Monday, April 19, 2010

An Exploration of Fine Taiwan Oolongs @ San Jose (4/17/2010)

This is my first visit to the San Jose Taiwanese American Center.
Chris and Vincent enjoyed chatting all the way from Berkeley to San Jose, but I took my sound nap to recharge my "battery".... This is an extremely busy week for Josephine and me with Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA Show) taken placed in Anaheim. Quiet a few fellow tea colleagues are in town to meet the STI training sessions.... I was actually waken up by Vincent...while arriving at the TAC San Jose. (*A two story big building with many functions for TA's various activities.)
With the experience of previous class at UC Berkeley, Vincent was a lot more efficient this time to help me set up the tables and get hot water ready...I then got chance to chat with various friends who arrived early, including Mrs. Gina Mao, our good friend Tyson Mao's mom, a passionate TA community leader in Northern California., Mr. David Chen, President of Taiwanese American Center of Northern California., Sophia Deng, a fellow FAPA member and a good friend in FB...They showed up to support TAP-SF's activity. That is what I always respect: Leading by example!
It turns out to be a good size of crowd, and a happy afternoon with a lot of fun of having Taiwan Oolongs together. This class might be rated one of the most interactive workshops I have ever had. The whole audience are very responsive. We not only shared one Hakka Mountain Tea Song in PonFonCha., a Taiwan famous song in Wenshan Pouchong., plus we were doing together as a big group to Chant for Taiwan Oolongs at the end of the workshop. (I saw many smiling faces, and I found some tears on a few respectful senbai's eyes. They fought for Taiwan's idendity for long long time, and they told me, "Tea is really a good media to share with the rest of the World about our Taiwanese culture...". What can I agree more with this statement?)

I did prepare one TTMA's apron for the whiz winner - in order to review with our audience about the important "3 T" for making a good cup of tea, which are: Right amount of Tea, right temperature of water and right time of steeping. My question is "what will be the 4th T ?" - a young lady, Jodi Chen hits it without any hesitation: "Taiwan Tea" - she said it loudly...Alright! Go Jodi! Go Taiwan Tea!
As usual, I appreciate very much for the four volunteers, without them, this Tea Workshop could not be so much fun and no way to get the message delivered. Our volunteers from TAP-SF, (from the left to right) Brian Chen, Susan Huang, Joe Chen, and Carol Pan. They are marvelous and having good demo. I don't know whether I have ever bumped into a much more talented volunteer like Brian. He interacts so well along the whole class...just seemed like we did rehearse for it before the class.
Two classes in one short afternoon...very tired indeed. Eespecially, the last minute for the plane to head back to Burbank airport...first time in my life, an airplane was waiting for embarrassing! But still, a big THANK YOU to HoChie, my friend, for the opportunity to work with

A Taste of Taiwan Oolongs at UC Berkeley (4/17/2010)

Our good friend, Mr. HoChie Tsai, the creator & manager of, who we often meet in many ITASA events, has been talking about inviting Josephine and me to give Tea talks to the TA2 in San Francisco Bay area...
Finally, there is an interm of Vincent Wang, started contacting me since his winter break 2009. Vincent himself is from one of Taipei's most famous tea we did get along well and gone through a series of discussion to have the tea events set. Actually it ends up with two sessions to be scheduled in one day. One is set to be at the campus of UC Berkeley and hosted by TASA. Another one is set in San Jose at the Taiwan Center, hosted by TAP-SF for members of TAP and also open to the local community.
Vincent did an excellent job in coordination of the venues and get things going smoothly. I am proud of a freshman who has already experienced with many successful events in Berkeley, such as: Strait Talk Synposium. (HoChie has impressed me with his good leadership again in this young man.) I also thank Chris Chang, from TAP-SF, for offering me the transportation. Although at the end, Southwest Airline was so kind and being so patient to wait for my boarding.

There are a few familiar faces that I ran into at the campus, whom we met not long ago, back on 4/2/2010 at UCSD in the ITASA activity. They made me feel that I was back at home. (Patty, Jason...thank you all...) By the way, 4/17 happens to be a big"Cal Day" for the new students and their parents to visit the campus. It was indeed a campus packed with crowds! (I took a few photos in the campus before the workshop. ) Hoping next Spring, when I am invited back for the 2011 ITASA Conference, I will have more time to check Berkeley out with Josephine, who cannot make it this trip. For the workshop photos, I am grateful to a very sunny young lady, Deborah Soong. She is joining Patty Liu and many others to be in the team of 2011 ITASA West.
The following link - is the event posted by

Besides the students, I am honored to have our good friends and fellow tea pros to be there in the class to support me:
Nez and Donna Togugawa, owner of Chadoen. Thank you so much, the beautiful couple, great tea docents and nice to meet your daughter Tai Yoshi Togugawa.
Zo Guthrie, owner of Fox & moon Tea Room, Thank you for inviting your friend to the class and also for voluntee to serve tea.
I sincerely hope you can make it to join us in our 2010 TOST.

On the road again....we are moving to San Jose for another Tea Workshop there...

Our 4 lucky volunteers for this workshop are (from the left in order): Charles, Luna, Andy and Anna.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

ITASA West Coast 2010 @ UCSD (4/2/2010)

We drove from Los Angeles to UCSD this morning to participate this conference.
This is the first time I visited this campus and it is indeed a huge campus that UCSD has. Stephanine Chen who is the staff who greets us and guides us to our class room for our tea workshop. We met many "old" faces among many "youngsters", I felt good, really good that our tea workshop did win quite a few fans here.
Again, thanks to the volunteers: Christine, Jason, Stephanie and Mark. They are the key ingredients of this workshop.
Josephine and I decided to stay and enjoy a great weekend here in La Jolla!
There are a few shots we took while waling around in the UCSD campus...