We really miss the Baltic Triangle and all of our lovely customers!
During our summer residency at District we had the pleasure of forming some great friendships and collaborations. Two of our regular customers have become collaborators, and indeed friends, the lovely Alison and Helena Appleton.
We love working with people who are as passionate and dedicated as we are, and we had been talking about doing supper club events for some time. As Alison Appleton has opened up the gorgeous Tea House on Lark Lane, we have got together with the mother and daughter team and combined two of our favorite things – dim sum and tea!
We want to recreate a traditional Chinese Tea House experience, making some of our favorite dim sum, and serving it with Alison Appleton’s beautiful tea ware and leaves.
I have been doing some extensive dim sum research, saved countless recipes and watched Youtube videos, to unpick the art of the dim sum. It is amazing to watch – perfect, delicate parcels filled with such simple ingredients.
- According to legend, tea was first discovered by the Chinese Emperor Shennong in 2737 BCE, when a dead leaf from a tea bush fell into his cup of hot water. Today, tea is considered one of the seven Chinese necessities, and is drunk throughout the day. Green is the most popular variety.
- Traditionally tea drinkers were regarded as the academic and cultural elites of the society because the practice of drinking tea was considered to be an expression of personal morality, education, social principles, and status. Increased enthusiasm for tea drinking led to the greater production of tea ware, which significantly popularized Chinese porcelain culture.
- Folding the napkin in tea ceremonies is a traditional action and is done to keep away bad qi energy in China as tea was regarded as one of the seven daily necessities, the others being firewood, rice, oil, salt, soy sauce, and vinegar.
- To apologize in Chinese culture, people make a serious apology to others by pouring tea for them. For example, children who have made a mistake or have misbehaved may serve tea to their parents as a sign of regret and submission.
- Drink it slowly. Some types of tea cost thousands of RMB per bag.
- Never ask for ice or sugar for your tea.
- If you ever pour tea for someone else, fill the cup 3/4 full. (When pouring alcohol, top it off, brim to the rim.)
- When someone hands you a cup of tea, take it with two hands. When you give someone a cup of tea, use two hands. (One hand on the bottom, on hand on the side).
- When drinking tea, it is polite to use two hands.
When someone pours you more tea, it’s polite to touch the side of the teacup as they pour it, and be sure to say “Xie xie”, or thank you.
Whilst researching I came across this short documentary, a little insight into the world of a man who has made dim sum for 50 years. Getting up at 3 am everyday to make dim sum from scratch. The precision, speed and efficiency of these men are incredible. With a one-week holiday a year, they live and breath for dim sum – their customers travel far to eat there.
Sadly, this art is dying out, the traditional tea houses, where people go to socialize, drink tea and eat dim sum are disappearing and being replaced with international chains like Starbucks. A steep decline in interested students, willing to dedicate the time and devotion to the art of making dim sum, also contributes to this glorious art one day being lost.
I still have a long way to go to master this delicate art – but I am going to put my time in – hopefully this Saturday will be a start!
We have already sold out of tickets for our first supper club! We were of course very nervous and worried that no one would come, so we are very grateful and excited to delivering our first supper club to a full house! If you have missed this opportunity, don’t fret! We are have more events coming up in the near future. First off we are doing a pop-up that we have named Sweet & Sour Food Power at Baltic Bakehouse on the 12th December – tickets for that are available on Eventbrite. Secondly, we have a great night planned with Claremont Farm on Saturday 13th of February to celebrate Chinese New Year and see in the year of the monkey!
Tickets and further details will be available in the near future!