Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Joy of Tea

Some people like beer. 
Some people like wine.  
Some people like coffee, all the time.  
There's just no comparing the essence of thee, 
my wonderful, elegant, glorious tea! KR
Hot Plum Tea with Pine Nuts

For the sake of clarity, when I speak of tea, I am referring to not only the wonderful liquid produced after brewing leaves from the tea family.  I'm also including hot and cold concoctions created from an infusion of herbs or roots, flowers, and/or fruits and berries with honey, marmalade or other natural preservatives. 

This road leads to tea- Insadong, South Korea.

The Old Tea Shop in Insadong- One of my favorite stops for Korean Honey Tea.
Inside The Old Tea Shop, People leave messages on the walls, tables and anywhere else they can find a spot.  I read a few and left a few.
At The Old Tea Shop, I found a message from a girl who wondered if the world would end in 2012.  I took a scan of it with my pmp and will post it here later, if I can find it.  I've taken many of my Korean friends here for their first visit.  

Ah, this is the table that holds my message.

Tea with friends.  Traditional Korean Snacks.

Korea is home to one of the best tea plantations in Asia- Boseong!  I visited Boseong again last summer and it was incredible- miles and miles of rolling hills of tea.  I almost climbed to the top of the highest hill......almost.  I formally introduce to you, Boseong Tea Plantation.  Ta Daaa! 

A sign near the entrance of Boseong.  Notice the cute mud houses?  I did and I love them!

Then, there is Sangsoo's Herbland outside of Daejeon.  There were many herbal tea concoctions to sample down there.  Take a look at Sangoo Herbland:

A Truly Serene Space-The Wishing Well

I have so many pictures from Sangsoo (and other tea locations) but currently, they're on my dear Macbook which has been (sniff, sniff)! :(   (Pray for her.)

If there's tea, I will find it!  These are pics from various tea locations around town, including my place.

Koren Honey Teas at The Old Tea Shop

The Iron pot on the top shelf on the left- I inquired about it and (Gulp) it was $3,000!  Seriously? Mmm, I don't mind paying for tea and tea essentials.  This is where I will splurge but seriously?  No, I don't think so.

Traditional Korean Tea House but honestly, I wish the chairs were more friendly. No, the bottom of me  was not pleased. The tea was delicious though. :D

A quaint little pot of tea in a tiny shop located in Gangnam, South Korea.

This is what my work area looked like when I worked on weekends.  I no longer take work home but I think my desk kind of looks something like this now......

They thought they were a coffee house until I, they serve a descent cup of tea- I'm having Rosemary.

The same shop as above.

The transformed tea house. :D

Earl Grey Chai- I was happy.

While Salerno restaurant doesn't do loose leaf tea, they had a descent selection of teabags. 
The Perfect winter herbal tea -1 tbsp dried rosemary, 1 tsp dried oregano, 1 sml candy cane (These herbs are great at fighting infection and reducing inflammation.)

This is Chrysanthemum. I made this at home as I was a little under the weather. It's very light and mellow. 

Ginger Tea with Pine Nuts and Pear Slithers- Not bad at all.

Iced Punch Tea- You could call it Punch but it's not.  It's made from dried fruits and herbs.

A very robust punch tea but it was a tad too bitter on the end. Tea with an unpleasant after taste, not good but it's pretty. 

AaaHA!  I found you! A Chinese version of my dream pot.  It's not $3,000 either. It's $65.  I know, I know but it's made in Chiiiiiiiii naaaaa.  So what?  The Chinese know more about tea and making pots than the rest of the world.  They've been doing it longer than anyone!

I like the earthiness of this tiny booth.  The seats were comfy too.
Just a picture. For some reason,  I had no desire to enter this place.

Buddah in the tea house window.  Notice the ladies having lunch and tea inside.  They were kind enough to share a wonderful blend with us. :D

This is the tea or shall a say, Meishi.  Supposedly it was fermented for several years.  I know about plum tea but, after it ferments for that long, isn't it more like, say,  Mmm........

Oh, I thought I'd just throw this in. It's no tea house but I thought about having a cup of tea here.  This is a shot from my drive out to Provence last week.

Provence in April.  There is a light show going on so everything's aglow.

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