In the hakka village of Bei-Pu, in Hsin-Chu county, you are very likely to drink "Lei-Cha", a very healthy and powerful drink, invented by the hardworking hakka people. It involves the grinding of green tea, as was custom during the Chinese Song dynasty. This custom was "lost" in China, where Gong Fu Cha prevailed, but is still preserved in Japan. There it is called Matcha, from the Chinese "Mo cha" (to grind tea)! The hakka are still grinding green tea, but are mix it with cereals in a custom that is reminiscent of even earlier times, before the Tang dynasty. Back then, tea was not prepared alone with water, but was like a spice, something to give additional falvor to food or drinks.
Here is the traditonal way for preparing it:
When preparing your hakka "Lei-Cha", you first start to grind the green tea, then the cereals (peanuts, sesame, pumpkin seeds...).
Here you can see me grind the ingredients with a guava wood stick. A small towel is placed under the bowl to make sure it won't slip down.
Grind the green tea and the cereals until you get such a sticky paste.
Add hot water to the paste, put it in your small tea bowl and enjoy your Lei-cha with rice flakes and traditionnal chinese/hakka snacks!
The trick is to grind everything very small so that you get a very fluid paste. This is not as easy as it looks like. (I received help from the tea shop owner, I have to admit). So it's good that you can also buy ready to use Lei Cha mixes where you just have to add hot water. I think it's great for breakfast: you're saving time as you get to drink both cereals and tea at the same time!
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