Thursday, 31 December 2009


Dear All

Wishing you a wonderful Chocolatesnew month and a happy new year in advance.    

Don't Cubicles too hard but work smart.  May your boss appreciate you and say Thumbs Up Good Job.  
Take care of yourselfDreaming.    Pamper yourself and buy some beautifulShopping Wedding Dress.  

Don't worry coz   Dollar   will come from above.   May you also purchase  or change a House  and a Car.      
May the days ahead be busy but easy Watching The Clock,     Relax  and  go CruisingPilotaround the world.   It's important to have good health,  therefore, eat more AppleBroccoliCarrots  and Corn, but not too much Fat Fat Guy.
Do remember to Tennis at least once a week.    Don't Good Vs Evil with your sweetheart, and be generous to say Hug And KissI Love You.    
Here's wishing you and all  your Family Portrait  a Happy and Prosperous New Year 2010 and may you all be well and happy ALWAYS!

From : James Oh

Tuesday, 29 December 2009


Hi! Everyone,

Below please find:-


1 Prepare the necessary teaware and lay out the proper setting . If we have two guests, then tea tray, clay teapot for two, clay tea pitcher, filter, tea towel, tea utensils, two large clay cups, two coasters, kettle, tea receptacle and presentation vessel are required.

Teaware preparation

2. Take a chunk of compressed pu'er tea.
Peel off a small piece of pu'er cake

3 Break off the small piece of the compressed pu'er tea into loose leaves at the presentation vessel. If the compressed tea does not break off easily, use a knife to loosen up the tea. If the pu'er tea already comes in loose form, then scoop the loose pu'er tea from the canister and simply place the tea on the presentation vessel.

4 Take a moment to observe the appearance and to smell the aroma of the tea. Then pass the tea presentation vessel to your guests for their turn to admire the dried tea.

5 Make sure water has just reached the boiling point. Then remove the kettle and pour hot water into the teapot at least 1/3 full of tea leaves.

6. Pouring hot water from kettle
Drain hot water into pitcher completely. Alternatively you may pour boiled water from teapot into pitcher

7. By this time, the presentation vessel may probably returned from the guests back to the host. The host will opens the teapot's lid and ready to put dried tea from the tea presentation vessel into the teapot.

8. Tea presentation vessel
Left hand holds the presentation vessel and gently push the dried tea into the teapot.

9, Transfer of the tea
Top up boiled water into teapot before closing its lid. Gently shake the teapot.

10. Shaking the teapot:
Pass the teapot to guests. At this time, the teapot is warm with tea inside. The guests should know that they are to open the lid and smell the dry tea's aroma, which is very different from its previous state when it is sitting on tea presentation vessel.

11. Guest opens the lid and smells the tea's aroma
Close lid and pass to the next guest.

12: While the teapot is being passed around, the host pours water from the pitcher into the cups. If there is any water remaining inside the pitcher, then discard it into the tea receptacle. This should not happen if the host has gauged the size of the teapot and the cup correctly beforehand. But it is alright if this happens. No big deal. The rinsing of the teapot, tea pitcher and cups are meant to warm up the teaware.

13. Pour water into the cups. Discard water at tea receptacle
Fill up the teapot with boiled water. Closed lid. Wait about 5-10 seconds. Then pour out. This is known as the warm-up brew. Set aside this brew on the side. This will be discarded as shown in Step 15.

14. Pouring of the warm-up brew
Again pour water into the teapot. Close lid. Wait for 20-40 seconds.

15. Pouring hot water
Keep on pouring warm-up tea on the outside of the teapot, especially those made of unglazed Yixing clay.

16. Teapot seasoning
Pour tea into the pitcher before transfer to the cups. The purpose of the pitcher is to balance the tea evenly amongst all the guests. Remember that each infusion of tea will give you different taste. Some pitchers, depending on the sizes, may have bigger capacity than the small tea pot. To ensure even effect, it is more appropriate that everyone has tea from the pitcher, even if it is filled by different infusions from the tea pot.

17. Pour tea into the cups
Place the cup on the coaster and pass it to the guest. Tea is placed in front of the guest for his enjoyment.

Continue to infuse tea until the taste of tea has disappeared completely. The tea can usually last up to at least 8 infusions.

James Oh

Sunday, 20 December 2009


Hi, Everyone,

Today I am going to talk about The Tao of Tea.

