Wednesday, January 6, 2016
I did my undergraduate studies in Manitoba, Canada many many years ago and it was a real treat to be visiting Canada during the Christmas week last year. I never liked long flights and it took about 40 hours of flight time to get to Canada and back. I am still in zombie land as I post this entry.
I was told that last Christmas was one of the warmest on record and I took advantage of the 'warmth' to visit Niagara Falls while in Toronto. I was quickly reminded of the harsh Canadian winter when I arrived in Montreal on boxing day. Yes, the great sale was on and the Montreal shoppers turned out in full force despite the cold to purchase discounted goods. Nonetheless, I managed to find my way in the cold to visit the magnificent Notre Dame and attended mass on Sunday morning.
Back to tea…..I had no time to visit tea shops in Canada and could only visit Toronto's Chinatown for one afternoon. There was a dim sum place called Sky Dragon Restaurant that had good Cantonese Dim Sum served with a choice of Chinese tea (pu erh, oolong or white tea). Not the best but I loved it. The food choices was presented on push carts and you actually order from these carts. It was an inexpensive meal, costing less than $25 for 7 dim sum choices and tea. I highlighted the price as I had a similar meal in Hong Kong on my way home from Canada with similar settings and food quality but paying twice as much.
While wandering around Toronto Chinatown, I came across a Chinese store selling Chinese kitchenware that was selling the gaiwan in the 1st pix. This rice pattern porcelain Gaiwan is made in the 90s in the famous Jingdezhen, China. Though 6 gaiwans were available, I had to buy only one due to limited luggage space. I only paid $4 for the gaiwan. I also found a ripe pu erh cake for sale in a grocery shop while in Chinatown.
But I digress. I would like to thank Hector Konomi and his wife for inviting me to their house in Toronto for dinner and a long session of Chinese tea. I appreciate the warm hospitality which made the occasion a memorable evening. Hector is very passionate about Chinese tea, displaying good knowledge and tea brewing techniques while we had tea. Thank you Hector.