The Yu Gardens, one of the most famous tourist attractions in Shanghai, were built nearly 450 years ago. I visited three times between 1999 and 2012; my parents also went in March 1983. I very much enjoyed Yu Yuan – there is so much to find and see and take in. It is a lovely, peaceful place with lots of history.
Tiantan is a large temple complex and one of my favourite tourist spots in Beijing. I’ve seen it in dusted with snow, full of blossoms, shrouded by pollution, and sparkling in sunlight. I love the peaceful stands of trees, the beautiful old temples, and also the chaotic noise of many groups of (usually older) people doing exercises or enjoying music together.
In May I ran a tea-tasting afternoon with friends at college. 20 people dropped by to try the seven teas I provided. My favourite part of the afternoon was hearing all the different favourites – pretty much every tea was someone’s favourite.
In this post I am going to introduce you to teas infused with, or made of, ingredients other than Camellia Sinensis leaves. There are scented teas like Jasmine and Osthamanthus, flower teas like Rose and Chrsyanthemum, blooming teas, and even tea made of lichen.
I’ve written before about a number of Chinese festivals – learning about and participating in Chinese festivals was a great way to learn about the culture in which I was living. Now that I’m living in Sydney, it’s time for me to learn a little about the local culture here, so in the past week or so I’ve been to two local festivals!
Many categories of Chinese tea are known by a colour designation: White, Green, Yellow, Red, Blue-Green, and Black. Differences in leaf and process, amount of fermentation (and other factors) create the different categories.
I’ve been here 4+ months now; it’s been 9 months since I left China. Life has felt different, easier, over the past month – which made more clear how difficult the first few months were. Each month is easier and more enjoyable than the one before – I can’t ask for much more than that.
One of the things I appreciate most about my new life here in Sydney is that there are lots of moments that remind me of China – meals at Chinese restaurants, snippets of Chinese conversation with classmates, hearing Mandarin spoken about me almost every time I’m out in public… It really helps me on the days homesickness lifts its head.