Treat yourself (and your tea) with beautiful tea-ware

 

There’s nothing quite as satisfying as taking your time to prepare a delicious cuppa. Inhaling the aroma of your freshly brewed tea before your first sip or sharing a steaming pot with friends is what it’s all about!

Sure, you can dunk a teabag in some hot water as you’re surfing for shows on Netflix, but your favourite high quality teas deserve better than that. Go on and #treatyoself!

Ready to make a life-changing cup of tea? Here’s what you need:

A good pot

Making sure your tea is prepared in a good pot adds to the quality of the brew so that you can really taste the difference. Our beautiful cast iron teapots last for decades – so your legacy of making the perfect cup of tea will survive for generations. Not to mention, they’re the best option if you’re prone to a spot of clumsiness or tend to move house a lot – they’re built to last.

They also stay hotter for longer and are great for teas that like the heat of boiling water – oolong, black tea, and certain types of green tea. The iron distributes the heat evenly and enhances the flavour. Drinking white or herbal tea? Those need less heat, and you can choose a glass pot instead.

A good mug

The cup you choose to drink your tea out of can make or break your cuppa. Just ask Janice from your office if you can borrow her cup and watch her freak out. No you cannot – it is her Special Mug.

You deserve a special mug too. We love the cup-for-one. It’s an elegant solution to all of those times you’ve been dying for a special cuppa but didn’t want to brew a huge pot just for yourself. (And you can glare at Janice if she even thinks about borrowing it.)

A good selection of tea

Nothing compares to the quality of wholesome, delicious loose leaf tea. Ditch the dingy teabags for an experience you won’t be able to turn back from. Trust us, being selective with your tea will open your eyes to everything you’ve been missing from your regular routine. Our signature 6 pack is perfect to try a few different flavours and help you figure out your faves.
Want to see how these items look, feel and work in the flesh? Pop by one of our stores to see them in action! While you’re here, why not have some delicious dumplings too? Make a booking and head on over!

What you need to know about Chinese New Year

 

Even though 2017 started over a month ago, we’re not ready to stop celebrating the New Year. That’s right, Chinese New Year is now on the horizon and that means loads of celebrations and delicious food!

If you’re not familiar with this holiday, we’ve got your back. Chinese New Year at Oriental Teahouse is all about sharing Chinese food and culture with your closest family and friends. Here are the basics you need to know:

The Chinese Zodiac

Each year is themed by a different animal so when we celebrate the New Year, we welcome one of the twelve zodiacs to protect and look over us. 2016 was the year of the Monkey and on the 28th of January 2017, we’ll transition into the year of the Rooster.

According to ancient Chinese superstition, in your birth sign year, you will offend the God of Age, and have back luck that year. The best way to avoid this is to wear something red year round, such as socks, scarf, underwear, wristband, etc.

Your Animal Sign

Your Chinese Zodiac sign is determined by your birth year, according to the Chinese lunar calendar. Determine your animal sign by finding your birth year below.

  • Rat: 2008, 1996, 1984, 1972, 1960
  • Ox: 2009, 1997, 1985, 1973, 1961
  • Tiger: 2010, 1998, 1986, 1974, 1962
  • Rabbit: 2011, 1999, 1987, 1975, 1963
  • Dragon: 2012, 2000, 1988, 1976, 1964
  • Snake: 2013, 2001, 1989, 1977, 1965
  • Horse: 2014, 2002, 1990, 1978, 1966
  • Goat: 2015, 2003, 1991, 1979, 1967
  • Monkey: 2016, 2004, 1992, 1980, 1968
  • Rooster: 2017, 2005, 1993, 1981, 1969
  • Dog: 2018, 2006, 1994, 1982, 1970
  • Pig: 2019, 2007, 1995, 1983, 1971

Red envelopes

As a child, one of the most exciting parts of celebrating the New Year was receiving the red envelopes given by extended family. Why? Because they’re full of cash! They’re a wish for health and wealth ­– and traditionally it’s the red paper itself that carries the good luck.

Chinese New Year foods

At Oriental Teahouse we get super excited about the infamous New Year dinner. It’s a significant part of the celebration, uniting family members over a gigantic, delicious Chinese meal. That means seeing distant aunts and uncles and all 537 of your cousins. It’s a great time with heaps of food, laughs and great company.  Some of the must-have foods are:

Dumplings

Dumplings are super popular in Northern China and especially during the New Year as they represent prosperity. They’re typically made the day before and eaten at midnight. Apparently, the more dumplings you can fit into your gob during the celebration, the more money you can expect to make in the New Year. We dare you to give it a go!

