Here’s the announcement of the next batch of tea of the months. Feel free to drink alongside, give suggestions, etc. Due to being egregiously and hilariously over my tea budget, I’m not sure how much I will be able to accommodate specific requests!
In inbetweenisode #22, James begins a series on Wuyi Oolongs (Yancha). Sea Dyke is an old-school brand of Wuyi Oolongs that mainly exports out of China to southeast Asia. This episode also coincides with the March tea of the month.
As westerners we are in a land far from the production of our beloved Yunnanese pu’erh and from the huge tea markets of China. This seemingly locks us into a constant struggle to eliminate as many middlemen and meddling hands as possible between us and our teas. The western market for pu’erh is far smaller and physically further from the source, giving east Asian vendors little incentive to accommodate us. It’s no surprise that there is a western premium that most of us pay to get our teas. However, unlike oolong or green teas, pu’erh is also sold with very commonly label. For mass-marketed teas like Dayi or Xiaguan it is very easy to find the Chinese prices for the tea using Donghe or Taobao. It is also possible for the willing and resourceful to buy directly from the Chinese market (via Taobao). This article examines this and several of the different tea types and approximates the markups. Continue reading →
Big shoutouts to Caroline & Brian (a different Brian from last month) for providing several of the teas for this month and allowing the content to be what it is! I hope you like long-form content, because this tea of the month report is truly massive.
In the month of February 2015, the tea of the month was Wuliang/Ailao Pu’erh. During this month, I had Wuliang/Ailao Pu’erh at least once a day (unless totally unfeasible). I’ll still consume other teas, but the primary focus is understanding and building a palate for a specific type/genre/region of tea through repetition. This is the most personal blogging type style of post for TeaDB, and the goal is to stretch my palate as well as give recommendations to interested parties. Continue reading →