You know, I really can’t work out why I haven’t been to the Oriental Teahouse before. A favorite on the Melbourne yum cha scene, the Oriental Teahouse is a place that should have been closer to my heart much earlier than last week. Why? Because it has a) dumplings (gimme gimme gimme) and b) tea (you know how much I love a cuppa). Last week we were kindly invited by our good friend and fellow blogger Cecylia to attend a post-racing season Teatox at the Oriental Teahouse, Melbourne Central. The Teatox session was both refreshing and delicious, as well as educational. Oriental Teahouse head honcho, the charming David Zhou (inset above) spoke us through the import of tea in a healthy life. He was really fascinating to listen to, and most knowledgeable about balancing heat and cool in the body using appropriate teas and foods.

Top right : Beautifully delicate ‘bubble’ glasses from which we were served ‘refreshing tea’.

David spoke to an array of blogger and media folks about listening to the body and trying to balance out the less-than-ideal symptoms we may experience from time to time. Damp palms, cool extremities? Rich, black tea with spices will warm your body. Are you hot, irritated easily and have difficulty digesting? Cooler green and white teas will set you at ease – an impressive array which David has on-blend in his Oriental Teahouses.

After David showed us the intricate art of sharing tea using a range of different tea pots and cups, it was time to have some dumplings and tea! Here I am eagerly awaiting said dumplings in a beautiful sage-green shift kindly given to me by Cecylia, who is looking China-doll perfect in her silk lounge gown. PS – you can read her coverage of the Teatox by clicking here, and Esme and the Laneway’s blog by clicking here.

Each set of dumplings came with its own accompanying tea – above is a ginger prawn dumpling alongside the lid of a cup gently cradling jasmine tea ready to steep!

The Teatox came at just the right time, as I’m cutting down to one ( OK – one-ish) coffee per day and instead drinking more Orzo (a roasted barley powder that tastes quite a lot like coffee, but is uncaffeinated and natural) and green tea. I’ll be back to the Oriental Teahouse soon to build a little collection of David’s special blends, hoping to bring a little more balance into my physical being.