The Tao of Tea is basically covers :-

Brewing Tea Correctly to produce excellent tea. The rule specify what are the rules and procedures involving from the past till todate. It evolves with time and lots of creative works are added in and it was treated as art, rather associate to the Chinese culture.

Discover the art of brewing correctly.
Types of tea, water quality, temperature, quantity of leaves, and steeping time are all important and relevant factors in determining the quality of tea. Tea should be brewed to match your personal preference and taste.

Water Quality
Water plays one of the most significant ingredient, apart from tea leave in brewing good quality of tea. Non-chlorinated water is highly recommended to use so as to produce good quality of tea especially green teas. Chlorinated tap water may affect the taste of tea making it less appealing. Therefore, water filter system which gives water a pH level of slightly over 7 is preferable.

Water Temperature
It is very much depend on type of tea you brew. For green tea, water should kept below reaching boiling point. This is because boiling water tends to over cook the tea leaves. In addition, when water is boiled, oxygen not only evaporates, but the crisp mineral texture in the brew is also lost. Whereas Pu'er can be steeped with boiling water.

Quantity of Leaves and Steeping time
If unsure, always start with lesser amount of leaves and steep them longer. This will gives you more control to the tea. Good quality tea leaves with appropriate amount of tea leaves will not go bitter, unless they are steep for a longer than the time it required. In short, you can see that brewing pure leaf teas is to be as simple as "hot water and tea".

You may use the following suggestions for steeping different types of teas as a guide:-

Green teas: It can provide multiple infusions. As a general rule of thumb, the darker the tea leaf, the faster the infusion.

Pu'er teas: For most pu'ers, the longer you steep, the smoother they become. For the compressed pu'ers,  the recommended steep time required is twice the loose leaf pu'ers which takes at about 3-4 minutes

Appropriate teawares
Apart from the above, appropriate teawares are also important so as to preserve the heat, taste and flavor of the tea. The setting of the teawares will add color to the atmosphere and conversation.

Technique of pouring tea from the tea pot
To add to the excitement, various tea masters using various 'kung - fu' style of pouring tea out from the teapot to each of the tea cup, bowl at various position precisely and speedily. The speed and accuracy demonstrate the skill of their skills.

In this Tao of Tea, it tells us the importance of patience, persistence and meticulousness are important ingredient to cultivate this healthy hobbies. Great observation and passion is also needed so as to master the skill.

Hope you are well entertained. Stay tuned again for more..

James Oh

Thursday, 3 December 2009


Hi, everyone,

There is undeniable truth that tea is not only a healthy drink, but it is also equally useful and beneficial as follows:-

a) Fertilizer

Tea leaves can be used as fertilizer after use. I used to throw the after used tea leaves into my flower pot as fertilizer and I found that the plant is not only growing more healthily, but it blossoms more than before. 

You may try it out and see whether you will have the same result. Thank you in advance for your kind participation.

b) i) Tea Pillow

The dried and used tea leaves can be inserted into pure cotton fabric(or Quality silk) and made  into kid's tea pillow. Some find that it is not only helpful for Children to sleep well, but also help keep their bodies grow in good condition.

   ii) Travel tea Pillow

Tea Pillow in Car

Alternatively, you can also used the same process and turn it into travel tea pillow such as the lovely pure cotton fabric travel tea pillow shown above. It  can assist you to have a good sleep while traveling.

Please recycle the used tea leaves into something useful and beneficial. Recycling is the key to greening the environment. Do not underestimate this small act, because the impact can be very great. Don't forget that we have more than 6 billions people on earth.

Let us stand together and green the environment we live in. Who else will care if we don't? Let our one voice, one spirit and one action speaks. Your support toward this direction is greatly appreciated.

Thanks for your precious time and trust you are well entertained,

James Oh

Monday, 30 November 2009


Hi, everyone,

Tea culture refers to the methods of preparation of tea, the tools and accessories used to brew tea and the occasions in which tea is consumed. Naturally, this tea culture is very much different from one region to another. Even now, tea is consumed regularly, and not like the past where tea is used as traditional Chinese medicine and in Chinese cuisine.

In this article, we are going to have a quick tour about types of tea canisters and their usage.

