Shopping for Bargains, The Case for White Label/No-Name Pu’erh

You are quickly becoming a pu’erh-head and have been diligently been studying and drinking pu’erh. It is a complex online marketplace due to the added dimensions of age and storage. What brings the best bang for buck in the pu’erh world? We obsess and look at factories, regions, storages, teas of various ages, vendors, shipping, blah, blah blah. What region should you go for? What age? The answers are subjective and depend on what brings the individual drinker enjoyment… However, one way to find great deals is to buy white labels or off-brand, judging the tea on its own merits. In pu’erh, what does this mean exactly? Finding deals for Dayi or tea sold as as Lao Banzhang is extremely unlikely. But for drinkers that are OK with more ambiguity, shopping for white label cakes or teas with a lack of relevant information (age, factory, region, etc.) and purchasing simply on the basis of quality can be a simple and effective way to buy good-quality tea for a good price. Continue reading

Posted in Aged Pu'erh, Raw Pu'erh, Ripe Pu'erh | Tagged | Leave a comment

Orchid Oolong 2010 — Tea Classico — TeaDB InBetweenIsode Episode #2

Hello hello!

Denny here for Episode #2 of TeaDB InBetweenIsodes! Today we have a lovely aged orchid oolong from tea classico.


PS. If you liked this video, give it a thumbs up, and shoot me a comment with what you like and how I could improve! Thanks a ton ya’ll

Posted in Oolong | 10 Comments

Life in Teacup’s Pre-Qingming Silver Needle [Episode 76]

In episode 76, Denny & James review another Silver Needle. An early harvest (Pre-Qingming) tea, this one may be the best of all! Acquired from Life in Teacup.

Posted in White Tea | Tagged | 5 Comments

2014 Dehong Wild Tree Purple Varietal Black Tea – InBetweenIsode #1 with Denny

Denny here! I’ve created 6 InBetweenIsodes, causal, personal tastings of some of the teas we don’t have time to bring on the show (and some who are so great we probably should!).

Please let us know in the comments if you enjoy this new format — suggestions welcome! (And sorry for so many Ums!!!! :)

We’ll be releasing InBetweenIsodes every Thursday!


Posted in Black Tea | 10 Comments

Tea Classico’s Lapsang Souchong [Episode 75]

In episode 75, Denny & James review a Lapsang Souchong from Tea Classico. Smoky and sweet, this is a nice tea for an example of those that like their tea rugged.

Posted in Black Tea | Tagged | 10 Comments

Pu’erh Regions: Western Xishuangbanna, Menghai County

This article frequently references and links to babelcarp. Babelcarp is a Chinese Tea Lexicon that is an essential resource for tea nerds that want to dive in further and don’t understand Chinese! This article also sources many maps from a TeaChat thread, original sources vary.

Home of the most famous tea factory, several high-profile areas (Lao Banzhang) and many of the most famous cakes from the masterpiece era of Pu’erh, Menghai County is both historically important in old school pu’erh and is featured prominently in much of contemporary pu’erh’s marketing. Much of the importance of region as both a brand and marker of terroir was covered in a post on Yiwu/Eastern Xishuangbanna. Locationwise, Menghai County is the westernmost county in Xishuangbanna, west of both Jinghong and Mengla. Continue reading

Posted in Aged Pu'erh, Article, Raw Pu'erh, Ripe Pu'erh, Tea Learning | 2 Comments

What-Cha’s Kenyan Purple Bud Silver Needle [Episode 74]

In episode 74, Denny & James review a very unique tea What-Cha‘s Kenyan Purple Bud Silver Needle. Despite being grown extremely far from China it exhibits many of the classical traits of it’s Chinese cousin.

Posted in White Tea | Tagged | 4 Comments

Aged Oolongs [September 2014 Tea Drinking Report]

In the month of September 2014, the tea of the month was Aged Oolong. During this month, I had Aged Oolongs 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 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.

Vendors ordered from:

Also featuring:

Continue reading

Posted in Aged Oolong, Anxi Oolong, Article, Drinking Report, Long-form Article, Oolong, Taiwanese Oolong, Tea Learning, Wuyi Oolong | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

2001 Dingxing Hao via Jiujiucha (Taobao) [Episode 73]

NOTE/Disclaimer: Since filming this, exchanging samples with someone else who bought this tea and simply doing more research, it’s become pretty clear to me that this tea (as most acquired in this fashion) is probably not what is actually advertised. That being said, the tea review still stands on its own.

In episode 73, Denny & James review a pu’erh of questionable origins (supposedly 2001 Dingxing Hao) acquired via Taobao. To buy from Taobao you need a Taobao agent (we used Cheap Agency).

Posted in Aged Pu'erh, Podcasts, Raw Pu'erh | Tagged | 13 Comments

Crimson Lotus Tea, Featured Vendor

The vendor profile for Crimson Lotus Tea is a part of our Pu’erh Tea Vendor Series, covering a number of Pu’erh-centric vendors that sell to the west. This interview was conducted with Glen of Crimson Lotus Tea.

Crimson Lotus Tea is one of the newest and hottest vendors in the pu’erh scene. Formed in late 2013, Crimson Lotus is based in Seattle and is composed of the husband/wife duo of Glen and Lamu Bowers. Lamu was originally from Yunnan, creating an instant familial connection to the land of pu’erh. The pair made their first sourcing trip to Yunnan in Spring 2014 (they also got married on the same trip!). The sourcing trip was well documented on their blog and resulted in a diverse range of pu’erh, Crimson Lotus brand cakes, teapets, and Jianshui teaware offered on their site. Crimson Lotus Tea fits firmly into the curated pu’erh vendor category with a small but eclectic selection of raw and ripe pu’erh. Continue reading

Posted in Aged Pu'erh, Article, Long-form Article, Raw Pu'erh, Ripe Pu'erh, Tea Learning | Tagged | 19 Comments