The Friday Tea Club – MayKingTea & Tlicious teach the finer points of tea
Posted On May 4, 2012
Last night I was very fortunate to attend a special Chinese Gong Fu Tea Ceremony to announce the launch of The Friday Tea Club. I have written about May King Tsang and her love of tea before, and this time she has partnered up with Tlicious at Southbank to bring a series of Tea Appreciation classes to the public.
So, after braving ridiculous traffic (now I know why I don’t venture into the city often) I arrived late but so did everyone else. Face saved 🙂
May King’s passion for tea is infectious. Her eyes shine as she waxes lyrically about the colour, texture and aroma of the tea leaves she presents to us. We dutifully look and sniff and get completely carried away with her enthusiasm. The group detects notes of spinach, lemon grass, a walk in a meadow….
Who knew there was so much to tea? Country of origin, method of rolling the leaves, the right level of oxidation – my head swims but I am completely drawn in.
Now this is where I confess that I am actually not much of a tea drinker. I love the taste of various teas, white, green and black, but I am always left with a lingering taste in my mouth that can last for hours (and hours) and is quite unpleasant. Turns out I may have been drinking the sweepings off the tea room floor, because when I tasted the two types of Oolong last night I entered a whole new world of yumm.
The tea ceremony itself is a set method of preparation. Unlike a Japanese tea ceremony which is all about a ritual of set moves, the Chinese version is about the maximum enjoyment. May King explains the correct water temperature to elicit maximum flavour. First the leaves are washed. Not because they are particularly dirty but to prepare them for what’s about to happen. Then there are the actual infusions, (yes, more than one from the same leaves) – the first of which is the weakest. These infusions only take between 30 seconds and 2 minutes, very unlike the herbal infusions we usually talk about here on Herbology.
I could go through it step by step for you but I could not do it justice. Let May King , who is one of the top 50 accredited tea specialists in the world, take you on this magical journey of the senses, you’ll be completely amazed at what you’ll take away from it.
There are 3 classes planned for May/June.:
In case you are worried you didn’t get to share the experience last night, the first class on May 11th is another Gong Fu ceremony.
May 25th concentrates on Oolong tea, the myths and facts about health claims, and the gorgeous taste.
June 8th is dedicated to herbal infusions and there may well be a visit from yours truly on this night.
Places are limited and bookings are essential. To find out more and to book your seat please call Michael on 07 3844 3305
Tlicious is a brilliant venue. I want their ….hmm, I am not sure whether to call it a counter, table, work top…..well whatever it is, I want it. It’s a great space for intimate workshops. The shop is contemporary in design with a very pleasant atmosphere. The walls are stocked with an incredible variety of teas from all over the world. Do yourself a favour and SNIFF the French Earl Grey. *swoon* Instead of the traditional bergamot you’ll also detect peach, hibiscus, and rose. Their range is phenomenal, and they ship nationally and internationally if you can’t make it into the shop. I had a lovely chat with the owner, Michael McMahon. If you have any questions he’ll be the man to quiz.
I received some sample (ner, ner, ner) which I will review for you soon, but I see no reason for you to wait. Pop over to Tlicious, shop or website and get some trial packs.
The evening was also attended by a rep from The Courier Mail, this is his write up of May King’s tea-chings which has a lot more edumacational facts in it tham my post 😉