Learning about Tea

During the years that our family lived in Hong Kong, it was still a British Colony and it was the land of tea.

Whether you were attending the proper British tea held in the exquisite Ritz-Carlton Hotel, or sipping tea in one of the most famous Chinese tea houses known as the Luk Yu Tea House, you were learning about the intricacies of tea. The array of teapots, teacups and vessels dedicated to the art of tea was truly inspiring. I began collecting teapots and teacups. To this day, my head will turn at the sight of a lovely teapot, teacup or teacake dish.

The very first tea I hosted was attended by some of my friends from the UK. I learned that it is always a good thing to have a teapot of hot water on the table to warm a cup of tea that had already been poured. They taught me to have a tea for my young daughters when they returned from school around three o'clock. The tea would include little sandwiches, scones with clotted cheese, biscuits or cookies and tea. This would keep them quite happy until dinner. No more rushing to prepare a supper for the girls at five o'clock and then dinner with my husband at seven. Having tea for the little ones made such perfect sense to me, and then we could all sit down to dinner together at seven. I recently discovered an adorable place on the internet to teach you how to have a royal tea party for young girls. My daughter, Ashley still loves cucumber sandwiches and we have found a farm nearby that sells clotted cream for our scones. My daughters love biscuits tins from England and they both adore iced tea of all kinds. When we visited London, it was so exciting for us to go to tea. My friend Sue, who lives there now with her husband and two sons, took us to Windsor and we had tea in this perfectly charming place. She showed us The Crooked House of Windsor, which looks like something from a fairytale.

Back in the early 90’s in Hong Kong there were very few coffee houses, just wonderful tea bars everywhere. Beautiful tea shops that housed the most exotic and expensive teas from China, were found in the most exclusive shopping places. I attended the tea ceremony and sat at the custom furniture designed especially for tea many times during my stay there. I found a wonderful web site on Chinese tea.

In the middle of beautiful Hong Kong Park is the historical colonial building that houses the Flagstaff Museum of Teaware. In this museum you find the history of tea told out in grand style with beautiful teapots, china and books on display.

Walking along the streets of Hong Kong you would always see someone selling these glorious small clay teapots. I have a collection of them, and each one is so unique and lovely. The clay teapot holds many mysteries to making a good tea, and the way in which it is made is quite an art.

When I first tasted Chai in Hong Kong I thought that it would never satisfy me like a good cup of coffee. I was wrong after living there for five years I developed a love of tea and learned the proper way to prepare it. When we returned to the States, the tea shops were starting to crop up everywhere. I found a wonderful recipe for Chai that I thought I would share.

The song to this post is enchanting Chinese music I remember from Hong Kong called Tang Swings.

To visit more blogs having tea parties, stop by Make Mine Pink, Happy Tea.
Tracy P. said...


You've got a lot of information about tea! When I first saw your blog (yesterday) I was intrigued by your love for Hong Kong. I visited there once for a few days when I was living in the Philippines. I didn't do much homework beforehand (pre-internet), and never imagined how beautiful it was! I'd love to go back.

I found you because I was looking for other blogs with "scrapbook" in their names, looking for ideas. You led me to the tea party, so thanks very much for a special surprise!

Thanks for stopping by Bethany's tea party. It's so fun to have some truly appreciative guests.

La Tea Dah said...

I've enjoyed ALL of your tea party posts. Thanks so much! Very interesting!!!