Tea Room Review: Enjoy a cup of Chinese tea surrounded by art pieces
A tea room located near Cardiff Bay has attracted local art and food lovers alike.
The Boundary Art tea room is filled with Chinese elements. Blue porcelain teapots and cups with bamboo table mats reflect the atmosphere of ZEN. Combined with the Chinese Guzheng songs as the background music, customers look relaxed in this cozy place.
Like many regular customers, I walked into this tea room by coincidence. When I pushed open the door. Joan Qiu as the manager of this gallery and a tea specialist gave me a warm welcome.
An exhibition of Japanese iron status is displayed in the gallery, attracting many customers. But this is nothing compared to the bustling atmosphere in the tearoom next door.
Every Wednesday Joan holds a tea culture communication here. During this, different types of tea are taken out and prepared by hand. She lets the customers feel the unique aroma of Chinese tea while also popularizing the positive effects of drinking tea.
“I really enjoy making tea for the customers. We don’t treat this as a tool for making money, but a chance to spread the tea culture and to show the fusion between fine art and tea,” said Joan.
When asked why they decided to place a tea room instead of a cafe, Joan said the name was reflected in the gallery’s very name. “Boundary” indicates a combination and crossover.
Opened in 2015, it aimed to both fuse and spread different cultures by holding exhibitions basearound specific themes. Unlike other galleries, they always pick up a theme such as ‘Utopia’, this month and then find those artists whose pieces are up to the project. They try to remix the western art and eastern culture together.
Joan made a pot of white tea for me, one of the most precious among all the varieties in China. The distinction between white tea and other tea lies in the ‘withering’. Tea leaves begin to wilt the moment they are picked from the plant. Withering is the control of this process once the leaves reach a treatment facility, reducing their moisture content, developing their aroma and flavor. Next comes the pile formation step, thus promoting the healthy ingredients contained in the tea and improving the quality of the white tea.
Watching Joan make the tea and present each step was an enjoyable experience. “The first step is ‘Delight in viewing the tea’, then ‘Throw in the tea’.” Which means putting the tea leaves into the pot. “ The third step- ‘Moisten, lubricate the tea’. This is a key process, which refers to ‘wash’ or ‘blanch’ the tea leaves before the water is discarded.” Once the tea’s been washed, it’s time for the actual infusion,” which decides the final quality and flavor of the tea.”
I assume the diversity of tea types and atmosphere in Boundary Art is unique in Cardiff. I would like to spend the whole afternoon sitting here, drinking tea served with puff pastry or Chinese sweets and talking with these lovely people. Although some of the tea leaves are precious and expensive, the most of time, Joan doesn’t charge for the tea. Why not have a try there this weekend?