Is it possible to be walking back into my office – floating!? Entirely so…after spending my morning with the gracious Lisa Tsai in the ‘Oways Teacafe’!
This has been on my agenda for some time now and when one’s daily schedule seems all about mastering the art of juggling work, kids, home, school etc…things like a tea tasting jump down the priority list. Until today, and following a promise to myself to make a little time to create some balance, hence the discovery of the “art of tea” and its indelibly precious qualities thanks to this little haven created by the Tsai family.
After grappling with a tight parking space in a busy street all the while attempting to dodge the rain, I stumble into Oways and step into a warm, calm, inviting and positively charged. A far cry from any regular street side cafe, this one exudes the quality of civility and above all else – warmth. It seems as if everyone inside has stepped into Oways mode in its prescribed serenity. Outside, the rest of the world and its troubles leave me!
And then I meet FengChi, or Lisa as she is known locally – owner of the tea cafe together with her husband Mingwei – and I am already way past “sold”! Lisa has set up a quiet table towards the back of the cafe with a plethora of gleaming glass tea pots on little individual burners and we begin to speak. For those who know me well – I am a lover of the East and most about it, especially the people and their culture….and simply to be in the presence of Lisa is a treat for me.
Lisa guides me through a vast selection of traditional Eastern teas and begins to prepare them for tasting. The depth of presence of the culture of tea together with her love and respect for its craft is evident in her every move and the way she handles preparing the various teas. I am watching a dance and it’s so beautifully graceful…
I am treated to the stories of each of the teas we have chosen as I journey through the tasting, beginning with Dan GuiPiao Xiang, also known as a flowering tea ball, each of which take up to 1 hour to hand-stitch. A delight to witness the unfurling of this little ball of leaves to reveal a flower, Lisa imparts that although these are lovely to look at, these teas are traditionally not regarded very highly as they are not of the same purity of their traditional variants…
To experience the visual splendour of a hand-crafted Flowering Tea Ball, take a look at Eat.Arts‘ selection including: Princess Flower, Seven Angels, Blooming richness, Good Fortune and/or the assorted pack.
Only slightly exhausted mother-of-two delicious girls, lover of food (fine and fast), purveyor of all things pretty and Jill of all things ‘creative’…Nancy has a background in the visual arts, design and marketing and is the owner of Magpie Creative. Having worked with the eat-art team before, she is thrilled, and slightly bewildered to have been asked to (take time out from juggling and) add some spice to the eat.art blog. Don’t get us wrong….it’s not that it needs it….it just wants more…and she is happy to oblige.
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