In the Chinese teahouse in the Flagstaff House Musem of Tea Ware the staff demonstrated different tea ceremonies – depending on what type of tea one picked.
I had a green tea, and the waiter poured the hot water in a little ceramic cup, which was filled with the tea leaves. He stirred the tea leaves with the little tea cup, and then seconds later poured the team from the ceramic cup into a small glass cup. Very interesting procedure, and I repeated it again for the additional cups of tea I drank.
On the table next to me, the waiter first poured water in a red clay pot to warm it up. He poured the water out in to a waste container, then added tea and poured water over the tea again. Within seconds, he poured the tea in another pot. He then poured more water on the tea leaves and put the lid on the top, pouring the water from the other pot over the first pot, to ensure the pot is being warmed from the outside too – and then the tea was ready for being served.
Sounds complicated? Yes it is, just look at this videos on YouTube:
In the past there have been also different types of tea – which unfortunately I could not try in the tea house this time. Let’s see if I can order them next time, they sound interesting:
(1) Powdered tea – this was recommended by the Tang dynasty. It was a method whereby the powder of dried and ground tea leaves were added to salted boiling water to produce the drink
(2) Whipped tea – this was the most common type of tea preparation method in the Song dynasty. It was made by pouring boiling water over tea powder placed in a bowl and whipping the mixture with a bamboo whisk to make a thick frothy brew. Tea connoisseurs often took part in a contest whereby each competitor would prepare a bowl of tea, the winner being the person who whirled up the greatest amount of froth which was the last to subside – so think about it as a tea-cappucchino!