Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Tea trees can grow 3-4 meters high! The higher the tree, the deeper the roots!

The tea plantation is full of insects and other plants. Each with its specific task/function.

Master Zhou, Hsien Bang (in white) shows us his tea plantation.

100% natural Chinese tea

On June 6, 2004, Master Tse introduced us to Master Zhou, Hsien Bang. Master Zhou is a unique tea farmer from Hsin Tian County, just south of Taipei. He uses no chemical pesticides nor fertilizers on his tea plantation. Instead, he relies on spiders, frogs... to keep the tea eating insects out and let's wild plants grow among the tea trees, in order to later cut them and use them as natural compost (He wouldn't even take outside natural compost for fear of upsetting the delicate balance he has achieved).

I won't reveal his other secret here, but you may find it out if you look at the pictures of his plantation posted above.

Master Zhou is really aiming high and those who have tasted his tea can testify he has achieved making GREAT, RARE, FINE Chinese teas. I had the priviledge of tasting his green tea and was amazed of how I would brew it again and again and drink 10 excellent brews of the same leaves. Despite the low altitude, the leaves are very thick and are able to brew a long time. You can really take your time and enjoy making the tea without fearing bitterness if you forgot to pour the tea out!

No wonder this tea is now sold by Wang De Chuan It has a store in the Formosa Regent in Taipei. Wang De Chuan is THE store of top quality teas in Taipei, in my opinion. Not cheap, but worth every cent! Note: I have no financial connection with Wang De Chuan (I wish I had), but I do know Master Wang since he is also one of Master Tse's tea students.

Here is the bowl I created with Master Gu's clay and kind help!

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Some of the stones Master Gu uses for making his clay.

Here we receive our clay to make our first pot.

Master Tse, Chung Hsien introduces us to Master Gu, Chuan Ze (next picture)

Master Gu, Chuan Ze

Quel bol! My first bowl!

May 30, 2004, we met Master Gu, Chuan Ze, a Tea and Pottery Master! He is an innovator in the making of clay for his pots. Instead of relying on the purple clay of Yixing , or the classic dark red clay, he will grind anything from dry tea leaves or stones to add to his clay. This not only produces most interesting designs and colors, but also improves the taste of tea.
He recently opened a website with some of his products on display at
Actually, his pots not only improve the taste of tea. They can also be used for water, beer, wine and spirits!

Le 30 mai 2004, Maitre Gu, Chuan Ze nous enseigna comment faire notre premier pot avec son argile speciale. Le pot change veritablement le gout de mon thé. J'ai fait le test avec un oolong Jin Shuan. Préparé d'abord dans un gaiwan (appelé gaibei à Taiwan), le thé était frais, odorant (xiang) mais avec un peu d'amertume tannique lorsque versé directement dans une tasse. Mais après avoir mis le thé dans le pot fait chez Maitre Gu, le thé devint moelleux et rond tout en gardant son parfum frais. Testant à l'aveugle, ma femme l'a préféré au thé qui n'était pas passé par le pot d'argile.

Monday, June 21, 2004

Top 10 reasons why I love tea

10. Tea is healthy.
9. There aren't any special taxes on tea.
8. One year's tea consumption fits in a suitcase.
7. I can proudly teach tea drinking to my son.
6. Fine tea is cheaper than good Napa Valley wine.
5. Chinese tea tastes great without any sugar added.
4. Tea making can become an art (Japanese) or a relaxing techinique (Chinese).
3. The more I practice tea making, the better my tea tastes.
2. After drinking Chinese tea, I feel elated, but I still can drive.
1. It won't make me feel sleepy when I make love.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Basic links, liens utiles, Tipps im Internet

The best of:
Université de Genève
Le thé chinois

On the left, 2 tea masters, Mr. Huang, De Chang and Mr. Tse, Chung Hsien.

Welcome to, Bienvenue à & Willkommen zu Tea Masters!

As many of you, I am discovering the world of Chinese teas. However, I am most lucky to have found a great teacher: Tse, Chung Hsien. He is probably one of the leading tea experts in Taiwan, Republic of China. He is not only knowlegeable about the tea plant, but also about pottery, water, tea history... Recently, he published a series of books about tea (my first book about making tea, pao zhong tea, Wu Long tea, Pu Erh tea, Taiwan's tea district). He also created a club of tea afficionados meeting each Sunday to explore the world of tea. The books and meetings are all in Chinese. No problemo amigo! I shall be your bridge to this fascinating world of Teas!

Comme nombreux d'entre vous, je découvre le monde des thés chinois. J'ai la chance, par contre, d'avoir trouvé un maitre en la personne de Tse, Chung Hsien. Il est probablement l'un des principaux experts en matière de thé à Taiwan, République de la Chine. Il est non seulement fort en thé, mais également au sujet de la poterie, de l'eau, de histoire du thé... Récemment, il a publié une série de livres concernant le thé (mon premier livre de thé, le thé bao zhong , le thé Wu Long, le thé Pu Erh, la rue du thé à Taiwan). Il a également créé un club des afficionados de thé se rencontrant chaque dimanche pour explorer le monde du thé. Tous les livres et les réunions sont en Chinois. No problemo amigo! Je suis là pour vous faire découvrir les thés de Chine!

Wie viele von Ihnen, entdecke ich die Welt der chinesischen Tees. Jedoch habe ich das Glück einen großartigen Lehrer gefunden zu haben: Tse, Chung Hsien. Er ist vermutlich einer der führenden Teeexperten in Taiwan, Republik von China. Er ist nicht nur stark wenn's um Teeblätter geht, sondern auch wenn's um Potterie, Wasser, Teegeschichte ... geht. Vor kurzem veröffentlichte er eine Reihe Bücher über Tee (mein erstes Buch über Tee, der Baozhong Tee, der Wu Long Tee, der Pu Erh Tee, die Teestrasse Taiwans). Er stellte auch eine Verein der Teeafficionados auf die Beine. Wir treffen uns jeden Sonntag, um die Welt des Tees zu erforschen. Alle Bücher und Sitzungen sind auf Chinesisch. Kein Problem mein Freund! Ich bin deine Brücke zur Welt des chinesichen Tees!