Posts from the ‘Australia’ Category

Tearoom Review – Sugar N’ Spice in Brisbane, Australia

I first came across Sugar N’ Spice in 2010 when I moved to Brisbane and spent an afternoon scouting for tearooms. I wasn’t disappointed. Mark, the proprietor is passionate about tea, coffee, chocolate, places great importance on great products, and excellent customer service, which is something that has been lost for many years in the UK and what I have been experiencing in Australia, too.

It doesn’t matter whether you are buying a tea, hot chocolate or coffee on the go, or whether you prefer to sit inside the café, Mark and his TEAm go out of their way to service you with a smile. I was very impressed that many of the customers were greeted by their name.  Now THAT’s customer service.

Let’s get back to the tea though.  For me, the tea that is available, the way it is presented to you and how it’s been presented to you is really important.  It all starts with the tea menu.

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Tea and Art in Australia and China

My mission is to ensure that everybody has a better cup of tea in their cupboard, and what better way to raise awareness about good tea than through tea and art? I was invited by the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) to take part in an exhibition commissioned by world renowned artist, Cai Guo-Qiang.

Cai was born in the Fujian province of China which is home to some of the most respected tea in the world. Cai is best known for using gunpowder as his medium for his art, and was Director of Visual and Special Effects for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. Yep: the fabulous fireworks at the Olympics were his work! Inspired by a visit to Queensland, Cai created an exhibition to encourage us to reconnect with nature. The final part of the Falling Back to Earth exhibition involved a Tea Pavilion: a space created for art lovers to sit with family and friends to reflect on the exhibition they have just witnessed and what better way to reflect in amongst the Eucalyptus tree (the third part of the exhibition), than with a sip of tea.

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Lose 10kg a Day by Drinking Tea! I am kidding of course =D

Happy New Year Tea Lovers!

Yep it’s that time of the year when we have increased a notch or three on our belts; we can’t see our feet for our tum tums, and our TV screens and our Facebook and Google Ads are inundated with advertisements telling us of the latest fad that will help us to lose 10kgs in a day.  The thing is, what I am here to tell you is that Tea is not the miracle cure that will help us to lose weight immediately.  With the amount of tea that I drink on a daily basis, I ought to be Victoria Beckham sized, but I’m not because I love my tea, I love my food but I just don’t like exercise so much!!

Tea does have a whole host of health benefits, but tea has to be consumed as part of a healthier lifestyle. Drinking tea alone and nothing else might help you to lose weight in the short term, but your body needs other nutrients, vitamins and minerals that it cannot gain from tea alone.  Besides, just drinking tea alone and not eating any food, will make you extremely ill.  I do not recommend it.

So what are the health benefits of tea?  I have delivered several tea note speaking gigs where I help to explain the various health benefits and I wanted to start by telling you about Antioxidants.  Or rather, this video will help to explain what they are and how they can help you if you incorporate tea as part of a healthier lifestyle.

May King Tsang - MayKing Tea Video

But what about the other health benefits of tea?  I created a slide presentation when I first arrived in Australia to explain the health benefits and I continue to use the slides to this day.  If you click on the picture below and then click on save to download this presentation, take a look at the notes underneath each slide, this will give you more information about antioxidants and the other health benefits that you can find in tea.

One of these days I will convert the presentation into a video series but until then, pop the kettle on, make a cup of tea, sit back, relax and read through the notes as you go through the slides.  I am sure that you will find them exTEAmely informaTEAve 😀




As you can see, if you take the first letter of each of my top 10 tips, what do you get?  Why! MayKing Tea of course!!  Enjoy and Happy New Year tea lovers!

Many thanks to Kerrin Smith for the production of this video and others.


Qld Food & Wine Show’s Branded Beef Awards 2012

I was extremely privileged to have been invited to last week’s Royal Queensland Food & Wine Show. (And this opportuni-tea came through the power of Twitter. How marvellous!) Although there wasn’t a cup of tea in sight many of us were able to get our daily dosage of antioxidants by other means. 😀

According to their website, the aim of The Royal Queensland Food & Wine Show is to showcase the nation’s finest food and wine offerings. I remember watching their tweets earlier in the year and salivating as they announced the winners of the Cheese and Dairy Show and the Icecream, Gelato and Sorbet show.

On June 5th they crowned the Tajima Fullblood Wagyu as Australia’s best steak. It is a NSW Wagyu that was said to have beaten a high class field of record entries. Here is my attempt at capturing the moment when samples of this tea-licious beef was offered around the room. There were a lot of salivating onlookers trying to grab a bite as you can see.

Tajima Fullblood Wagyu crowned Australia’s best steak


The Royal Queensland Food and Wine Show is the most prestigious beef competition in Australia, RQFWS Chief Judge, Russell Smith announces. He also gave credit to the people that cooked the beef whom he deemed them more important than the judges themselves. He was very humbling.

I was extremely privileged to have exchanged a few words with Russell where I openly admitted I was unaware the Queensland Food and Wine Show were showcasing products not just from Queensland but Australia-wide (well, I have only been in the country for less than two years). He did mention that previous competitions such as the chocolate show (I wish I knew about that one!) showcased chocolates that are imported as Australia isn’t renowned for its production of cocoa beans of course. So there might be a chance for a tea competition at least given that there are great tea plantations here in Queensland and Australia-wide, I remarked; rather cheekily.

My star struck moment was bumping into several food bloggers including Kerry Heaney from @eatdrinkbekerry fame and the tea-lightful Michelle Levings from @FoxedGlove fame whom invited me along to the event (thanks m’dear). It was ever so lovely to meet a fellow tweeter Gemma and of course, the equally lovely Miss Foodie.

Kerry Heaney (aka @eatdrinkbekerry)

Other competitions to be featured later on in the year at the Royal Queensland Food & Wine Show include the Sausage King competition on 8th July and the Beer competition in October. I’m looking forward to those.

I also look forward to the day that the Royal Queensland Food & Wine Show presents a tea competition in the near future. I’m hoping that my appearance at Regional Flavours in July is a small step towards that momentous day. (More details to follow very soon).

Here’s to all the 2012 RQFWS Branded Beef Winners and the 2012 RQFWS Branded Lamb Winners. Raising a cup of tea as a toast to you all!

Working Collabora-tea-vely

My favourite phrase that I heard from a business owner is that “there is no competition, only collaboration” and with the big corporates working alongside each other I think that there is an element of truth in that. How about the independent tearoom which is not part of a chain? The answer is to work collabora-tea-vely of course!

I was extremely privileged to have been able to work in Melbourne recently with two wonderful tea companies. Although I sell my own line of tea, I don’t see them as competition. There is enough for everyone I feel, and as well as selling tea, I love talking about it and had a wonderful time sharing my knowledge of tea with those that are wanting to learn something new.

My first stop was with Tea & Sympathy where we I shared my knowledge of tea and terroir. Australia is a fabulous wine producing nation and whilst the seasoned wine drinker may have heard of the French term they may not realise that terroir can be applied to tea as well. So as we tried and compared two different green teas and two black teas, explained how the tea varietal, the processing techniques, elevation of the tea plant, growing conditions can all help to contribute to the final product in the cup, it was especially interesting to hear the crowd’s comments about the tea as some of them were tasting them for the first time. It was fabulous to hear the crowd share their memories, hear their sensory evaluations and their engagement with me as they asked many great questions and made it into such a tea-licious evening.

May King Tsang discussing Tea and Terroir

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