Taiwan Tea At Home

Photos by MJ Klein

It’s been a very long time since we had an article about tea, and given the fact that tea is such an important part of daily life in Taiwan, it’s past due for us to present one to you.  I’ll show you what we have at home for making oolong tea and serving our guests.

Tea In My Home

This is our cha-pan 茶盤 where we brew tea at home.


This a shot of the cha-pan taken a few years ago to show you the details.  There are many levels to work from and the whole thing drains out the bottom to the right.  It was hand carved out of a piece of root wood from Laos.

Tea In My Home

This is our current setup.  We have 2 types of cups on the left, and then the main working area to the right.  On the far right are vessels to keep the tea fresh.

Tea In My Home

Here we see the gong-bei 公道杯, a strainer and my treasured large Japanese teapot made from swirled material.


Actually, I have 2 pots made from swirled material.


The large pot has expertly cut scores in the body of the pot to expose the underlying material.  The execution is brilliant!


Here is a closeup of the large pot.  We blogged on this pot before , in the early days of the blog.

Tea In My Home

Recently we acquired some new teacups.  On the left are the drinking cups.  On the right are aroma cups for smelling the brewed tea.  If you’ve never experienced drinking oolong tea with an aroma cup then you are missing out on 1/2 the experience!

While some people make a ceremony out of drinking tea, for us it’s simply a relaxing and enjoyable experience, and rather unceremonious.

Thanks for reading.  We welcome all comments, retweets and recommendations below.

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  3. Hello Klein,

    I heard Taiwan’s oolong tea is tasty one.
    Do you often drink it ?
    We have mostly cold type oolong tea here.
    If I have a chance that visit to Taiwan,
    I’d like to try tasty tea.

    Have a nice day!

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  5. The tea pots are beautiful. I have never seen tea made your way. I feel awful sitting here drinking a mug of green tea made with a tea bag, a paper one. I am missing out on your wonderful enjoyment of tea. I enjoy the aroma of a good tea too, and agree it is an important part of drinking tea.

    1. Carolyn, kung-fu style tea is a really nice way of enjoying oolong tea. it’s relaxing to perform the operations and also to enjoy the flavor and aroma of the tea. but it seems that not many people in the West appreciate that. you definitely are one of the few that do! we have a plan in the works to import tea into the US and train some of the people in the art of kung-fu tea making. i’ll report on our progress of course. take care, Carolyn and thanks.

      1. Recently the son of my husband’s buddy brought them green tea from Japan that is a very rich green color and has a wonderful flavor. I am very lucky that they have shared it with me. I do not know if it has a special name or not. I was just told that it is expensive. Which does not mean anything to me in regards to flavor as I have tasted high priced things that belong in the garbage in my opinion. Do you know anything about Japanese teas, as I do not? I only know what I like to taste and smell to drink.

        1. hi Carolyn. well, all teas are the same plant. what’s different is the altitude and place where they are grown, and the processing. green tea is processed very little, while black (red) tea is fully oxidized. oolong is 1/2 oxidized. i’ve had Japanese green tea in Japan and i like it a lot, but not quite as much as our Taiwan oolong. we can get Japanese tea in Taiwan too of course and much of it is very expensive. some of the Japanese green tea that i’ve had, also has toasted rice included and that makes a nice additional flavor.

          1. I have some of the Japanese green tea with the toasted rice in it and like it very much. It was bought in a grocery store here. My preference is the Japanese green tea that I was given. It has a very good flavor and aroma.
            I used to enjoy coffee as much as I am enjoying tea now. Had to make the change due to my aging stomach. Green teas are the easiest on me and I enjoy them very much. It is dangerous to my credit card for me to wander into tea shops at the mall. Like you and Hui-chen at the Coach store.

          2. hi Carolyn, well it sounds like you’re really enjoying your newly acquired Japanese tea 🙂 that’s great! we’re fortunate here to be able to get those high quality teas easily. Taiwan does not export it’s high-mountain tea of the highest category. so if you buy oolong tea in the US it’s not the best stuff. that means that you can only get it by either coming here and taking some back yourself, or by having someone who lives here to send it to you. i imagine that it’s the same situation in Japan too. i think now it’s time for you to explore the art of owning teapots 🙂 take care Carolyn.

  6. Nice – one day I want to get a tea tray, too. Having an 18 month-old curious girl around is not the ideal time to introduce something like that in the household, though. 🙂

    1. hi Stefan. i’m sure the tea tray itself is robust enough to withstand the curious girl, but the tea pot and cups couldn’t be left out like we leave them! thanks Stefan and take care.

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