A practice that finds a version of itself across cultures, tea drinking has proved itself as an idiosyncrasy of our species. It inhabits the social tea parlour, the revered Japanese Chashitsu and beginning in the ’80s, the urban streets as bubble tea. We turn to Chinese tea tasting—brewed in a small teapot, poured over smaller cups, and best enjoyed in the smallest of groups. It asks for technical knowledge of the activity’s paraphernalia and tea leaves, and patience to savour the fine layers of flavour of and between pours. While seemingly complicated, the ritual is rather intuitive when you find yourself in the appropriate setting. Gastronomy aside, the intimacy of sharing cultivates an atmosphere for serendipitous exchanges—it is oftentimes the conversations had that highlight a good tea-tasting session. Pictured here in an act of refinement, the gate mini bag by Loewe and a pleated top from their Fall/ Winter 2018 Collection. 

Photography by Hosanna Swee    |    Words by Kerry Tang