Archive for September, 2010

MayKingTea returns to the UK (in October)

I’m rather excited at the prospect of seeing my family on my upcoming business trip to the UK.  As many of my friends and business colleagues have been asking me when I’ll be back, I thought I would write this post  to explain my whereabouts. 

  • Monday 18th OctoberNew Direction Partnership (NDP) is an East London based networking group which has a guest speaker every month to talk about a business related subject.  This month, MayKingTea will be their guest speaker sharing my experience of starting a business following redundancy.  If you’d like to come along to NDP then contact Karen Flint for more details.
  • Wednesday 20th October: Have you ever wondered what oolong tea is, why people love or hate green tea or the health properties behind tea?  “Around the World in Eight Tea Cups” is a two hour experience where we talk about the different categories of tea, how tea is processed, the history of tea, but more importantly we will have an opportunity to taste teas from all around the world.  This is a limited seating event so don’t forget to book your place.
  • Thursday 21st October: Athena, South Woodford group.  Unfortunately, I won’t be able to make it to the Athena International Conference held on Friday 8th October, but I’ll be catching up with Stella and others.   If you’d like to join us, email
  • Wednesday 27th October: The Ultimate Women’s Day Out.  Theo, founder of Kall Me Back has arranged an invitation only event for up to 100 business women who would like to partake in an indulgence evening as well as a networking opportunity with raffle prizes to be won.  There will be many guest speakers throughout the day (including MayKingTea) but it is an opportunity to mix business and pleasure before the festive season is upon us.  If you are interested in securing your place, then please contact for more details.
  • I’m also in the planning stages of carrying out further tea-tasting events at the following venues:

    1. Espressimo Café originally started out as an independent coffee shop. Now serving tea from MayKingTea on a Sunday to accompany their wonderful breakfast menu, Nina and her team have a variety of teas from China, Sri Lanka and Italy to tickle your taste buds.
    2. Violet Cakes originally started out as a market stall selling cup cakes in the ever popular Broadway Market. Claire’s shop  on Wilton Way is proving popular with their Facebook Fans and the locals.  Violet Cakes has a large variety of teas from MayKingTea as well as some teas of her own, including mint from Claire’s own garden. 
    3. Back 2 Balance is a practice based in Walthamstow which specialises in running classes on Yoga, Pilates, Physiotherapy and other complimentary therapies.  Understanding the health benefits of tea, Karen is looking to running tea-tasting events with MayKingTea starting with Wednesday October 20th and plans to sell teas from MayKingTea in the near future.

    The Health Benefits of Pu’erh

    When I was growing up, my parents, brother, sister and myself would pop into Manchester, in the UK on a Sunday afternoon along with hundreds of other Chinese families and have Dim Sum (or as I’ve recently been told, ‘Yum Cha’ in Australia).  With the delicious appetisers dad would order, the waiter would ask him what tea we’d like.  Most of the time, dad would order Pu’erh. 

    In my Chinese culture it is traditional to serve tea during meals especially Pu’erh as it is purported to aid digestion.  As well as aiding digestion, I was brought up knowing that it plays a role in breaking down fats in your food.  If you were to type “Pu’erh” into your favourite search engine there will be many links to articles that show the health benefits of Pu’erh including aiding digestion, lowering cholesterol and as my mother taught me, it’s purported to be a great hangover cure. My mother-in-law also mentioned to me yesterday that her friend drinks Pu’erh to help her overcome her morning sickness.  What a fabulous tea!!!

    There are two main types of pu’erh: raw and cooked, where raw mimics the characteristics of a green tea in look, taste and feel, and cooked has a whole set of nuances of its own.  When I describe a cooked pu’erh to people, I often describe it as being like marmite (or vegemite for my Aussie readers :o).  Not in the taste, but it’s just one of those teas which you either love or hate. Its woody notes, has often been described to me, as being almost medicinal-like and some of my customers have gone on further to say that they would drink it, knowing that it’s good for them even though they don’t like the taste.   

    But whilst I imagine them holding their nose as they drink it, I actually think that the woody notes is one of this tea’s charms.  Just like wine, the taste of Pu’erh mellows and improves with age and I have been fortunate enough to taste different ages of Pu’erh ranging from 5 years to 30 years.  I remember introducing my husband to Pu’erh many years ago and it really wasn’t his cup of tea (bah bum ;)) but I recently purchased a 20 year old pu’erh when I was in Sydney and he really couldn’t resist the earthly aromas that came from making the tea.  He’s now a regular drinker of this wonder tonic.

    As with many other teas, pu’erh has a component (L-theanine) that promotes a sense of calm and with its reduced caffeine  content, it is a tea that can be enjoyed any time of the day.  And if celebrities rock your boat, Pu’erh tea is a favourite of Victoria Beckham and Joss Stone’s.