Monday, October 10, 2011

Gong Fu Tea was new to me

Our coffee maker malfunctioned this morning, spilling coffee and grounds all over itself. Even though it made a horrible mess, I didn't mind. I finally had an excuse to use the Gong Fu tea set that I purchased in Montreal. It's a pretty little set.

Although I am no master of the Chinese tea ceremony, I liked the tea I made. After I got it going, I spent more time watching tea-making videos on the Internet than I did making tea. No serenity for me this morning. However, I did learn a bit more about Chinese tea ceremonies and Yixing teapots.

My first experience with gourmet tea preparation was at Ming Tao Xuen, a charming tea salon just across the street from the Notre Dame Cathedral in Montreal.

Besides the tea and vegetarian items, we also enjoyed watching the weddings taking place across the street. This shop has a website where you can buy teapots, tea sets and tea. However, if you enjoy Chinese tea but are not familiar with Gong Fu tea preparation, I recommend going to a Chinese tea shop and trying it. Our waiter demonstrated the ceremony and answered all our questions. I don't know, as I have been to other tea shops and not seen the tea prepared in this way, but I assume that a Chinese tea shop will show you how it is done. I found it fascinating. Properly done, the ceremony is beautiful, graceful, and calming.

You'd think with all the knitting I do, I wouldn't be seeking serenity. Now that my Mathematix pattern is up, though, I've had to answer questions and check charts. Since I hate to find that I have made errors or let errors slip by me, my serenity is in short supply. I'm knitting a second version now and double-checking everything I can.

I had to pull yarn from my stash for this one and ended up choosing a color combination very similar to the original. I guess that was a safe approach, but I prefer to think it just proves how much I like these colors. The blue is a lace-weight alpaca that I'm double stranding for the slip stitch portion. The brown, or taupe, is a natural Wensleydale longwool from the Sheep Shop. It's fingering weight and is heathered with bits of blue in it. The alpaca has bits of brown it it. I love them together and can't wait to see what blocking will do. I am halfway through the slip stitch portion, so even with pauses to write charts and post about problems and questions, I'm sure I'll finish it by the end of this month. I don't need another shawl just the same as the first one, but it will make a nice sample.


Links:


Ming Tao Xuen tea salon


Tea Scholar demonstrates Gong Fu tea ceremony (video)


There are so many videos, websites, etc., on Yixing teapots, one that shows how fine tea pots ring like bells, one that shows master potters making tiny teapots by hand, and dozens of them showing different ways to make tea. Since I know so little about it, I'll stop with just these two that best illustrate the point of this post.


Ravelry project page for my second version of my Mathematix shawl pattern.


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1 comment:

Wool Winder said...

I was introduced to Chinese tea on our trip to San Francisco. I really liked it and I'm not a hot tea drinker, normally. The preparation is as enjoyable as the drink.