The Case for Northern Tea (North of Banna)

In the pu’erh world there’s three major prefectures in Yunnan that make pu’erh tea, Xishuangbanna, Simao (pu’erh), and Lincang. These do not necessarily get proportionate coverage. It’s hard to argue there’s not a heavy Xishuangbanna bias when it comes to the dialog in the pu’erh scene. I’d admit that TeaDB by extension of my own habits has a significant lean towards the southern prefecture, Xishuangbanna. Banna contains two heavy-hitting regions in Menghai county and Mengla county. Menghai gets a lot of press for being the home of Dayi and lots of factory raw and ripe production. It is also home to sought after areas and smaller villages/areas like Banzhang. Likewise, Mengla county is extremely well known and well-regarded, especially for Yiwu tea. Both of these areas in the west and east of Banna have long, rich histories with making pu’erh. And if we look north, there are some areas you’ll see referenced but it doesn’t really rival the southernmost regions in buzz within the tea scene. You’ll even find some downright northern haters, including some terribad bloggers that compare the most prominent northern factory to their toilet (wtf!?).

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Low Barrier Pu’erh Storage Solutions for Casual Pu’erh Drinkers

To the casuals, pumidors are intimidating.. They’re not something anyone really wants to jump into quickly. For seasoned pu’erh folk, one feature of using a pumidor to store tea is that it tends to scale fairly well if you can get the right size container for your stash. The maintenance and monitoring can be appealing.. But for most normie tea people all the hoops they see people jumping through in pu’erh storage create a significant barrier to entry. But there’s no reason to go pumidor or bust. I’d argue having a low-maintenance pu’erh solution is pretty important for anyone that intends to hold onto a pu’erh cake for even a year or two.

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Tea Reflections During a Global Pandemic

This has easily been the weirdest year I’ve been alive. Living in a global pandemic has not just shifted our regular routines and status quo, it has completely destroyed them. Denny and I worked from home before the pandemic and on any sort of ranking of people impacted by the pandemic, we would both rank quite low.. Even still it is a very different world for us as well as our tea drinking has had a powerful impact. Here’s a few personal reflections on tea during this pandemic.

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Why Shelf-Stored Pu’erh Storage in the West Is Usually Bad

(un)wise words: If you’re comfortable in your living environment, pu’erh will also age well in that environment.

In the search for information on pu’erh storage you’ll sometimes come across folk-wisdom like this that makes longer term pu’erh storage seem awfully easy. Thankfully this sort of advice has become increasingly less common as we’ve learned more, but it is still not difficult to find unwise words of wisdom on tea storage. So why is simply storing tea in your living environment on a shelf a bad idea? Storing it on a shelf is easy and displaying those beautiful tea cake wrappers has appeal. Also, don’t they just store it this way in Asia anyways. So what’s so bad about it?

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Five things I Like & Dislike COVID19 Edition…

Five things I like & dislike COVID19 Edition…

Very Slow International Shipping

The most obvious thing and a clear dislike. We now have all kinds of time at home for tea. But unfortunately international shipping, especially from China, has grinded to a halt. I ordered tea in March from China via EMS (typically 1 week) and got it in July.

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The Gift of Skepticism. Why Having a Suspicious Outlook in the Online Tea World Can Be Beneficial

Occasionally I get asked what advice I’d give myself if I were starting over in tea. There’s a lot of things I could do. I’d undoubtedly point myself towards better sources and away from worst ones. I’d probably choose to travel sooner. One answer I might give to myself in this scenario is to tell myself to assume a default posture of skepticism.

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What I Like About Yiwu Teas & 2005 Purple Yisheng [Inbetweenisode 230]

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What is Good Oolong Storage (for aging)? [Inbetweenisode 229]

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Old School Yiwu & 2003 Wistaria Zipin [Inbetweenisode 228]

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Tea Q&A, Best Time to Drink Tea, Mixing Steeps, Drinking Aged Pu’erh on a Budget & More! [IBS 227]

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