Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Taiwan Oolongs Workshop in Budapest (9/19/2009)

This is my first tea workshop in Europe!
"Better Lucky than Good" - I think so. I am just so lucky to have all these good friends to help me out. Then I have the best partner to travel together. Josephine and I arrived Budapest on the 9/15 evening. We were treated like King and Queen since our landing, and "Here we are ! Budapest and the Danube River!"

We know we have plenty time to enjoy walking around the beautiful Budapest. Our mission to here is still the first priority. So we did check out the venue for our event the second day after our small city tour around the famous Vaci Street and both ends of Chain Bridge. We met our hosts and working team: Robert, Oliver, Carol and the restaurant's manager for certain details of set-up and agenda... Again, we are lucky to have these people here in town to work with. We were told that RSVP shows a great response and expecting a house-packed activity...I know my high school pal, Stanley, Taiwan's Rep in Hungary, the honorable Ambassador Kao, well enough to rest assured for all the details. Indeed, all I need, just show up there to present it.

Interesting enough, I was told that no much tea experience, especially Taiwan Oolong in Budapest. However, right on the morning of 9/19, we encountered two young ladies who were having their Tea Serving and display on the back yard of East Asia Museum...while Josephine and I visited that garden...they were serving: Taiwan's Tung-Ting Oolong....(please see the story on our posting:
http://ponfoncha.blogspot.com/2009/09/encounter-tea-display-at-budapest.html )

I took this surprising incident as a special message that I should be Very Humble to all my Hungarian audience...(which I should always be...read on....)

All the guests are VIP to us, their participation is what this event for. Josephine and I both agreed that we got the honor to meet with first class audience on that evening. The slide show herewith will be great memory for two of us. It will be also great that you can tag your name for us when you see yourself in those photos.

We are grateful to the three organizations who are sponsoring together for this tea event:
Hungary-Taiwan Amity Association (HUTAA)
Hungarian Friendship Club of Taiwan’s ICDF
Taiwanese Chamber of Commerce in Hungary

In addition, I must specially thank the four volunteers who helped me to accomplish my workshop smoothly. Facing the audience, from left to right, they are:

Amb. Adam TERTÁk
Reprentative, Hungarian Trade Office in Taipei
(brewing: Aged Oolong)

Head of R&D Office, Hungarian Academy of Sciences,
Research Institute for Technical Physics and Materials Science
(brewing: Oriental Beauty)

Dr. Mihály SIPOS
Senior Counsellor, Department of Knowledge Based Economy, Ministry of National Development and Economy / Chairman, Hungarian Friendship Club of the Taiwan’s ICDF
(brewing: Alishan Oolong)

Mr. Nobert LABUNDY
Journalist, Diplomata Magazine
(brewing: Wenshan Pouchong)

Together, we've completed a journey of enjoying fine Taiwan Oolongs:
1. History of Taiwan Tea
2. Meet with the World’s most unique Oriental Beauty !
3. Formosa Pouchong: luscious aroma seized before its taste.
4. Why these tea gardens moved up to high mountains in Taiwan?
5. How smart Taiwan tea masters create new Aged Oolongs!
6. Hands on brewing and sipping fine Taiwan Oolongs

Again, this is my first experience in Europe. I love it!
Hoping we just don't get spoiled. Maybe some time, some other cities, soon.....!

(About this restaurant...)
After our trip back, our friend, Dr. Mihaly Sipos shares with me the following story about this restaurant:
...By the way: how did you enjoy the design of the restaurant Nimrod? I think it is very funny: a taiwanese food restaurant with hungarian pictures o the walls. The name of the restaurant is coming from he Hungarian mythology: Nimrod was a kind of god of hunters and in the same time one of forefathers of our nation. Because he was a great hunter even today we use his name for naming some hunters' associations or as a restaurant's name where game dish is served.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Visit Wang's Tea in Taipei (7/6/2009)

This is the last day of our stay in Taipei. Our members for "2009 Taiwan Oolongs Study Tour" have all returned to the States and Canad safely...Before we were leaving for Taoyuan Airport on 7/6/2009, we got time to do one more visit, I decided to take Josephine to walk in the famours Wang's Tea in the old tea district. Mr. and Mr.s Wang are very friendly and they are happy that their second generation enjoy taking care of this family tea business. While I was chatting with Mr. Wang, JP was accompanied by Mrs. Wang to tour around the tea shop, working room, exhibition room and the second floor, with conference facility and small stage for various culture activities...Josephine's first visit and she is very very impressed... I am glad that Mr. Wang did turn the old tea factory to become a new interesting site for many local and foreign visitors to learn aobut Taipei's tea history from their display and exhibition, and can comfortably sip fine Taiwan oolongs here... This is another successful experience of Culture Economy.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Visit U Zeleneho Cafe in Prague (9/21/2009)

9/21/2009 - Spending a day at the Castle District seems to be a good idea..... And we just cannot believe what's in front of our eyes......amazingly colorful.....No wonder people in Czech say Prague is the Golden City. Josephine stops at almost every souvenir shop along the street of Nerudova...can't really blame her. Every shop fits in different building with individual "theme" marked on the wall, and each of them features something special..."House of Three Violins", "House of Red Lobster", "House of Golden Key"....and the doors, the decors, the displays...keeps me very busy in looking around.

Then, the sign of U Zeleneho Cafe, "At the Green Tea" - pops into my eyes... The owner later tells us that this is one of the oldest and original Prague's tea room.

I order Matcha, JP has Earl Grey...we again, get the consent of the waitress to take photos of this tea room for our European tea adventure.

I warmly recommend this tea room/cafe to everyone who will be visiting Prague's Castle district.. I promise to post our photos on facebook. This young lady at the tea room also agrees visit this blog and gives us her comments.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Visit Dobra' Kajovna tea room in Prague (9/20/2009)

On a sunny Sunday afternoon, after more than 7 hours' train ride, we finally arrived Prague, Czech.
Here we are in Prague, How exciting!
Our hotel is truly good bargain that Josephine has digged from internet - Hotel Prague right up on the hill with great city view. From the pictures they display, we learn that we are staying a place that many celebrities and royal families used to stay during their visit to Prague.
We decided not to waste time and went right ahead to visit the Old Town of Prague.
Following the moving crowds (hard to imagine how many tourists are visiting Prague?) in Old Town Square, we walked around the city just like a moving stream. It is so different from what we had seen in Budapest...seems much more colorful...and the buildings here have more styles. Josephine's Nikon camera works very hard the whole time...

Just on the way we walked over to National Museum...we found a sign, and it leads us to walk in a small court yard...and, here we discovered this tea room totally out of our expectation. We asked for the permission to take photos, and those girls who are enjoying their afternoon teas are smiling at JP's camera. A few photos for your review.

There is an brief introduction about this tea room:
Dobra Cajovna is one of a number of tea houses throughout the Czech Republic run under the Good T Room franchise. Good T Room would like to spread its authentic tea culture, contained in the tastes and aromas of all manner of fine teas, beyond the frontiers of its homeland. This audacious idea is founded on experience tried and tested by years of work in a network of brand-name tea-rooms; to date there are already eighteen.
Dobra Cajovna in central Prague was one of the first popular tea houses...

Here is the web site for this franchise: