Thunder Tea Saga

So, Jan and I were treated by Professor Henry Horng-Shing Lu (provost of National Chiao Tung University in Hsinchu, Taiwan, where Jan is a visiting professor) to a visit to Beipu, a traditional Hakka village. Hakka are descendants of mainland Chinese settlers who came to Taiwan over the past few hundred years prior to the 1949 Civil War. While there, we visited a traditional Hakka "thunder tea" (lei cha) house, where you’re supposed to grind your own tea. You’re given a big bowl (mortar) containing a small amount of green tea, and a smaller bowl containing a blend of peanuts, pistachios, and sesame seeds. (Yum! And healthy!) You add the latter to the former, grind it all into a fine (key word) powder, add boiling water, and enjoy your tea. And so our saga begins… We pour the small bowl (nuts & sesame) into the big bowl containing the tea... Grinding... (Note Jan’s look of extreme concentration.) Need more muscle, time to stand. Eventually, Henry takes … [Read more...]