Monday November 19, 2007
The art of pouring tea
By GEETHA KRISHNAN
When you have watched tea master Wang Chun, 26, in action, the common act of pouring tea would not seem the same again.
Brandishing a copper kettle filled to the brim with hot green tea, the young man from Chongqing, China, performed several martial art movements before pouring the tea into ceramic teacups.
When he started, there was a look of determination on Wang Chun’s face and when he finished, his expression changed to satisfaction for nary a drop of tea was spilled.
Wang Chun has been in Malaysia since Nov 8 for the Chongqing promotion at the Summer Palace Chinese Restaurant at the Putrajaya Marriott Hotel in Putrajaya. He has been booked to perform at the restaurant till Nov 25.
Speaking through an interpreter, he said that he learnt the movements from a kungfu master and studied the art for six years. He knows 18 movements created specifically for the art of pouring tea.
According to Wang Chun, the art of the long spout tea kettle originated from Chongqing and was introduced during the Soong Dynasty.
“In the olden days, the kettles were filled with hot water instead of tea. The water was then used to fill teacups containing the eight treasures or rock sugar, chrysanthemum, dried longan, red dates, ginseng, raisins, haw flakes and green tea leaves,” he added.
Sharing the limelight at Summer Palace with Wang Chun are guest chefs Teddy Li and Max Wang from JW Marriott Chongqing China. They are here to prepare authentic Sichuan food.
Said Li: “Sichuan cuisine is renowned for its spiciness. If you can handle chillies, bear in mind that the dried chillies used in authentic Sichuan cuisine are lethal.”
It is said that sampling Sichuan cuisine often leads to a sweaty experience. The spice factor is linked to the mountainous region of Chongqing where the temperature drops during winter.
The Chongqing promotion at Summer Palace offers dishes like Sichuan-style Spice Baby Chicken, Chicken Soup with Ginseng and Papaya, Sichuan-style Boiled Beef with Chilli and Braised Mandarin Fish with Tofu.