Tea Time at China Exchange

Tea, whether it’s in Chinese or British culture, plays a crucial role throughout the history. To celebrate all things tea, a free tea market was hosted at China Exchange from Friday 23 to Sunday 25 February.

From teapots to tealeaves, from talks to performances, we welcomed over 1000 visitors over the weekend. The main market took place in our second floor, where a number of stallholders displayed and demonstrated their products including artisan tea, healthy snacks, and elegant teaware. Free talks included an introduction to Gong Fu Cha – the traditional tea ceremony that is still praised in China today; Abakus Food explained the benefits and history of Jujube fruit, the unique fruit known in East Asia for generations. In addition, TG Green Teas revealed the mystery of heath and well-being in relation to the use of green tea and other ancient Chinese fruit and botanicals.

Other events over the weekend included an herbal tea blending workshop led by herb experts from Hackney Herbal, offering an insight into the properties of a range of culinary, medicinal and wild herbs. However, the discussion about different tea culture went even further, with a debate between Team China represented by China Tang at the Dorchester and Team GB represented by Fortnum & Mason. Team GB gained the edge over Team China with a surprise afternoon tea served during the event.

The UK Society for Han culture Hanfu Association took us through the history of Han clothing in China and its renaissance in the modern day. Audience members were dressed in authentic reproductions of Han clothing, had their hair and make up done and learned some traditional dance moves. We were then joined by the Xiaoshuijing Farmers’ Choir, who performed traditional Yunnan folk songs and of their performance at the Royal Festival Hall.