This event was held this past Sunday morning at the Hua Shan Creative Park. This old wine factory on No 1, Ba De Road has been transformed into a cultural center bursting with activities.
In this part of the park, the National Palace Museum has partnered with Hua Shan to showcase its treasures in an interactive and creative way. Do you recognize these Tang dynasty women on the walls? (You have seen them here before...) This painting of their Palace Concert has been funnily altered to bring them into our digital age!
Teaparker talked about tea and interacted with the public for 1 and a half hour. He's getting better and better at it. It's almost like a show: funny, witty, educational and even delicious! Evon, Jason and myself delighted the public's taste buds with Oolongs brewed in 3 different techniques.
Evon, above, showed the graceful gongfu cha style with a small zhuni teapot. This style originated in the Qing dynasty in Chaoshan. Now, it feels timeless and has been adopted by tea fans around the world!
Jason (from the Tea Institute at Penn State) uses porcelain competition sets designed by British merchants to evaluate tea. They are standards that continue to help amateurs and professionals to select and study tea. (Jason's brewing taught the public the difference between Jinxuan and Luanze/Qingxin Oolong).
As for me, I use a big bamboo shaped teapot to brew enough tea for all the guests. The principles for brewing with a big teapot are the same as with a small one: preheat, blanket the bottom dry leaves and use just boiled water. You judge with your eyes and experience how much tea you put inside. Not a scale. And you fill the cups in a back and forth fashion: 1, 2, 3, 4, 3, 2, 1 (admitting there are 4 cups) instead of 1, 2, 3, 4. This will even the concentration of the tea in the cups.
The art brewing tea is without borders. Creativity, modern media, even a blog (!) can generate new interest for this traditional pastime.