Tuesday, 25 December 2012


Happy Holidays,

I am deeply delighted to be invited to celebrate this holiday season with the American Tea Masters Association. In conjunction with this grand celebration, I was given opportunity to enjoy this remarkably creative Hallelujah Chorus video produced by the 5th Grade Class at the Kuinerrarmiut Elitnaurviat School in Quinhagak, Alaska. Originally intended for an audience of 200, the video has been viewed more than 1.5 million times on YouTube at the link below:-

With this, I write to express my heartfelt thanks to Mr. Chas Kroll, Certified Tea Master, Executive Director, American Tea Masters Association for his generous invitation to me. 

As a result, I decided to republish it in this blog so that you too have this golden opportunity to view this marvellous video.

Cheers and thank you,

Wishing you Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2013,

Thursday, 27 September 2012




YUNNAN CHITSU PINGCHA, also called Yuancha, is manufactured from pu’er tea, one of the profound famous teas of the world. It was made through a process of optimum fermentation coupled with high temperature steaming and pressing.

It affords a bright red yellowish liquid with pure aroma and fine taste, characterised by a sweet after taste of its own. Hence, it has distinct characteristics from other teas.


To drink such a tea, you will not only find it very refreshing and thirst quenching, but it also enhances digestion apart from relieving your fatigue or intoxication. These benefits are commonly known throughout the world since many centuries ago.


Pu'er is compressed into a variety of shapes. Other lesser seen forms include: stacked "melon pagodas", pillars, calabashes, yuanbao, and small bricks (2–5 cm in width). Pu'er is also compressed into the hollow centers of bamboo stems or packed and bound into a ball inside the peel of various citrus fruits.

Common name
Chinese characters
Bing, Beeng, Cake, or Disc
A round, flat, disc or puck-shaped tea, the size ranges from as small as 100g to as large as 5 kg or more, with 357g, 400g, and 500g being the most common. Depending on the pressing method, the edge of the disk can be rounded or perpendicular. It is also commonly known as Qīzí bǐngchá (七子餅茶, literally "seven units cake tea") because seven of the bing are packaged together at a time for sale or transport.
Tuocha, Bowl, or Nest
A convex knob-shaped tea, its size ranges from 3g to 3 kg or more, with 100g, 250g and 500g being the most common. The name for tuocha is believed to have originated from the round, top-like shape of the pressed tea or from the old tea shipping and trading route of the Tuo River.[18] In ancient times, tuocha cakes may have had holes punched through the center so they could be tied together on a rope for easy transport.
A thick rectangular block of tea, usually in 100g, 250g, 500g and 1000g sizes; Zhuancha bricks are the traditional shape used for ease of transport along the ancient tea route by horse caravans.
A flat square of tea, usually in 100g or 200g sizes, they often contain words pressed into the square.
Literally meaning "tight tea," the tea is shaped much like túocha, but with a stem rather than a convex hollow. This makes them quite similar in form to a mushroom. Pu'er tea of this shape is generally produced for Tibetan consumption, and is usually 250g or 300g.
Melon, or gold melon
Its shape is similar to tuóchá, but larger in size, with a much thicker body decorated with pumpkin-like stripes. This shape was created for the famous "Tribute tea" () made expressly for the Qing Dynasty emperors from the best tea leaves of Yiwu Mountain. Larger specimens of this shape are sometimes called "human-head tea" (), due in part to its size and shape, and because in the past it was often presented in court in a similar manner to severed heads of enemies or criminals.

Whatsoever it is, please don’t take our word for it. But try it yourself and taste it yourself. Kindly let us know your real experience, and share it through the comment column provided below.

To know more about my preferred pu’er tea of my own collection, a 2004 product of Menghai Tea Factory Xishuangbanna, Yunnan China, please click the link below:-


James Oh

Skype me at james.oh18


Sunday, 8 July 2012


                                                             A PERFECT MATCH

Hi my lovely friends,

Dumpling festival was just over not long ago and trusted that you had a wonderful time during this festival. We believe some of you may have tried various sizes, shapes and types of dumplings, which can be easily obtained in my home country. This is at no exception to me and my family, especially since my eldest son had just come back from overseas this year and had missed this food very much.

