Here is another picture of my gaiwan demonstration during the festivities of Yung Pin Vocational School's 35th anniversary. Brewing tea in fromt of several thousands students was not enough: they also asked me to speak a few words in Chinese. Apparently, I was able to make them smile (with my foreign accent)!
The reason for this gongfu cha demonstration is to introduce Teaparker's first tea teaching book. Yung Pin will use it as teaching material in its culinary classes as of next semester. (Breaking news: They are even considering hiring me to teach this material!) I believe this tea education will benefit the students as well as the general public. The students already find jobs easily in Taiwan's best restaurants and hotels. And with their new gongfu cha skills, I guess that they will help promote a stronger presence of quality Chinese tea on the menus. Currently, customers can almost only order coffee or scented teas with their food. People expect jasmin or oolong tea to be free, but this drives the quality down. So it's extremely rare that you can drink good high mountain oolong tea with your meal in Taiwan!!
The article in the newspaper was centered on me, as Toki noted. This journalistic shortsightedness and sensationalism is typical and was to be expected. The real news is that with this book and the education of thousands of culinary professionals in the art of gongfu cha, Teaparker and the management of Yung Pin are laying a strong foundation for the revival of Chinese tea in Taiwan's restaurant business.
My name is Stéphane Erler. I live in Taiwan since 1996 and have been studying tea with Teaparker. He's a worldwide tea expert and author of over 30 tea books. The study of tea isn't just theoretical, but it's also rooted in daily practice. It's a path of continuous improvement. As my brewing technique improves I get access to better teas and better accessories. These things go hand in hand. My blog documents my learning since 2004. And I have set up an online tea boutique with my selection of top quality teas, accessories and tea culture.