Work blends best with tea

| Siu Sai-wo 10 Jun 2019

Successful people know how to balance work and leisure for that is the only way for them to cope with what could be a hectic schedule.

Kwun Tong District Council chairman Bunny Chan Chung-bun relieves work pressure by drinking tea. The entrepreneur is in fact an expert in the art of tea.

This is hardly surprising as Chan's family hail from Chaozhou, which is famous for its gongfu tea culture. He watched his father make tea every day and grew up to become a tea connoisseur himself.

He would go through the tea-making rituals about 10 am every day to perk up his brain, which usually gets a bit tired around that hour from the morning work session. He also likes to make tea to treat friends from time to time.

Chan is very particular with every aspect of the art of tea, from utensils to the kind of tea leaves he uses.

For perfection, he even goes to the south side of the Peak to collect water from a mountain stream.

He says the water there is even better than that for making the famous Sha Tin tofu, and its quality is better in autumn and winter when the flow of the stream is lower than in the summer rainy season.

When he gets home he lets the water sit a while, allowing impurities to settle. Keeping it in the fridge maintains its freshness for tea making for up to two weeks.

Chaozhou people's tea art has rich traditions. For instance, they only use three tea cups, which they rinse and reuse instead of getting fresh ones, hence the saying cha san jiu si - tea three, wine four.

Chan says authentic gongfu tea needs dancong tea leaves instead of tieguanyin as many think. The most famous dancong plantation is at Fenghuang Mountain, and this kind of leaf was used as tribute to the emperor in ancient times.

As to why some say strong tea can get you drunk, Chan thinks it could be due to the blood-sugar suppressing effect of gongfu tea -- dancong, in particular. This kind of tea is, therefore, best for people with high blood sugar levels but might induce a drunken feeling in those on the opposite end of the blood sugar scale.

is publisher of Sing Tao Daily

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