Chinese Tea and Poetry was the order of the day in a splendid event held at Lakeside, Nottingham on Sunday as part of the Chinese Spring Festival celebrations to mark the Year of The Tiger. Guided by our informative host Xi Chen, we learned a good deal about the stages of the Chinese tea ceremony, the importance of tea pets to keep you company (see photo below) and, most importantly, how to taste and appreciate fragrant Oolong and Golden Horse black tea. All this was interspersed with music and poetry. This included readings from poets Lu Yu (733 -804) known as ‘The Sage of Tea’, Lu Tong, a Tang Dynasty poet who describes, in his poem The Seven Bowls of Tea the gradual purification he experiences in the course of drinking seven cups of tea, after which ‘I only feel the breath of cool wind that rises in my sleeves’ and Su Dongpo otherwise known as Su Shi who wrote many tea poems and told stories about tea. It was a very tasty afternoon with so much to savour and investigate afterwards. Thanks to organisers Nottingham Confucius Institute and Lakeside Arts. Thanks too to Yuka Nakai for her New Year drawing and Phil Goad for inviting me along.