Monday, March 15, 2021

Aluminium Tea Trays


There are Chinese tea drinkers I know that do not like aluminium tea trays.  It is either you like it or you don't. Negative comments include 'it is so metallic' (yes, aluminium is metallic), 'its so shiny', 'wood trays are more classy and traditional' to 'its too cheap looking'.  

I happen to use and own one round aluminium tea tray that I use weekly when I brew tea in the kitchen.....and I had been using it for almost 10 years. I had no issues with it except now that the tea stains are now quite difficult to remove. 

As you can see from the pix, I had actually lined the replacements for my current aluminium tea tray in the event it broke (which is unlikely). I got myself a similar round one and a rectangular version. Both lids are removable and are easy to maintain. They can be washed with detergent can easily be kept away. 

I have to agree that the wood and stone tea trays are visually more attractive. Wooden ones may have a limited life span as the wood joints may deteriorate after long contact with water. The hardier stone trays may be a hassle to stow away especially if you need the tea brewing space for other activities. 

You can even dispense with the use of a tea tray.  All you need is a bigger tea waste bowl and careful pouring of your water and you can have a happy tea session without a tea tray. 

Tea trays are not expensive and one tray would last you quite a long time. Are you using one?

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

How Do I Brew My Oolong ?


When I have an oolong session at home (usually alone), I will literally brew up 5 infusions; one brew a cup.  I might brew up a few more infusions when I had finished drinking the 1st 5 cups.

It is, to me, an easy way to enjoy my tea.  When I am reading or working on my laptop, having a few cups of tea beside me is a good keeps me seated than making one infusion at a time. I do drink the tea fast, about 15-20 minutes. An oolong, like the one in the pix is generally good for about 5-6 infusions before the tea weaken in a hurry.

It is quite similar for pu erh tea.  I brew 5-6 cups at a go, one infusion per cup and repeat this brew for the next 6-12 cups.  It is quite difficult to drink so much tea alone, so I do sometimes keep the later infusions in a vacuum flask where I can enjoy the tea later or when I am out for errands.  

When I am in Guangzhou buying tea, I do ask for a small sample (after I had tried the tea in the shop) on those tea I am interested in and I brew the tea back in the hotel room.  It is not easy to assess the tea in a room but it helps me a little before I make a buying decision.  I do bring along a flask during my travels and get the tea shop to pour a couple of infusions into the flask so I can continue to 'drink' the tea I had shortlisted to buy.  

Readers will know me that I do not describe a tea by each and every infusions but rather by initial and ending thoughts.  I enjoy the complications of a tea, the aging results of storage and the pleasant sensations after finishing a tea session. 

Time for tea.