Tea canister, designed in various shapes, materials and sizes, is used for store loose tea leaves. For all intents and purposes, it is meant to cater for multi-functions and roles. Its variety is to serve you better depending on your usage and preference.

There are basically several types made of different materials as follows:-

1. Yixing

Unglazed Yixing canister, made of undyed Yixing clay, is perfect for storing pu'er tea. It is made of natural clay, which is found only in the Yixing region of China, northwest of Shanghai. It reflects the natural color of the clay. Its porous nature allows the tea to breathe and develop to yield a great aroma and flavor. It is the optimal way to store loose tea, toucha, or tea bricks and tea cakes which have been loosened prior to drinking.

It is also very easy to wash by rinsing it with warm or hot water. Its history has about 1,000 years.


The stainless steel and acrylic tea canisters are equipped with an air-tight seal. The seal serves as a way to keep our tea freshness for months! These canisters feature acrylic windows, airtight acrylic clamp lids and silicone gaskets to ensure a tight seal.


To make that tea last for months, you may even store it in an air-tight ceramic tea canister! This canister comes with air-tight seal and a convenient easy-grip handle and scoop feature. It is also equipped with a metal clamp and silicone gasket, to ensure the freshness stays in.


This acrylic tea canister with a silicone gasket ensures an air-tight seal. It can be a very attractive container to store your tea!

Store your tea appropriately to preserve its freshness. Treat your friends and family to a relaxing, delicious afternoon tea party regularly! Life is fun.

So stay tuned and have fun together.

James Oh

Friday, 27 November 2009


To my dearest visitors and readers,

In this article, we are going to have a quick walk over this century old gongfu tea ceremony.

Gongfu tea ceremony
- mainly for infusion of Oolong tea, Puer tea and black tea.

This ceremony  basically involve 6 simple steps as follows:- warm the tea vessel, including Gaiwan or Purple clay teapot,  taste cups, smell cups by rinsing boiled water over them. Tea tray is usually being used to drain this water into the bucket, which is placed underneath the tray.

2. fill the tea pot to approximately 1/3 full with tea leaves.

3.completely infuse the tea with boiled water but not with over boiled water.

4. smell the fragrance of tea. Usually, we can smell the aroma from lid of Gaiwan for good fragrance collects on lid during infusion.  

5. enjoy the tea with your friends and guests.

6. share out the different taste, aroma from each subsequent infusion of the tea.

Folks,it  is not as complicated as we usually think, right ? Why are you waiting? Try it out soonest possible and share with us your experience.

Have fun so as to brighten your lives.

James Oh

Sunday, 22 November 2009


My dear loving readers and visitors,

In this article, I am going to give some basic facts on the tea kettle.

Hope you find it useful.

How to buy a tea kettle? Electric versus stovetop. What are the pros and cons of aluminum, stainless steel, glass, copper, silver and cast iron kettles?

To get the most out of your favorite tea, you need the right tools. Needless to say tea kettle is of no exception. Tea kettle, unlike tea pot is generally placed on the stove when boiling water.

Today there are many types of kettles available in the market. But how do you know which one to pick? Is it really worth to spend more to get an expensive model, or will a cheaper model meet your needs equally well?

In this article, I am going to give you some useful tips that can help you get the right tools. Read on to learn more about how to choose a tea kettle.

Stovetop Versus Electric Kettles

Ask yourself, Which type you prefer?

Advantages of Stovetop Kettles

They are more classical and you may find the old-fashioned stove-top models.

It is more attractive, easy to use, and you do not need a power point. Hence, it is more convenient and suitable to be used outdoors such as gardens. 

For those who want to keep tea-making ritual intact, then boiling water on the stove is a better choice.

Advantages of Electric Kettles

The advantages of using electric kettles are that they boil water much faster and are more convenient.

Moreover, some electric kettles have built in water filters which help to remove hard deposits from the water. Electric kettles are also a better choice for those living in dormitories, where there are no stoves available to boil a late-night cup of tea.

Some electric kettles are equipped with temperature-control features where you can stop heating the water   before reaching the boiling point. This is great for those green and white tea drinkers.

For those who have a busy lifestyle, then electric tea kettle is a much better choice.

In my forthcoming article, I will provide more details of this topic.