Fish

Families often buy a whole fish and prepare it with some ginger and soy sauce. This dish is accompanied with the phrase “nian nian you yu” which means, “may the year bring prosperity.” It’s customary to save leftovers, not just for your lunch the next day, but also to symbolise prosperity overflowing into the New Year.

New Year cake

If you’re into cool textures, this stuff is for you. Also known as Nian Gao, New Year cake is made with glutinous rice flour and sugar. It is considered good luck to eat nian gao during Chinese New Year because nian gao is a homonym for “higher year.” It’s a popular gift to bring to a New Year party and can be moulded into different shapes for decoration. Pretty and tasty? Don’t mind if we do!

Now that you’re more familiar with some traditional Chinese New Year foods, why not come down to one of our venues and try some of them for yourself? Celebrate Chinese New Year at Oriental Teahouse and have yourself banquet with some loved ones!

5 Teas That Will Help You Stick to Your New Year’s Resolutions

It’s pretty obvious that we’re passionate about tea – but not just because it’s delicious. Teas have been used for thousands of years for their amazing health benefits. That’s why we think there’s a cup of tea to help you achieve every kind of New Year’s Resolution.

At Oriental Teahouse, we know you might need some help sticking to your goals, so we’ve paired some common resolutions and the teas that can help keep you on track.

Resolution 1: looking and feeling better

By the time the New Year comes around, we’re starting to feel the effects of all the late nights, indulgent dinners and drinks with friends. Fun in the sun also takes a toll on our skin. No one wants to start a new year looking and feeling less than their best. Give yourself some love with a delicious brew.

Our recommendation: Refreshing Tea

Our Refreshing tea is known to calm, cleanse and leave you feeling refreshed. It might be the essential pick-me-up you need to kick start your year the right way. It’s also great for your eyes and skin. Drink it in the morning and start feeling the benefits straight away.

Resolution 2: sleeping better and relaxing

There is no substitute for a good night’s sleep. Winding down properly and clearing yourself of the day’s stresses can help you get some quality snoozing – it’s no wonder “sleeping better” is a popular New Year’s Resolution. No better way to prepare for a night full of Z’s than with a warm and cosy (caffeine-free) cuppa before bed!

Our recommendation: herbal tea

Herbal tea helps to calm your system right down. Our Chrysanthemum Tea is perfect to sip on as you unwind. It’s a classic that has been used in Chinese medicine for centuries to help you relax.

Resolution 3: cutting coffee and feeling more energised

If you can’t face your workmates before you’ve had your first shot of espresso in the morning, you might want to rethink your coffee habits in 2017. We’re all guilty of guzzling coffee to get us through the day but a dependence on caffeine isn’t healthy. Tea can be an awesome alternative to help you kick your addiction.

Our recommendation: black tea

Try our earthy Pu Erh Marjian Tea. It’s compressed to preserve bold flavours and intensity, making it a great substitute for your latte. Rich and satisfying, you’ll quickly realize that tea can be your healthier savior.

Resolution 4: detoxing and losing weight

After all those delicious holiday meals, you might feel like your body needs some cleansing! Good thing tea has some detoxifying properties that help to flush out the nasties.

Our recommendation: green tea

Naturally high in antioxidants, green tea is great at flushing out toxins and boosting your immune system. Try our Gen Mai Chai Tea to give your system a cleanse. With roasted brown rice, it’s a delicious way to get back on track.

Resolution 5: drinking more water and staying hydrated

Fizzy drinks are quenching on a hot day, but they’re often laden with sugar and preservatives. If you struggle to drink enough plain water, why not give some tasty, sugar-free iced tea a go?

Our recommendation: fruit tea

Keep cool with our refreshing Raspberry and Lime Tea – a hydrating solution to a hot summer’s afternoon. Keep hydrated and replace sodas with this natural pick-me-up. Tasty and sweet, it’s packed with vitamin C and is great served both hot and cold.

Now that you know which teas can help you stick to your New Year’s Resolutions, why not come down to one of our stores and have a cuppa with us? Or feel free to order any one of our dozens of teas online for yourself, family and friends. Cheers to 2017!

Create Your Own Dumpling + Win Free Dumplings for a Year!

Dumpling lovers, we’ve got something special in store for you!

