Here is the start of 2018 and the beginning of my creation SÙ LIVING.

It is also my first attempt to reach out and connect with you through my blog.

My initial thought in writing this blog was to leave you with a good first impression by starting with something relevant, witty or inspirational. But all those thoughts faded away after I received a very special gift. It was an old Horlicks glass jar containing a plastic bag of white tea leaves and two labels bearing my late Grandmother’s handwriting of 壽眉, which was the name of the tea, and 2008-2-5, which was the date she stored the tea. Mom found the glass jar hidden in the basement of her home just a few days ago.


I was overjoyed when I saw the jar because it reminded me of my Grandmother who passed away 5 years ago. More importantly, it felt like a treasure she saved just for me and for this special occasion. The tea with its name 壽眉 Shou Mei, which translates superficially as an aged person’s eye brow or thoroughly as longevity, felt like Grandmother’s support and blessings for my creation and endeavour.

This gift of tea also has a deeper meaning for me.

“Imagination is the beginning of creation. 

You imagine what you desire,

you will what you imagine and at last

you create what you will.”

George Bernard Shaw (1856 – 1950)


My passion for the art of tea began in 2012 after I prepared and enjoyed tea by myself at Jiufen Teahouse during a tour of Taiwan. That experience was profound because I knew I found my purpose. Although it was not clear to me then as to how I should handle that sense of awakening and enlightenment, I began imagining living life as peaceful, harmonious and joyous as that tea moment I had.

The passing away of Grandmother in 2013 deeply saddened me. It made me realised clearly for the first time that I should not hesitate to live the way I imagined. There was no time to waste. Life is short and precious. I should follow my purpose and set forth on a new and meaningful journey. With determination and good fortune, I spent the past five years pursuing my purpose through learning, experiencing, travelling, adjusting, thinking and creating. What lies ahead is certainly not an end to my realisation but a beginning or a start to share my passion with you, and to bring forth a quiet, simple and natural way of life which I call SÙ LIVING.

As I was managing the emotions that swept through me, I carefully removed some tea leaves from the glass jar for an infusion with moderately hot water. Awakened from its almost 10 years of idle life, Grandmother’s treasured white tea greeted me with a fragrant aroma and elegant flavour despite its age and inevitable transformation of polyphenols through slow and gradual oxidation.

The tea aged beautifully thanks to Grandmother’s careful attention to storage. It was truly a treasure which reminded me of the Chinese conventional wisdom regarding the merit of white tea. 一年茶 三年藥 七年寶 which refers to the increasing health benefits of white tea as it ages from being tea in its first year, medicine in its third year and treasure in its seventh year.


I felt so grateful to have received this treasure from Grandmother. When I thought I had thoroughly appreciated her blessings for me, a look at the infused tea leaves took me by surprise! They were a higher grade of white tea called “白牡丹”or “White Peony” because they were comprised of mostly a bud with two leaves rather than mostly leaves as in the case of Shou Mei.

I believe that this surprise was Grandmother’s final blessing to me that the end will look even better than what it appears to be at the beginning.

Thank you 婆婆 (Grandmother)! I miss you tremendously!