Thanks and looking forward to hearing from you,

James Oh

Sunday, 15 November 2009


Very happy day to my loving readers and visitors,






The photos above are taken, at different angles, with the intention to enable you to scrutinize it if you wish to. You may click at the respective photo to enlarge it. Each and every of them reflects the different type of zisha ("purple" clay) , shape, color and its craftsmanship. Proper scrutiny of each of them will reveal the maker's competency skills, talent and creativity - that will give you a real sensation and adoration. No surprise to me that some collectors willingly to offer high prices for the pieces they desired.

One noticeable fact of zisha is its' unique characteristics. Its' porous nature enables the teapot to absorb the essence of tea well.  As the teapot becomes seasoned, especially when nurtured over time, the essence of tea captured by the teapot will accentuate the character of subsequent brews. Drinkers will enjoy having different taste from each brew - that's the natural beauty of it - which you may find similar effects in other materials.

Apart from the above, Zisha has all other characteristics as follow:
  • It remains highly porous even after being fired at temperatures of exceeding 1000˚C. However, if it were fired at compromised lower temperatures, it will then produce lower quality teapots that emit the taste and smell of clay into the brew.
  • It is also able to hold water without seepage.
  • It is structurally strong for its function and glazing is not needed ( I will tell you at a later stage).
  • It is able to sustain sudden and big temperature change.
  • It offers an excellent balance between flexibility and firmness (due to its high iron content). After dying, it will shrink nominally.
  • The flexibility of the clay allows the tea pot be easily crafted into attractive shapes and designs.
Now, you know why the zisha teapots play a central role in the art of Chinese tea. This is so important that lots of makers spend times to produce variety of distinctive shape with different themes and crafted beautifully.

Most of the tea lovers prefer the unglazed clay ones, not only because it has a wonderful effect on the Chinese tea, but they will nurture the tea pot to naturally glaze by pouring hot tea on its surface during their tea sessions. This glazing effect will gradually take effect over a certain period of times. By then, the pot will fetch a much higher price compared with its original position especially among collectors.

However, most of these tea pot makers seldom neglect its primary functional role. The bottom line of these tea pots makers is to deliver good quality tea in term of aroma and taste of the respective tea leaves. Well designed tea pots will not only enable you to pour out the tea smoothly well from the pot, but also enable you to do so even at varying speeds and angles of your pour. That's mean no tea should drip down from other parts than its spout. As such, it is also not wrong to say that the teapot is a product of the applied art.

Lately, there has been an huge increase in demand of such zisha teapots. As a result, the prices have increased tremendously from a few dollars to thousands for a single pot. It goes without saying, its quality has also improved to match its price. Better quality control have been put in place at every level of processes and those do meet the quality will then be rejected and smashed immediately after they were taken out from the kiln.

Thanks for taking your precious time to read this article and trust it is worth more than your time spent.

Please feel free to pass off this blog to your circle of friends who are pursuing of brewing a good tea. Do share with me your experience either through email or comment, I am more than happy to learn from you.

Stay tuned and look forward to hearing from you,

James Oh

Tuesday, 3 November 2009


Very happy day to my loving readers and visitors,

In my preceding article, I wrote about the tea pot and its characteristics. Since it is still fresh in your memory, I am going to give you some pointers as how to properly use and care for tea pot in this article:-

- have several teapots, for different occasions or to serve different types of tea, so as to reflect its class and characteristics

- always wash the teapot by rinsing with either warm or hot water. Do not use soap. After a period of use, the unglazed teapot will become shiny/glaring when it is rubbed with a soft and clean cloth.

- avoid using aluminum or enamel; aluminum may discolor the tea; chipped enamel may effect the flavor of the tea

- ceramic or bone china teapots retain the heat best

- check the glaze inside the pot for cracks and crazes

- check the handle for finger and knuckle room to avoid burns

- look for a hole in the lid to allow air to ensure the smooth flow of the tea from the pot

- a lug should be part of the lid to hold it in place so the lid doesn’t crash into the cups as the tea is pouring out from the pot.

- avoid using detergent inside a teapot as this will affect the taste of the tea

- remove tannin stains inside the teapot by filling and soaking the pot over several hours with a solution of hot water and four tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda – rinse thoroughly.

Please share with me some of your experience as how you take care of your tea pot. I believe that it is always worth to share our experience so as to enrich our experience.