Tell us your wildest, wackiest and tastiest dumpling recipe and enter to win a full year’s worth of dumplings at any of our three Oriental Teahouse locations. Simply comment your idea on the pinned post on our Facebook page to enter. Good luck!

Terms & Conditions:

  • To enter, participants must post their dumpling creation idea within the comments section of the competition post between from 25/11/16 to 9/12/16.
  • Entrants can enter as many times as they wish.
  • Entries will be open until 10PM 9/12/16. The winner will then be chosen by Oriental Teahouse’s head chefs based on creativity, potential tastiness and general creation appeal.
  • Winner will be contacted by Oriental Teahouse on 10/12/16 and asked for identification details for ongoing redemption of prize.
  • Dumpling will then feature on Oriental Teahouse’s South Yarra location specials menu for 1 month.
  • Winner will have access to free yum-cha across Oriental Teahouse’s South Yarra, Chadstone and Little Collins locations to the value of $40 per visit, limited to 1 visit per week.
  • Oriental Teahouse will send the winner vouchers that can be used to redeem the prize (valued $40 each week).

Everything you need to know about Year of the Monkey, 2016

Another year, another chance to revisit the Chinese zodiac.

In Chinese culture, New Year’s Day isn’t January 1st 2016, it’s February 8th. This year that means leaving behind the year of the goat and making way for the monkey. There are 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac — those born in 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004 and this year are monkeys. Here’s what you should know.

Lucky numbers: 4 and 9
Lucky days: the 14th and 28th of any Chinese lunar calendar month
Lucky colours: white, blue, gold
Lucky flowers: chrysanthemum

Monkey Traits, According to Pictures

Those born in the year of the monkey have a magnetic personality.
Como Zoo 017
Source: Spirituscapere

They are smart, witty and sharp minded…
132477
Source: Strangefunkidz

…but additional traits such as cheekiness and curiosity can lead to problems.
Screen Shot 2016-01-25 at 3.33.22 pm
Source: Flickr

Monkeys get a kick out of a practical joke but can sometimes take things too far. They don’t have bad intentions though, and are quick to learn from mistakes.
815a95941bf7844a33e96515f89df776
Source: Zap2It

Monkeys are crafty and naturally inquisitive. This means they need a life partner who can keep them interested or they become restless. Those born in the year of the ox or the year of the rabbit are most compatible with monkeys.
960e066167c09d2621966536d9c4c397
Source: PlayBuzz

They’re also creative.
f7862264f1c71e3504a5d97df2262d8c
Source: The Wondrous

They prefer city life to the country.
8a24d742691135c368326231068843ed
Source: Flickr

And are healthy thanks to their active lifestyle.
Funny-Muscle-Monkey-Weightlifting-Picture
Source: Ask Ideas

As hard workers, jobs that are taxing to most or require great attention to detail are great for monkeys. Think accounting, engineering, science and even film directing.
maxresdefault
Source: YouTube

Do you know a monkey who fits this description?
Share this blog post with them or treat them to a special Chinese New Year
celebration at Oriental Teahouse with a free lion dance show. Bookings essential.

Chapel St: Feb 6, 8pm
Chadstone: Feb 7, 12.30pm
Lt Collins: Feb 11, 1.30pm

Clothes and Accessories for Food Lovers (Just in Time for Christmas Shopping!)

Do you have a friend who’s a food lover but want to get them a gift that lasts this Christmas? Look no further, we’ve scoured the internet for food clothing and accessories that are good enough to eat (but we highly recommend against actually consuming them!).

1. Fried Egg Pin by Georgia Perry

Melbourne-based designer Georgia Perry nails pretty much everything, but there’s something extra-special about this simple sunny-side up accessory.

Wearing Food_Egg Pin

http://www.georgiaperry.net/shop/m0uaxge2dyldr2lt9k9p4fvftjz9mu

2. Lunch Tee by Dig Inn

While most food-frenzied designers slap a picture of food on their garments, Dig Inn pays tribute to the middle meal that can make or break a day. Few words are as loaded as LUNCH.

Wearing Food_Lunch Tee

https://www.diginn.com/merch/

3. Cheezel Ring by Eat Me Do

We’re not suggesting that you stop putting real Cheezels on your fingers, but this tempting piece of jewellery keeps your fingers Cheezel’d up between snacks.

Wearing Food_Cheezel Ring

http://www.eatmedo.com/collections/menu/products/cheezel-ring-online-exclusive

4. Sushi Pants by Margaux

These Melbourne-based pants people make some seriously loud bottoms. It was hard to pick a favourite from the collection of sandwich pants, kiwi pants and cat pants, but we couldn’t go past sushi.

