A little bit of Chenpi Puerh


This is a small orange stuffed with ripe puerh tea. This is an aged fermented tea.

Puerh strikes me very much as a whole tea area of its own.

I bought this from a Chinese tea shop in Cho Lon, Saigon’s Chinese sister city of half a million diasporan Chinese.



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The flavour notes are similar to camphor, wood, damp forest, smoke, citrus.

The dark mysterious liquid is also extremely appealing. It is thick, bright and dark red.

You can add the peel to the brew to increase the orange. The orange note adds an extra warmth to the brew and tasting. The Chinese call this a Chenpi puerh. Chenpi means dried orange peel.

The tea label had 2011 on it.

Picture of tea liquid to go here. I’m finishing an oolong now so it’ll be a few hours or a day.

I haven’t drunk very much puerh tea at all. I first tried the real thing it when I was lucky enough to stay in Kunming three years ago.


There they have the renown Menghai factory and a fabulous tea market, with few actual walk-in customers in it. Most are stocked to the roof and dealing wholesale. There must have been at least 50 tea businesses there.

I am happy in the knowledge that I have all those different teas to explore later in time.

It’s a nice moment.


Happy tea drinking!



Lotus tea at Tet



Wild lotus flower at Cu Chi




Lotus tea and mooncake

Mooncake is an interesting mixture of nuts, dried fruit and quail egg. It’s very sweet and not too much can be eaten at a time.

Both the tea and cake are traditional at autumn Tet.



Happy Tea Drinking!

Gaba oolong with sweets




Saigon. 9pm.

A Vietnamese dark oolong. The flavour rich, baked, malty and nicely concentrated on the first three brews. The coriander baked wafer has a peanut cream inside. The plums are candied. They have a sweet and sour flavour. Just some of the sweets available to accompany a little tea in the evening after dinner.

Sencha from Kagoshima


When I travelled in Japan I didn’t make it to Kagoshima in the southern part of Japan. I bought a number of green teas there banchas, gyokuro, sencha, sencha sakura, matcha, karigane, kabusecha. I drank them in ryokans, traditional tea houses and even a tea company in Bessho, Hiroshima, Tokyo, Kanazawa, Matsumoto, Kyoto, Uji and a small village called Narusawa close to Mount Fuji. Some of them were made for me, others I brewed myself. One place I didn’t visit because it was outside my planned route and just too far away. This sencha is probably the best and in probably greenest tea I have ever been lucky enough to taste.

It was an outstanding tea and want to find out more about what gave it that extra quality and richness. That 茶の精神. I’ll probably need to revisit Japan to do it.


Sencha from Kagoshima with pomelos, apples and Vietnamese banh kem made from rice, mung beans and sugar.

Dongfan Meiren


It’s one of my favourite teas otherwise known as ‘Oriental Beauty’

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This tea is one of the most appealing to look at. With rust, brown, yellow, black, white and green leaves at the outset this is a great looking tea.

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It easy to see the different colours in this oolong tea.



Happy tea drinking!



A Day with Tea


Singing Bird Tea


Fortune Cookie


Nowhere has more hiding places than the heart

Like most things in life you have to let a sensation or experience grow on you. As you grow older it is easier to achieve.

In this respect it is pleasant sometimes to record a day or two of drinking tea.



Mid-morning – a fruity light oolong from the Da Lat region of southern Vietnam

Sometimes I haul some of the leaves out to look at them. see the condition of the leaf, catch the aroma, admire the skill used in production.

Qing XinLeaves



A delicious sencha (and my personal favourite tea from Japan even over gyokuro) from Kagoshima and banh kem from the Mekong Delta. The light cake is not dissimilar to Japanese mochi. The centre is vanilla flavoured green bean viz. aduki bean.


Sunset over Saigon looking towards Krong Bavet in Cambodia.

Late evening


A Vietnamese pink oolong to help relax the body and mind before sleep.

A coriander and peanut wafer with preserved sweet plums




Preparing another tea set up the next morning


Happy Tea Drinking! : )


The Dragon and the Phoenix: drinking Oolong at Breakfast

Coming Soon

Singing Bird Tea



Fortune Cookie

Một nụ cười là hộ chiếu của bạn vào trái tim của người khác.

A smile is your passport into the heart of others.

Tea as a specialised practice in Vietnam dates back to the Le dynasty beginning in 1426.



In the Vietnamese, Taiwanese and Chinese style tea ceremony, at its highest form, the aroma of the tea is enjoyed as well as its taste. In this case, the tea is first poured into the tea jug, and then into scent cup.


The drinking cup is placed upside down over the top of the scent cup and balanced there. This is known as the Dragon and the Phoenix.

In Vietnamese, con rồng và phượng trong sự hiệp tốt lành meaning ‘the dragon
and phoenix in auspicious union.’


This is a ritualised action is viewed by some as a form of prayer for the prosperity, wellbeing, and happiness of the guests.

The two are inverted so that the scent cup is upside down in the drinking cup. In Vietnamese this is known as ‘cá chép hóa trên’ in Chinese 鲤鱼翻身.

In English ‘the carp turns over.’


The final stage, respectfully receiving the fragrant tea, occurs when the scent cup is lifted and the tea is released into the drinking cup. The guest can then enjoy the aroma of the tea from the scent cup before consuming the tea from his drinking cup. Following etiquette the drinker can drink their tea in three sips; the first a small one, the second the main one, and the last an after taste.


Vietnamese pink oolong (GABA) from the central highlands was used here.


Va tat nhien roi,

Happy Tea Drinking!