September 24, 2010

Tea for the Seasons

Late summer is time to sip minty herbal tea with sparkling ice cubes which add the crispy sound effect.

Pretty soon, the layer of colors with fall's arrival will provide great setting for warm hued oolong or mellow puer tea in the garden. 

I notice that people's tea preference follows maturity progression. Young people with flighty spirit usually favor jasmine tea. Then the middle aged group advance to appreciate sharper green tea. Whereas the retirees seek out mellower teas. What a seasonal rhythm for tea enjoyment!

September 4, 2010

Tea and Moon Cakes

Have tea ready and enjoy the  moon cakes!

This year the Mid-Autumn Festival (August 15th on lunar calendar) falls on September 22nd.  It's equivalent to Thanksgiving in the spirit of celebrating harvest and family togetherness.   The bright moon is a never ending subject for poets.  Even though one is unable to be back home for reunion,  the mutual longing would be delivered through the moon as a bridging medium.

This is my favorite time of the year because of its poetic sentiment as well as the aromas of moon cakes in the air!  With various choice of filling or type of dough for shell, the variety of moon cakes sourced from different regions of China  is endless.  Most are sweet pastes of beans, nuts and dates filled in a cake type of pastry shell.   Cantonese are famously inventive for this variety of moon cake (an ingenious one includes salted duck egg yolk).  "Shu Xian" (meaning "water fairy"), a lightly toasted oolong tea would be my choice to pair with Cantonese moon cakes. 

A savory moon cake favored by Suchow and Hongchow gourmets is made with either round or half-round puff pastry filled with ground pork and preserved shrimps.  The"Dragon Well" green tea would  be ideal to accompany this rich delicacy.