Wearing Food_Sushi Pants

https://www.facebook.com/margaux.com.au/timeline

5. Dumpling Necklace by Meliciap

Obviously we’d rather eat a dumpling than wear a dumpling, but if you’re wearing a dumpling WHILE eating a dumpling, your life is probably on track.

Wearing Food_Dumpling Necklace

https://www.etsy.com/listing/223102053/sterling-silver-dumpling-necklace

 

The Top 10 Best Ever Tea Quotes

Considering how many olden-day and modern-day geniuses have been photographed sipping cups of tea, it’s safe to assume that tea is magical and makes you brilliant. There’s something about sipping the steaming beverage that gives you super-brain, and this collection of tea quotes certainly proves it.

Tea Quotes_Frances Hardinge

Tea Quotes_Chaim Potok

Tea Quotes_Astrid Alauda

Tea Quote_Peter Pan

Tea Quote_Okakuro

Tea Quote_Fyodor Dostoyovsky

Tea Quote_CS Lewis

Tea Quote_Chinese Proverb

Tea Quote_Catherine Douzel

Tea Quote_Arthurt Pivero

Your Personality According, to Teapots

It’s often said that what you wear says a lot about you as an individual. The same is true when it comes to your favourite teapot. We’ve compiled a list below to help you discover your deepest personality traits. Here’s how it works: scroll through the pictures, pick your favourite teapot, then read the excerpt to see which best describes you! Some of these teapots are wackier than your average, but we also have a vast range of elegant, Chinese teapots available to purchase online and in our stores.

1. Cat Teapot – Better off Alone
You’re independent and prefer to be alone, whether that’s getting the daily chores done or working in silence. Some thing your a little mysterious, while others just break your concentration, which is why tea for one suits you just fine.

Cat
Source: Fab

2. Cupcake Teapot – Sprinkles of Joy
You make every occasion a happy one. It doesn’t matter if you’re having a friend over or hosting a party; you’re all about sweets and sparkles. You go out of your way to make others smile and in doing so, make yourself cheerful as well.

Cupcake
Source: Mod Cloth

3. Multi-Spout Teapot – Multiple Personalities
You can’t be categorised because each mood and situation dictates how you behave. People often say you act differently in different environments, but that’s because you feel the most comfortable doing fitting in with your surroundings. Why settle for less when you can settle for more?

Multi
Source: Buzzfeed

4. Tentacle Teapot – Dark Side
You have a dark side and you’re proud of it. To the average person you’re just another guy/girl getting on with life, but you regularly catch yourself thinking up odd scenarios and doubting that other people have the same thoughts. Being different is what makes you, you.

Dark Side
Source: Saatchi Art

5. Skull Teapot – Goth
Just because you like nasty things doesn’t make you a nasty person. For you, household goods and items of clothing are simply a way to express your personality. Besides, you liked skulls before they were cool.

Skull
Source: Cake Head Loves Evil

6. Toilet Teapot – Potty Humour
“You can make me grow up, but you can’t make me be mature” is your motto. Poop, farts and all things dunny give you the giggles, even in adulthood. You’re not ashamed to put a hand under your armpit and flap until it fluffs. And why not? It makes you happy.

Toilet
Source: Etsy

7. Mr Tea Teapot – Intellectual
Nothing tickles your fancy more than a good pun and a cuppa. You know better than anyone that sense of humour and smarts go hand in hand. You’ve been known to pun in isolation for the benefit of no one other than yourself. And if you ask us, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Mr Tea
Source: Etsy

8. Mickey Teapot – Young at Heart
You’re a sucker for the nostalgic; anything that reminds you of a time past and keeps it fresh in your memory. You have a tendency to look at old photos and daydream, not with sadness, but with an appreciation for your life thus far. Don’t change, it suits you.

Mickey
Source: Lil Treasures

9. Silver Teapot – The Classic
You are the new black, and the old black, too. You’re always in fashion and people admire your taste. Elegant and ageless, you could exist between centuries and still fit in just fine. Although you may not be as outspoken as some, you remain a stand out.

Classic
Source: Style Me Pretty

10. Gypsy Teapot – Wanderer
You have a thirst for adventure that can only be defined as wanderlust. Nothing makes you happier than new experiences, whether at home or abroad. At one stage or another you’ve counted the countries you’ve been to and stood back proud of your achievement. Remember, the journey is more important than the destination.

