I had the privilege of traveling to Sri Lanka late last year to attend the Dilmah School of Tea, run by the ethical family-tea company Dilmah.
From a foodie view point it was a fascinating insight into tea, particularly tea pairing, and the difference the right tea can make to a dish and vice versa. The breakfast pairing in particular intrigued me.
It was therefore any easy task to write a tea pairing article, Cups & Sauces for South China Morning Post, including suggestions for breakfast and dim sum pairings.
For now you can buy Dilmah tea (which is fantastic) at onlineshop.dilmahtea.com, but it will become available retail in Hong Kong later in the year. Click the hyperlink for more pairing suggestions and recipes
Tea Quotes & Tales
I came across these while doing some research for the article, they were not included in the final edit — included here for enjoyment.
The origin of tea is shrouded in myth, including the macabre tale of a Buddhist Monk cutting off his eyelids, which took root when they fell to the ground and from which a tea bush sprouted. There are a number of versions of this legend and reasons for this action, including he was trying to prevent himself from falling asleep when attempting to meditate for nine years, or he did fall asleep and was bitterly disappointed.
Tea has also been the inspiration for prose, praise and spiritual insight, such as, “Who would then deny that when I am sipping tea in my tearoom I am swallowing the whole universe with it and that this very moment of my lifting the bowl to my lips is eternity itself transcending time and space?”, from author D T Suzuki (1870-1966), in Zen and Japanese Culture.
Or the more practical, “Tea tempers the spirits and harmonises the mind, dispels lassitude and relieves fatigue, awakens thought and prevents drowsiness, lightens or refreshes the body, and clears the perceptive faculties,” Lu Yu (703-804), described as the Sage of Tea, is the author of The Classic of Tea, a comprehensive work on cultivating, making and drinking tea.
And my favourite, “In the worship of Bacchus, we have sacrificed too freely…. Why not consecrate ourselves to the queen of the Camellias, and revel in the warm stream of sympathy that flows from her altar? In the liquid amber within the ivory-porcelain, the initiated may touch the sweet reticence of Confucius…,” Okakura Kakuzō (1862-1913), author of The Book of Tea.