As a result, this festival was given special extra attention this year. Dumpling, as photo above, is very much fulfilling to the stomach and it struck my mind as to what is best to go with it so as to ease the digestion. This led me to think of tea.

Do you agree with us that Tea is the perfect fix for such an effective role? We believe many of you may nod your heads in agreement with the title above. Having said so, it is also adviseable for you to continue to read the passage below and perhaps you may add in some convincing points to make this article even more interesting at the end of the day. Alternatively it may turn this to be a lively discussion topic at the comment column provided below. Whichever way it goes, we should make it as an useful platform for our exploration and development. Thanks for your kind participation in advance.

Before we proceed further, we would also like to highlight the well known fact about tea and its digestive properties. That's why you may see some decorators like to pair them with dumpling as a perfect match. We are deeply glad to find such a decoration became the lime light in the recent dumpling making and decoration competition camp held at the Batu Pahat Chin Kang Association.

The annual event held there was much more special this year, in the sense that it is the first time they brought in the single mothers. Besides that, they are also promoting this Chinese traditional culture to the community and celebrate the festival with others, especially the needy ones. We were told that this camp was divided into 2 categories - dumpling making class and dumpling decorating contest.

It was reported that there were some very positive and encouraging feedback from the participants. They found it very wonderful especially to have celebrated the festivity with mothers, who are learning together with their children as how to make dumplings, apart from having a fun, joy and excitement fulfilling activities.

No surprise at all that such a success will drive the association to hold more of such camp next year, such as bringing it to schools. We, of course, at tea art blog, are very glad to see this healthy and long preserved culture being maintained, but also spread further to the schools. Who knows, one day it can even turns to a cooking course, as more people can acquire such a skill either for a living or other purpose of their choices.

Thanks for your time and effort to read this article. Please spread it to your circle of friends if you find that it may enrich their lifestyle.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012



The above canister appears to me as a master piece, with lovely beautiful carving and painting. This old piece SEEMS to be easily more than two decades old judging from its outlook. However, its colours still shine as if it has just been painted. At once glance, it looks very stylish, impressive and prized ITEM that everyone is tempted to own. It is not a surprise to me that some collectors may spent hours to scrutinise every part of its work. Appreciate the owner can enlighten us in this aspect.

To know more about the canister, please click the link below.

From the above photo, it indicates that it is more than just an ordinary container of tea leaves. Its design and functional features such as air tightness has more to tell. It can also be used as decorative items and displayed in any living hall. Just imagine how its beauty can transform the environment to be more lively and inspiring. It serves as your conversation topic especially when your special guests or visitors ponder about it.

What really matters to us is that the maker's devotion, skills and passion of making such an adorable piece of art work earns our profound gratitude. It makes us wonder and ponder how great are the power of our imagination and knowledge that make things happen. If you scrutinise it more deeply, you may discover how deep and detail the maker has given his thought to each and every part of his creation. As such, it gives us an insight of his details of his effort in crafting such a creative masterpiece. Every curve, edge and brush is equally significant to its maker. How long do you think the maker needs to acquire such a caliber skill, apart from having the passion, determination and patience that drove him to produce such a perfect piece.

Here, we can safely infer that without passion, skill and appropriate attitude, then it is not possible to make it a reality. Of course, without saying if it is so easy, then everyone will then make it. So, what's a big deal then?

To make it a high value item, needless to say we need to sacrifice and undertake tedious yet painful processes so as to sharpen our skills. To make things happen, we need to have a strong desire to acquire the skill and determination to overcome whatsoever challenges we may have to face.

Therefore, it may be appropriate to sum up that every success has its painful story, so to speak. So, if you face any storm in any of your endeavour, please have faith and believe in yourself that you are able to overcome it. Be mindful that you are essentially right, i.e. if you think otherwise.