Last December, I finally ran out of new samples. After that, I began drinking from my stash exclusively. Being an unabashed data nerd I decided to also record my own tea consumption. This is interesting because it is essentially a speed test and can be helpful and informative for my own buying. My uninterrupted drinking was halted in mid January when a whole rash of samples arrived creating the obvious caveat of a small sample size. Nevertheless, here’s a quick look at the data.
What Do I Drink the Most?
As I strongly suspected I drink semi-aged raw pu’erh the most. This isn’t to say that I prefer drinking it over quality older tea.. It’s that it hits the right combination of quality base material, variety of storage (older dry-stored teas tend to be $$), overall value, and age (prefer it over the young stuff). This also constitutes the majority of my “serious” sessions. Within this category, I also consume mainly from Xishuangbanna with a leaning towards Yiwu. This is somewhat because of what I bought but also my preference. I do own enough northern tea (north of Xishuangbanna) for regular drinking, but I tend not to turn to it very much.
Things I Barely Every Want to Drink…
Young pu’erh.. Young pu’erh surrounds anyone who frequents online pu’erh stores. Given decent and other options, I just don’t want to drink it. My own stomach has held up fine through multiple young sheng binges, and I am absolutely capable of enjoying it. I just never want to reach for it and certainly not when cost is put into consideration.
I also don’t really consume fresher oolongs, greens or whites but you probably already knew that.
HK Stored Tea & Ripe + Aged Oolongs
I tend to like darker tea and I have always been OK with fermented teas. This predisposes me to HK-stored type tea. I knew this, and these teas do very well on my own speed test. I enjoy drinking them and they’re great to session throughout a workday. A sidenote is that I am also more forgiving than many people towards storage on the humid side.
A bigger surprise was the ripe consumption. I’d always suspected ripe would fall by the wayside along with young raw. Not quite.. While I run the risk of jumping to pre-mature conclusions off just a few sessions, I feel that I’m actually pretty alright with doing a quick session of ripe, especially after doing a longer, session with a long-steeping, semi-aged raw pu’erh. Even with occasional consumption, I have enough ripe to last me at least a few years.
Aged oolong was another mild surprise. Through Origin Tea and my own buying I’ve accumulated a moderate sized amount of this tea, always suspecting it was one of my favorites. I’m now second-guessing that notion. I enjoy drinking the tea, but I haven’t put nearly as much of a dent in it as I thought.
My consumption rate hovers around 6.5-12g a day, probably averaging out to around 10g. In caffeine contents that’s around 2-3 cups of coffee a day. On the higher-end for a smallish person, but nothing superhuman.
In terms of monetary value consumed, it’s an amount that I’m OK with spending averaging out to ~$2USD/daily. You can easily argue that is a lot or a little but for someone who spends so much time thinking, reading, and writing about tea I think it’s not too much. The bigger issue has been moderating the amount spent by buying less tea, as I have spent above $2USD/daily on tea in the past couple years. I can only consume so much, and hoarding is unhealthy. Another reminder, that I should be buying less in quantity and focusing on buying/drinking higher-quality tea.