DRINKING TEA WITH ALL OF YOUR SENSES
When Alex and his wife took a tour around Croatia in spring of 2014. they have fallen in love with its natural beauty, and its lifestyle that’s not as rushed as you would’ve imagine, where you can always find time for family and friends and lifestyle that contains the joy of fulfilled life. So they have decided to relocate from China to Croatia and they offered to Zagreb something we didn’t have already – a place where you can enjoy a good cup of tea.
On Ilica street 107 they have opened a small place called JING YUAN Teahouse, a place you might overlook thinking it’s just a regular teahouse but it isn’t!
“I have tried to find a place that is a little bit remote, so you can’t actually see what’s inside before you get in”, says Alex as we where drinking our 3rd cup of red tea. When you step into Teahouse you will be amazed by the calmness of the place.
Before they have moved here Alex went through the training of becoming, as they would say a tea master, which he only thought as a hobby before. Today he transfers that same knowledge to his employee Lakšmi and she is also trying to become a master herself.
The things a master needs to know are the pace of drinking the tea, which cup goes to who, by their character and energy she tries to read. Teabags are being poured with water. After that we transfer them to these little cute cups. The ceremony goes on and it depends how on a colour of the bag.
For our red tea the first pouring was thrown away cause it was to bitter, the second and the third one was served and so was the fourth. You can keep it up until the tea number seven. You have to drink it in small cups to completely understand the aroma of that tea.
“You drink tea with all of your senses; you can touch it, feel it, taste it, smell it and of course see it. Drinking tea helps people in China to maintain their body health on a high level. It helps the body to deal with our surroundings”, says Alex. That is why we have chosen the red tea for this morning; so it can lift us up on this day, make it happier.
“As you probably felt the first taste of the red tea was a little bit bitter. That represents the man in his youth, he doesn’t really think about anyone but himself, doesn’t care about the environment…the second and the third cup felt more like it, not as bitter; that is a part of life when we start realizing the world is not here for us, we start to care about others and so do they about us. Last cup won’t be bitter at all; it will be calm and tasteful. It’s that time in our lives when we realize to accept everything good and try to do good for others too”, Alex says.
Although it is not common to put anything in your tea like lemons, sugar or honey, lately they have start to add a bit of lemon and far more exotic things like rose leaves. A cup of tea goes perfectly with small cookies that the JING YUAN Teahouse will soon have. So if you’re in the mission of trying to find your „one“, why not start with a cup of tea?
Text: Diana Martinaj
Photos: Željka Mikulčić
Translation: Filip Šeatović