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 even showed some of the potters in the process of creating.
I also picked up a pamphlet that described the physical characteristics of a well-functioning clay teapot, its body, lid, handle and spout, in detail. 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?
That you need different teapot sizes depending on how much the type of tea leaves will expand? That some brewing methods recommend rinsing not only the empty teapot with boiling water but also 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!