Moving on to Oolong, most famous in its place of origin, Taiwan – this tea takes the idea of learning an art form to new levels. Oolong looks like tiny little balls or pearls of leaves which is lovingly stressed into form through an arduous process of warming and cooling after intensely long periods of harvest. To my taste, it speaks of the tenderness of the craft in that it is complex with each sip revealing a different note, floral, sweet and just magic. Lisa seems to know that I want more…and pours a second cup whilst she tells me the story of how with Oolong, most of their customers ask them to throw away the first infusion as they believe the magic lies in the 2nd.
After exclaiming that I have little to no feeling towards our traditional rooibos, Lisa calmly decides that we will have a cup together, and so I am treated…and will never reduce a cup of rooibos to having to dress up with sugar and milk ever again!
And then comes what Lisa calls “Poor” tea, made from the oldest leaves on the bush and produced to post fermentation and often compressed, this is where I can do nothing but be thankful that I have taken the time for tea – real tea! A good 4 years old, this tea tells me an entire story of a poor village in the Eastern homelands steeped in local tradition and philosophy. One sip and I am there, and I am culturally enriched. ‘Poor’ tea is known as gold in the black tea market whereas we refer to it as Red Tea, and as with wine it becomes more precious with age often keeping for up to 40 years. Is it possible – but ‘Poor’ tea might just become what good red wine is to me and I cannot imagine ever having another cup of Joko with milk and sugar ever again.
Lisa and Mingwei believe that tea is life in that it absorbs energy from the sun and moon and grows from the soil that is toiled by the person who plants it. By sharing in their secret today, simply by tasting their teas – I understand exactly why they believe this and I have fallen in love with the love they have for what they have known since birth and bought to our country to share with us – the art of tea…and for that, I will always be grateful. Thank you!
I highly recommend you take some time out to step into ‘Oways’ and discover for yourself…the art of tea: O’waysTeacafé, Shop 2, Heritage House, 20 Dreyer Street, Claremont 7708 | Oways Facebook | Oways website
Phone to book a tea tasting: 021 671 2850 (R175 per session for max 4 people and a selection of 5 tea or R125 pp for a tea ceremony.)
Creativi-tea is a niche brand committed to the discovery and celebration of fine loose-leaf teas. Care is taken to explore the origin, flavour, aroma and tea leaf detail of each tea selected. Enjoy a journey through our 5 types of tea: Black, Green, White, Flavoured & Herbal. The teas are packaged in a pyramid box with a small sachet to show the tea leaves inside. Included in the box are 8 strainer sets which allows the tea to infuse but doesn’t restrict movement.
Available exclusively through Pick ‘n Pay on Nicol. The loose leaf tea’s are also served in their coffee shops.
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.