Blast From the Past: A pairing tea + mooncakes

Blast From the Past: A mid-autumn pairing: Chinese tea + mooncakes

What is a mooncake? It is ordinarily a pastry with a sweet filling. There are various kinds of mooncakes, the very typical (and traditional) type being the baked, chewy one using a reddish-brown tone. There’s usually a thick lotus paste filling, at the midst with a couple of salted egg yolk. However, in addition, there are other modern mooncakes these days, such as the mooncake, that includes a covering made from sugar and glutinous rice floor, and tends to have more fillings, such as champagne truffle, chocolate, or green tea.



 


Photo”Mooncake and Chinese Tea” is copyright under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License to the photographer Wee Keat Chin and is being submitted unaltered (source)
Whatever the case, these delightful pastries are indulgent treats that may sometimes get heavy after one and too sweet mooncake too many. The solution? Drinking tea that is Chinese with mooncakes! It’s the best drink to wash the palate and”wash down it” (for the next mooncake). Since they realize that this beverage is a crucial part of observing the Mid-Autumn Festival in fact, lots of places that sell mooncakes during this season offer tins of Chinese tea in their package. The Chinese teas that are commonly paired with mooncakes are Iron Goddess of Mercy (Tie Guan Yin), Big Red Robe (Da Hong Pao), and Shui Xian. I believe that it’s a great way for folks to be introduced into these traditional oolongs!

This harvest festival that is hot dates back thousands of years and now there are several. One version talks of Chang’er, the long-suffering wife of an archer called Hou Yi, who received life’s elixir by the Queen of Heaven after shooting down nine of the ten suns in the sky and rescuing mankind. Sadly, Hou Yi joyful and evil was made by this effort, and also to save the people from her husband’s eternal tyranny, Chang’er swallowed life’s elixir and started to float up to the skies. A more historical spin with this festival dates back to the Yuan dynasty, when China was ruled by the Mongolians. Garnered support by giving people on the pretext of honoring the longevity of the Mongolian emperor them and concealing messages that were revolutionary from mooncakes. With these secret messages (a predecessor of societal media perhaps?) , the rebellion was powerful.
If there were ever an occasion that would get people more curious about Chinese tea, it would function as Mid-Autumn Festival, an annual event that falls on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese calendar (this year, it will occur on September 30). — [ Editor’s note: This was the date when this was originally posted in 2012. In 2019 it will be today — September 13! ] The Mid-Autumn Festival is a day event where families and friends get together outside with lanterns, to admire a beautiful full moon. I have many fond memories of lighting the candles in paper lanterns and having contemplative discussions with loved ones after that. It’s truly complementary candies all to be relished all through the night — a night sky that is perfect, great companion, and a setting that allows to be found and valued. It’s a tradition worth keeping!