Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Gourmet Chinese Teas at Shang Palace
Shang Palace now features a dazzling array of gourmet Chinese teas. The "menu" is artfully presented like a set of divining or fortune-telling sticks - like the type you use at temples. Shake one out and that will be your fortune. How novel the way it is used here - letting the tea find its intended master?
I pored over the mesmerizing descriptions, perhaps too leisurely. Hubby, meanwhile, simply decided that we will just have Tie Guan Yin. We always have that. Boring but it is safe. Hubby is somewhat allergic to floral teas, such as jasmine or chrysanthemum, the popular default at Chinese restaurants.
And our tea was eventually a fortune...costwise. Only after we had ordered, I came across a fortune stick for "Nanyan Tie Guan Yin", which at S$35 a pot, was the priciest of the lot. (Oh wait, do I hear Ladyironchef gasping in horror? "That's more expensive than the Rakuichi Bento!!")
But you know what? It was indeed the most sublime Tie Guan Yin I've ever had. Beautifully light and delicate with a mellow, almost fruity complex - it tasted like fairies had been singing in my tea! I normally know Tie Guan Yin to be a dry, robust brute great for mowing down alimentary grease. Today my eyes have been opened.
I also found a Tea Masters blog describing the Nanyan Tie Guan Yin. There is so much to learn about teas! I am quite intrigued and feel like hunting down this blend to have at home.
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