Guest Contributor, Dr. Sally Wei of Sally’s Parlor in Santa Rosa, CA

Recorded for the International Virtual Tea Festival, November 6-8, 2020

During the International Virtual Tea Festival 2020, Dr. Sally Wei conducted this presentation that she called, “Musicali-Tea; Appreciating Tea & Music,” on the “main stage” series of classes. She has kindly given us permission to share it with T Ching readers as she shares her thoughts on the meaning of tea and music appreciation in Chinese cultire.

Transcribed Excerpts:

Today we are going to explore three kinds of teas in addition to bring the tea and enjoy the teas together we will also listen to some music.Today’s tea first one is Chrysanthemum Oolong and the second one is of Osmanthus Oolong and the third one is Amber Rose Black. So we are drinking two oolongs  and one black tea.

Osmanthus Oolong and Amber Rose Black are produced in Taiwan. They are produced by the company called Jen’s Tea Company. This company produces teas organically or let’s say without the pesticide.

And so today we are going to start  and I would like to tell you a little bit about the symbolism of those flowers chrysanthemum for Chinese is very important flower because it’s very common it’s very easy to grow and we think a represent of nobility and elegance. Sometimes Chinese like to say that chrysanthemums represent longevity for us. And when it’s white, it’s very commonly used to present to seniors or bring it to other people’s house for good luck.  Chrysanthemum is very common to blend with the tea because it just has a very unique flavor and the flower itself it’s very pretty.

white chrysanthemum used for making tea
Yellow osmanthus flower, closeup with leaves

The next one is Osmanthus. Sometimes we’ll call it a sweet tea tree because they produce a very tiny little flowers and has a very elegant aroma. It Chinese in symbolizes truth and nobility. And in ancient China only when one has status and wealth, then you can grow Osmanthus in your garden. So that means you have social status. For Chinese, we always consume the flower of Osmanthus during winter and during autumn time. Many people will make them either with the food and even make wine. So it means reunion for us, because we use it to celebrate the Mid Autumn Festival. And at that time, Osmanthus is always used.

Then, the third one is Rose. I don’t have much of a Chinese story story to tell you about rose because I think it’s very Western. Of course, when you think of rose, then you think of love and you think about passion. I think about romance. So for us it means vibration, vitality and it means to live a really vivid life.

Tiny rose buds used to make tea blends

Another T Ching article you might like:

4 Easy Steps To Make Your Own Herbal Tea Blends From Scratch. Posted by  | Oct 18, 2018 

Dr. Sally Wei of Sally's Parlor

Guest Contributor, Dr. Sally Wei


Dr. Sally Wei is an accomplished classical pianist who has merged her love of music with another passion: tea. A Certified Tea Sommelier by the United Kingdom Tea Academy and Tea Educator for Tzu Chi Foundation (USA), Dr. Sally is a popular lecturer in Tea Festivals around the United States. She combines her love and knowledge of tea with Eastern philosophy and Western etiquette to show us how tea can enrich our lives, relationships and mindsets.