Boho
Source: Dishfuntional Designs

 

David’s, The People’s Restaurant

You know our best friend, David’s Restaurant? Light-filled dining room, scrumptious Shanghai comfort food, tucked down an alley?

When The Age Good Food Guide announced that voting was open for the People’s Choice Awards, all they could do was sit back and wait while the hungry people of Melbourne picked their favourite dining spots. And thanks to you, and you, and you (et cetera), we’re very proud to announce that they took out the number 3 spot!

They’ll be doing something special soon to say thank you for voting, so be sure to follow them on Facebook.

Here’s some David’s #foodporn to reward you for your beautiful faces, big appetites and ongoing support:

Davids Award_Yum ChaDavids Award_Eggplant Davids Award_Medley Davids Award_Seafood Davids Award_Wings

 

 

A history lesson in Tea

TEA TIMELINE

Tea Timeline
(photo source: Fine Dining Lovers)

It’s painful to imagine a world without tea. Across the globe, people have come to rely on their daily cuppa and the jolt of joy that comes with it. But believe it or not, there was a time before tea-drinking, and we’re going to tell you all about it.

2737 BC: TEA IS DISCOVERED. Legend has it that a green tea leaf fell into Chinese Emperor Shen Nung’s cup of hot water, he decided to drink it and obviously loved it.

551-479 BC: Documents from this time identify Confucious as a tea-drinker (no wonder he was so wise!)

350 AD: Tea, called Erh Ya at this time, is referenced in a Chinese dictionary for the first time.

420-588 AD: A rich guy called Wong Mong is described as being obsessed with tea; when he had guests over, he gave them so much tea that they called it ‘flooding.’

593 AD: Our favourite drink spreads from China and into Japan, where locals lap it up.

725 AD: Tea is finally given its own Chinese character: cha

780 AD: The very first tea tax is imposed in China because the dynasty knows the people will pay anything for their precious tea leaves.

960-1280 AD: Tea sets become increasingly ornate, evolving into the exquisite pieces we see in museums; plus, people start building public tea rooms.

1101-1125 AD: Chinese Emperor Hui Tsung is known as a tea fiend and holds tea-tasting tournaments in his court; legend has it that he was so busy drinking tea, he didn’t notice the Mongols were taking over his empire.

1280-1356 AD: The Mongols have taken over China and they don’t want people to drink tea.

1368-1644 AD: When the Mongols fall, the Ming Dynasty takes over and drinks a lot of tea.

1391 AD: The first teapots begin to appear – people didn’t have to prepare tea one cup at a time!

1559 AD: Venetian diplomat and explorer Giambattista Ramusio writes about Chinese tea and says tea is the reason Asian people lived longer than Europeans.

1610 AD: The Dutch East India Company imports the first shipments of Chinese tea to Western shores, marketing it to rich people as an exotic medicinal drink.

1650 AD: Tea parties become a trendy social event among Western women; men are mad because tea was always considered a man’s drink.

1662 AD: Dutch King Charles II marries Catherine Braganza of Portugal, who is known to be a huge fan of tea; as a result, the UK starts drinking so much tea that alcohol consumption declines.

1664 AD: The English East India Company brings the gift of tea to the British king and queen and not long after, tea-drinking becomes a part of daily life in Britain.

1680 AD: Tea served with milk is mentioned for the first time in letters written by Madam de Sévigné.

1690 AD: The American colonies see their first public sale of tea in Massachusetts.

1706 AD: Thomas Twining (does that last name sound familiar?!) puts tea on the menu at his London coffeehouse.

1765 AD: Tea is ranked as the most popular beverage in the American colonies.

1773 AD: Colonists in North America protest Great Britain’s tea tax by boarding a trading ship in the Boston Bay and dumping all the cargo into the bay – we’ll never know if they were motivated by love for tea or political unrest.

1904 AD: Clever Englishman Richard Blechynden creates iced tea during a heat wave at the St Louis World Fair – people love it.

1908 AD: In a happy accident, New York tea importer Thomas Sullivan invents tea bags when he sends tea to clients in small silk bags; not knowing what to do with the bag, his clients steep the bags whole.

2005 AD: Oriental Teahouse opens its first shop on Chapel Street in Melbourne, Australia, improving the lives of Melburnians with house tea blends and Chinese dim sum!

Sources:
http://www.revolutiontea.com/tea-timeline.htmlmeline.html
http://www.stillinthestream.com/files/teatimeline.html