茶文化在中国传统中有着不可动摇的地位，也是 Obscura 团队所研习的中国四大古文化之一。为了呈现出一场更完整的 “新中菜 · 心中菜 ” 体验，我们特打造了全新的「Obscura 特调 · 茶」系列，现已正式推出。
Tea is an integral part of Chinese culture, as well as one of the four ancient Chinese traditions being explored by the Obscura team. To complement our Innovative Modern Chinese Cuisine, we have recently launched our new “Obscura Tea Infusions” pairing.
「Obscura 特调 · 茶」系列延续了 Obscura 融贯中西的理念，和餐厅的美学设计与料理风格一脉相承。我们以中国源远流长的茶文化为创作基础，从各地的烹茶工艺与饮茶传统中寻得灵感，并透过 Obscura 的独特视角进行演绎。
Just like the design and cuisine at Obscura, the “Obscura Tea Infusions” pairing follows our vision of uniting Chinese culture and Western perspectives. Each drink is rendered through an original lens which bridges tradition and innovation, while drawing from the diverse customs and methods of tea-making around China.
所谓“特调”，自然不同于常见的烹茶方式。Obscura 首席茶酒师 Ares 用心设计，以优质茗茶为起点，注入创新元素，并引入发酵等技术，经过反复调试，最终成就了这套独一无二的「Obscura 特调 · 茶」。
Our tea infusions are distinguished by the unusual approach of our house sommelier Ares. Carefully balanced through meticulous experimentation, his concoctions are based on premium teas, and crafted with innovative pairings and techniques, such as fermentation.
The technique of fermentation has played a key role across human history. The earliest archaeological evidence of fermentation is the residue of a beer-like beverage found in a prehistoric cave in Israel, which is believed to be 13,000 years old. Evidence of another early alcoholic drink, made from fruit, rice and honey, was found in a Neolithic Chinese village dating back to around 7000 BC.
These early instances of fermented foods and beverages most likely occurred spontaneously rather than intentionally: when the surrounding temperature and environment is just right, microbes present in food and the surrounding air will convert carbohydrates into alcohol and organic acids. This process allows us to prolong preservation, increase digestibility, reduce toxins, and impart flavor to foods.
It wasn’t until the 18th and 19th centuries that researchers uncovered the mysterious science of fermentation. Their newfound understanding enabled us to fully utilize the three products of the fermentation process: alcohol, organic acids and carbon dioxide. The production of alcohol turns juice and grains into wine and beer; lactic acid fermentation leads to sauerkraut, yogurt and cheese; the carbon dioxide created in the fermentation process is used to leaven bread. Fermentation is also ubiquitous in Chinese cuisine, from /mantou/, pickled vegetables and fermented tofu, to yellow wine, tea, vinegar, and even the household staple soy sauce.
Obscura 的料理中也常用到发酵手法。而 Obscura 首席茶酒师 Ares 在研发全新「Obscura 特调 · 茶」系列时，也在三款饮品中深度融合了发酵工艺，给味蕾带来不同的感官体验。
In developing the “Obscura Tea Infusions” pairing, house sommelier Ares incorporated fermentation in three of his concoctions to create unexpected dimensions.
The base of this tea infusion is our house-made kombucha made from Pu’er tea. The earliest documentation of kombucha can be traced as far back as 221 BC, the start of China’s Qin Dynasty — hence World Kombucha Day on February 21. Over the following two millennia, this fermented drink spread along the Silk Road to the rest of Asia and to Europe. Due to its gentle acidity, delicate fizz and probiotic properties, kombucha has seen a resurgence in recent years all over the world.
We ferment our house-made Pu’er kombucha a second time to further develop its flavors, then infuse it with fresh apple juice, longan, grapes, as well as wisps of cedar smoke. With its exquisitely balanced notes of fermentation, smokiness and fruitiness, this tea infusion is a wonderful complement to two of DeAille and Simon’s dishes: “Where Is the Fish?” and “Dong Bei Like That.”
The complex, evolving notes of fermentation prominent in both dishes are a natural match for our smoky kombucha: the former takes its cues from Sichuan’s classic “yu xiang” flavor built around vinegar and fermented chili bean paste; the latter employs a fermented soybean paste from Northeastern China. In addition, the fruity sweetness in this concoction joins the blueberry sauce in our mini Dongbei burger to bring out its foie gras richness.
Though based on black tea, this tea infusion is uncannily reminiscent of red wine. We ferment mulberries and blueberries to magnify their natural sweetness, and extract more polyphenol from Yunnan ancient tree black tea — a designation that can only be applied to tea trees over 100 years old — in order to create a tannin-like mouthfeel. From its lush fruits and robust acidity to its delightfully complex textures, this drink captures much of the essence of red wine, making it uniquely suited to our “Hunan Bacon & Pepper” and “Harmony of Lu.”
The goblets holding this tea infusion are just as full of stories. Made with a distinctive jade from the town of Wushan in Gansu Province, these “cups of luminescence” are distinguished by inky veins running through the emerald green. Historical lore has it that in the Western Zhou Dynasty (7th century BC), the king was gifted by a neighboring state to the west a “cup of luminescence,” a name that’s been passed down through the centuries.
玄 · 爱尔
晚餐接近尾声时，味觉或许会稍感疲乏，因此 Ares 以格瓦斯为灵感，设计了一款名为“玄 · 爱尔”的特调茶。格瓦斯起源于俄国，早在中世纪时期便已盛行，于上世纪初通过东北地区传到中国。这种饮品通常用黑麦面包加入水和酵母制成，数日的发酵过程为其带来天然的气泡和独特的酸味。
As dinner draws to an end, we bring a little respite to your taste buds with our “Obscura Ale” inspired by Kvass, a traditional beverage from Slavic and Baltic regions. Popular in Russia since as early as the Middle Ages and passed into China in the 20th century, Kvass is usually made by fermenting rye bread, which gives it its natural effervescence and unique acidity.
The thick foam from our house-made Kvass is blanketed over a blend of barley tea and white tea, infused with fresh star fruit for brightness. This elegantly layered tea infusion pairs beautifully with our ginger braised duck and charcoal grilled skewer.
「Obscura 特调 · 茶」每一杯都与 DeAille 和 Simon 精心打造的菜肴相得益彰 ，或因特质共通而交相呼应，或以充满巧思的味觉碰撞而生出惊喜，期待您前来品尝。
Our unique “Obscura Tea Infusions” pairing is designed to complement the menu by Chefs DeAille and Simon with harmonious symphonies and well-timed contrasts. We look forward to presenting you with this brand new experience.
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