Thursday, January 26, 2012

Orchid in bloom

Flower is a must have decor for the Chinese New Year. Visiting the flower market after new year's eve dinner is also a popular activity. In the southern part of China, flowers are plenty even in the winter, chrysanthemum, peony, peach flower, plum flower, orchids, kumquats are the most popular. This yellow dandrobrium is one of the favorite orchids I have. It is the first rebloom in 3 years and bloomed on Monday, the first day in Chinese calendar!
Charcoal was burning in stove, spring water is boiling in Shao Diao - clay kettle, my mother and I drank some Zhi Lan Xiang and Cha Wang - King of Tea Dan Cong Oolong. My mother is not much of a tea drinker as it distract her sleep. She drank one little cup while I had 6, at this ratio, I drank about 1.5 littler of tea in one sitting. It was a peaceful afternoon to have tea with full set of tea gear.

Spring water is from the Santa Barbara area, thanks to K walked 6 miles round trip to fill up bottles of water from a water fall. This kid is considered ruined by tea! :P

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Chinese New Year Special

Every Chinese New Year we offer a special deal to show our appreciation. A special gift of antique cup with purchase of Wu's Chao Zhou sandy clay teapot for the year of dragon 2012. One free cup for each tea pot purchased. Hand made antique cups with small imperfections. Only 6 available, first come first pick. Offer is only good for purchase of the named teapots.

Happy New Year!

#1 (out)




#5 (out)


Thursday, January 19, 2012

An afternoon at the temple

Today is my mother's knitting day at the Xi Lai Temple. She joined a group of women whom share a common hobby knitting. Every Thursday afternoon, all the members meet from 1 pm to 4 pm with their projects to share knowledge, skills and tricks. My time is well spent with a book at the reading room or strolling around.

As Chinese new year is approaching, Monday the 23rd, Xi Lai Temple is well decorated for the holiday.
Yu Lan Hua-Chinese magnolia flower, a flower I remember as a child. It can be bought occasionally for a few pennies, tuck in hair behind ears, a symbol of femininity in the most natural and environmentally safe way, perfume in the most original form as the universe intend it to be. I love this Chinese magnolia varietal, I love the ever green foliage colored like jade, I love the small white flowers simple yet enigmatic, a humble tree yet outstanding. I will bring a thermo cup of Yu Lan Xiang - Magnolia Flower Fragrance Dan Cong to the temple next time.
As for today, I brought a thermo cup of Quin Ti - Osmanthus Flower Dan Cong with me today. Osmanthus tree is not commonly found in the US although it is one of the most common fragrant floral trees in China. It is a must have green in any and all Chinese garden. It is well praised for its fragrance as it drifts with light breeze. The flowers can be consumed as herb in medicine, teasane or pastries. Half a doze osmanthus trees are blooming in the temple garden near the stair cases of the main hall. If you wonder what an osmanthus tree is like, you can smell them here this season. You may also find it in the Huntington Library inside the Chinese Garden.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Time flows like water

Chinese New Year is coming! Time goes by, water runs by, tea flows through, life moves on. Wish for the better, live for the moment!

Happy New Year to all! 2012 is the year of Dragon, the most powerful and symbolic zodiac. With this sacred power, may everyone reach your goal this year!