Floating Leaves Tea Home ---Shiuwen's Blog!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Spring Oolong

I talked to some tea friends in Taiwan this week and I was quite happy to hear that they all think this spring's tea quality will generally be higher than this past winter's. Last season, I was not able to carry several types of high mountain teas, including Shanlinxi or Dayuling, because their quality wasn't what I expected from those teas.

I asked the farmers about the temperature variations that have been happening frequently over the past month and if that would affect the quality of the tea. They said at least there wasn't a drought (like in SW China) and the tea plants are yielding more than last season. They expect a strong harvest.

That's good news. I am optimistic that I will find some great Oolongs during next month's trip!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Floating Leaves Tea - May Schedule

The Taiwan Tea Tour is coming up very soon and I am really excited about it! We will have a lot of fun together and we will be sure to take a lot of pictures and to share our new tea knowledge with everyone. If you have any special tea questions, please remember to email them to me soon. After the tour, I will be staying in Taiwan to do this Spring season's tea purchases. I will do my best to update you on Taiwanese tea news while I am there.

While I am in Taiwan during the month of May, the Floating Leaves Tea shop will be open on Saturdays and Sundays only, from 11am to 7pm. Your internet tea orders will be shipped once a week. Thank you for your understanding and I look forward to sharing some delicious Spring Oolongs with you after I return.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Cooking with Tea

Here is one of the cooking with tea recipes that I promised to give you in my last post. If you get a chance to try it, please let me know how it turns out. Enjoy!

Braised Pork Belly infused with Muzha Tieguanyin and Savoy Cabbage

-Cabbage, take out the core and separate the leaves. Blanch them in tea (use the tea after you make 3 cups for the braised liquid with salt). Set aside when it's done

-Pork belly or side pork 1 pound (long and flat)

-6 Tb soy sauce

-2 star anise

-2 Tb rice wine

-2 tspn sugar

-1/3 cup and 2 Tb Muzha Tieguanyin tea leaves


1) Cut pork into 3 pieces, placed them on a plate and marinate in soy sauce with broken-up star anise (flavor will easily release after they're broken) for about 30 minutes

2) Pat dry the pork and put the rest of the soy sauce and star anise into a sauce pan. Add rice wine, sugar, and tea (brew the tea with 3 cups of hot water first for 3-5 minutes, need strong tea, but try not to make it bitter)

3) Pan fry the pork in hot oil with medium-heat. Fry until it is crispy and has a nice, brown color. Pat dry and then add to the sauce pan. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 50 minutes uncovered. Turn the meat once a while. The sauce will also reduce when the meat is done. The sauce should have the consistency of syrup. If not just add cornstarch to thicken it.

4) Slice the pork about 1/4 inches thick (try to fan it out). Arrange cabbage leaves on the plate and then place the pork on top of it. Drizzle the yummy sauce on top of the meat and leaves. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Cooking with Tea

Tea is good to drink and tea can be very good to cook with, too. My friend Maggie and I have been working together on a "tea cooking" project. She is a trained chef and I love to eat, so this is a great partnership!

Last week, we had our second attempt at cooking with tea. She gave me some ideas of what dishes she wanted to make and I gave her some ideas on which teas might go well with the ingredients. She came up with a chicken dish using our High Mountain Buddha Hand, a steamed Halibut with Jasmine Green Tea, stir-fried Shrimp & Vegetables with Dragon Well, and Pork Belly with Muzha Tieguanyin. All of the dishes were delicious and the tea flavor came out very nicely. We had a feast and were very proud of the results. In my next post, I will give you one of the recipes.

Maggie Chiu was born and raised in Taiwan. She received her professional cooking training from a culinary school in California. She used to own a restaurant in Taipei and cooked at the Four Seasons. She now lives in Seattle with her husband.