first want to make sure that the temperature of the cup is as hot as possible so that the tea remains hot when you pour. This can be done by pouring boiling water in the cup and dumping it out about 2-3 times. Now you can place a portion of the tea leaves in the cup and pour boiling water in a circular type motion. Almost as if causing waves inside the cup as you pour the water. Then we cover the cup with a lid for 2 minutes while we wait for the tea leaves to release their flavor.
Sip, Sip, Slurp
The best way to taste the flavors of the tea is to slurp it. By slurping it you expose your taste buds to flavors that the front of your tongue, versus the back of your tongue, are more sensitive too. This means that the same brew of tea can be bitter and acidic at the same time. Side note: Slurping the tea is also a sign of class and respect. It shows that you are enjoying it so don’t be afraid and slurp slurp away.
The Jasmine Blossom tea is by far the most beautiful tea I tried. It initially looks like a small rolled up ball but after 5 minutes of brewing in hot water, the ball opens up into a beautiful flower. Vivian likes to call it the welcome tea because “it helps you understand that tea is not just about a tea bag, it’s not just about the cup, it is about all the behind the scenes and processing that goes into the perfect tea.” The second you start seeing this flower blossom you begin to understand all the layers and work that go into enjoying a simple cup of tea.
Vivian Mak’s Words of Wisdom
“Tea is more about how you feel it. You have to feel everything and then take a closer look at the details. I think that is more the essence of tea...it's about the details, the quality, how you see things in your life and how you treat other people.”
Hong Kong Must-Do
Whenever you are in Hong Kong, make the time to visit the factory and do a tea tasting. You will not only leave with immense knowledge of tea but with some wise wise words from a wise wise woman. A big thank you to Ming Cha Tea House and an even bigger thanks to Vivian Mak.