Tuesday, January 3, 2012
Tea: An Oasis on a Frigid Winter Day
Today was cold here in Montreal. Sunny. Pretty. But...cold, a high of 5 degrees Farenheit (-11 with windchill). That my friend is what I now call "eye watering cold". We went for a short walk (all bundled up like colorful Pillsbury dough boys) and most parts of us were warm (thanks to wool, down and fur). Most parts except for that space between the top of the scarf and the bottom of the hat known as "the face". So the eyes watered and the sinuses complained a bit..ok a lot.. But our brisk (and thankfully) short walk was well worth the chill to get to Ming Tao Xuan Tea House (or Salon de The) at 451 St-Sulpice in Old Montreal.
The Tea House is on a corner across from the Notre Dame Basilica. The room has large windows and beautiful wooden display cases of tea pots, buddhas, porcelain figurines, bronze/brass deities, and more. Across one wall is a vast assortment of teas, one of the largest I've seen. By the windows are several comfortable tables for enjoying tea. We were seated and given an extensive and informative menu of teas with detailed descriptions that was very helpful in helping us choose our tea.
We chose two different kinds of tea. Jason had the Golden Water Turtle oolong tea. and I had the "medicinal" tangerine tea (I forget the exact name). It was served in a traditional style with multiple pots on a small wooden tray. Our server very carefully showed us the proper way to prepare, pour and serve the tea. It was delightful. We spent a long time enjoying the sun coming in through the window and talking and leisurely drinking out tea