Monday, September 17, 2007

Museum of Tea Ware, Hong-Kong

I always loved everything about tea and teapots.
There is a lot of tradition around tea. When I was young, I was told the “teachings” of the British: warming up the teapot first, one spoon of tea per person and one for the teapot, etc… Did the Brits in fact learn what they know from the Chinese? I wonder.
Today one thing is clear: China is at the core of the tea tradition.

So, during our last visit to Hong-Kong, it was great to discover the Museum of Tea Ware, which is located in Hong-Kong Park.
First, the museum is a fascinating place for potters. An exhibit showed the works from a 2007 creativity competition of pottery teapots. Videos were even showing some of the potters making their creation.
I also picked up a pamphlet which described the physical characteristics of a well-functioning clay teapot, its body, lid, handle and spout, in details. The “How to” of clay teapots. I should try it one day!

But the museum has much more to offer. Did you know that the various types of teas require different water temperatures, and that for instance the temperature for green tea should be 80-85°C, and 100°C for black tea? require different teapot sizes depending on how much the type of tea leaves will expand? that some brewing methods recommend to not only rinse the empty teapot with boiling water, but also rinse the pot filled with tea leaves a second time, before finally brewing the tea? that oolong tea should only brew very shortly not to be bitter (but use large quantities of tea!)? A world to discover, indeed!

And it is just the beginning of my exploration. I am ready to “hit” the many tea houses of China next!


Paul in Hawaii said...

Aloha et salut Christine, In a magazine I was reading this morning I came across mention of some item about China (not an infrequent occurence, of course) and --bingo -- that reminded me of your blog! So I have just read all your posts since your arrival and loved every one! And will keep track of your future adventures too! Thanks for sending the recent photo -- very nice. I'm so happy for you. Apprécier votre grandiose aventure!

Sébastien said...

So when will you begin designing teapots? I think you could have a lot of success in that business!