Tea is the new coffee – MayKingTea


Tea is the new coffee, so says May King Tsang. And if you spend a little bit of time around her, her energy and passion for the brew may well rub off on you. She’s one of the world’s top 50 certified speakers on the subject of tea, one May King holds very close to her heart, and has just recently made Brisbane her home after moving here from her native London.

I was invited to experience a Gong Fu tea ceremony last week. Unlike its very ritualistic Japanese cousin, this Chinese version is all about the tea itself. The tea leaves, oolong in this case, are “washed” first with hot water and this first brew is poured away. The leaves are brewed again. The tea is poured into tiny ‘sniffer’ cups placed onto a slotted tray to catch the drips, then covered with a smaller cup, which makes them look a little like mushrooms. Each cup is given to the participants. They pick up the cups and in one fluid motion flip the cups over. The sniffer cup is removed and rolled in the hands, being sniffed to really enjoy the subtle aroma of the brew. The tea is then sipped, sloshed around the mouth and “chewed” to capture all the beautiful characteristics of the tea. Please watch the video below!

During this ceremony May King explained the traditional fables behind the names of tea and the actions within the ceremony.

May King’s passion for tea is infectious, her knowledge impressive. I expected for it to be a very serious event, but in fact it was very light-hearted, educational and accessible. She may love the Chinese and Taiwanese teas such as Tie Guan Yin, but also enjoys having a big cup of western style sweet milky tea.

T-licious at South Bank and MayKingTea are collaborating to hold a series of tea education events – The Friday Tea Club. Over the next few Fridays May King will hold traditional Chinese Tea Ceremonies, discuss Oolong tea and herbal tisanes.

Bookings: 3844 3305

Twitter @maykingtea