Stay tuned and look forward to hearing from you,

James Oh

Monday, 26 October 2009

TEA : Serving the people

Dear my loving visitors,

The above bamboo slip, prefaced of the four Chinese Characters, of which I bought it at Jiangsu Water-town Zhouzhuang. The above Chinese calligraphy means "serving the people". The simple yet rich in content was advocated by Mr. Sun Yat-sen. I must admit that I have indebted to him because he had an great and significant impact on my life. I also strongly believe that lots of people have been inspiring by him as well. He is also one of key figures who had contributed significantly in bringing back to China its former glory.

This piece will be added to my future tea corner.

I find the above bamboo slip has a very meaningful and close relationship with this blog. This is because tea is well fitted into this context. Tea has a great impact on people's lives and bring lots of benefits to the people through its multi-function roles in the world. It has been serving people for more than 5,000 years, in the form of beverage, currency, herb, medical, art and culture.

Through tea, it also helps to cement relationship amongst the human beings.
In this connection, its indirect function as preserving peace and harmony cannot be ignored. Therefore, we can not ignore its social status as peace keeper. As such, i do hope you will continuously giving your support to this blog so as to educate people to cultivate this healthy hobby at the same time promote peace through it.

You can be rest assured that it will also enriching our life through an healthy hobby as the same time promote the spirit sharing spirit as a way to maintain peace and harmony to human mankind.

Through this healthy hobby, one learn to be clam and patient. By doing so, a lots of dispute can be settled through tea rather bullets and bombs.

By now, Trust you will be able to see these intangible benefits that brought through tea and give it a recognition as its well deserved.

Thanks for your time and look forward to hearing from you again,

James Oh

Friday, 16 October 2009

Another piece for my tea corner from my recent trip in China

Dear my loving readers and visitors,

The above framed black and white hand painting which I bought from my recent trip in China and I find it meaningful and very pleasing to my eyes. Hope it does so to you as well.

The literary meaning of its Chinese Character is "happiness". I find it has a very significant meaning in everyone of our lives. Success without happiness is a failure. I bought this piece is for my future tea corner and I hope that I can hang it at the wall of my tea corner so as to remind my guests and I to seek happiness from our precious lives especially when we have our good tea times drinking our tea at that corner. Let tea be the tool to bridge us to the path of happiness through closer relationship with each others. Through tea, we also can cultivate good and healthy spirit of caring and loving each others. Trust it will also cement relationship through tea, which it has been done in the past.

The other mandarin characters of phrases also stipulated that happiness can cure aging, and prolong life. Now, you can see the great work done by this artist, who has well expressed his wisdom through every piece of his work, which I am greatly appreciated very much. He has been playing a great significant impact on human beings. His humble nature is well respected and your great support is greatly appreciated.

I strongly urge more people will have such a wisdom to create happiness for human beings so that everyone of us can contribute significantly towards healthy living for the real betterment of life.

Apart from the above significant function, this hand painting also can make a uniquely culture statement for my home.

Below are the photo taken with the artist at the front of his shop at the old town in Shanghai. His contact number and his business card are also attached for your reference.

I do wish his dream of traveling to other parts of the world materialize in the near future. He told me can only do so after he obtain the proceed from the sale of all of his paintings and artworks that are still remained at his shop.

I have the honor to have taken photos with him and our handshake symbolize our friendship and happy conclusion of our deal.

The reason I share with you is that how wonderful life would be if we all are always seeking for real happiness at whatever we do. Live meaningful and respect others view - let this be the corner stone of our living principle.

Trust our future world will be much better of.

James Oh

Sunday, 4 October 2009


Dear my loving readers and visitors,

The above photo was taken at the Old Town, Shanghai. Both of us are teenage friends and we know each other since we were 11 years old. We went to the same primary and secondary school.

I chose this ancient shop because it is very meaningful to me. The mandarin character means "tea shop for famous people". It reminded me that tea was considered as luxury item in the past, the rich and famous people are able to access to it.

Thereafter, it has been planted and produce in mass scale that allow all walks of people to access to it. So, thanks to those who have initiated such a noble idea to spread the tea to more people. Similarly, this concept was later applied in automobile by Mr Ford, who had brought down the price of the car so as majority of people can afford to own it. This noble idea and action bring better life to more people. As such, we should do the same for the next generations of people the same
way we have been benefited from this planet.

Trust this inspire you and look forward to hearing from you,

James Oh