Tea Tasting

One of the highlights of my visit to Shanghai was tea tasting. Jeff Utecht took us to a tea shop and we not only got to taste different teas, we also learned how to prepare it. I bought several varieties and with Jeff’s expert bargaining skills and prodding they also threw-in a foil bag of loose jasmin tea. My students read some books about China while I was gone and it just seemed like a nice follow-up experience for them to do a  “Tea”.

This morning while I was taking attendance and doing lunch counts and the like, they were reading some web pages I found about the history of tea. Then when they walked in the room after lunch I had tea brewing. I didn’t have real tea cups, we just used paper, but I still taught them how to stick out their pinky finger while sipping their tea.










During the tasting I had them take notes while they breathed in the smells and decided what they smelled like, what it reminded them of, if it made them feel differently and what they liked or didn’t like about it. They did the same for the taste, described the color, and then sipped quietly while adding anything else they could think of to their notes.

Next I passed out tea biscuits which they learned to dip in their tea, but also eat without a dip. During this time I also had relaxing music playing quietly. To top things off we had fortune cookies and then just sat for a few more minutes and drank tea and talked. We all had a good time and they began writing about their experience before we moved on to other things.

A nice messy experience.

Learning is messy!

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5 thoughts on “Tea Tasting

  1. Fantastic experience Brian. The students will forever remember how you shared your adventure to China with them. Last week you blogged with them while abroad and now drive the learning home with tangible treats. I especially like the questions you pose to them to provoke thought and writing. Thanks again for sharing.

  2. What a lovely way to share your experience with your students Brian. I was at the conference and the lasting impression I have of you is that of a teacher passionate about hte kids he teaches. And as far as I’m concerned, that’s what all this is about. Your students looked they really enjoyed you sharing the experience with them. Good on you.

  3. This is great! Exciting to bring back those experiences to share with others. I can’t imagine what your students said about all the photos either. It’s not the China we think it is…..in Shanghai anyway.

    Keep up the messiness!

  4. Love this lesson!!! Great way to have hands on learning. I bet your students will remember tasting the tea for many years after and that is exactly what a teacher wants.

  5. What a great way to “flatten our world” by sharing a cultural experience from Shanghai! It shows us that we can do small things, like this, that can make a huge difference…with a little creativity we can incorporate more messy learning into our classrooms.