I decided I’m going to be announcing these early in groups of three months. This gives me a bit more time to combine orders and collect samples. Please suggest teas in the comments or via email email@example.com.
Tea of the Months:
- Wu Liang/Ai Lao (February), I’ll do other parts of Simao later.
- Cheap Yancha (first half of March)
- Cheap Oolongs (second half of March)
February 2015 (Wu Liang/Ai Lao)
In February Wu Liang/Ai Lao tea. I considered making this all of Simao, but decided against it. Simao seems fairly disparate and can’t be as easily categorized as Xishuangbanna for instance.
Similar to the Lincang tea of the month, this will likely be all young tea. It’s a region I’m not really familiar with, so it will be my first real jump into it.
Proposed Core Teas for consideration:
- 2014 Wu Liang (YS)
- 2013 Feng Chun (YS)
- 2012 Wu Liang (YS)
- 2011 Wild Mountain Green, Ai Lao (MT)
- 2011 Ai Lao (YS)
- 2010 Wu Liang (YS)
- 2010 Organic Wu Liang Nanjian Brick (NJ, YS)
- 2006 Nanjian Wu Liang (NJ, YS)
- 2004 Nanjian Jia Ji Tuo (NJ, YS)
- 2002 Ai Lao Shan (HLH, YS)
March 2015 (Oolongs)
One suggestion from Jake of drinking teas was to split up the sessions of raw pu’erh. While it’s valuable to have consistency drinking, it gives my stomach a break and adds more diversity both for myself and readers. I’ll likely be coming back to Xishuangbanna in May/June tea of the months.
This will be the tea of the first half of March. Despite my considerable enjoyment, I stopped drinking good Yancha when I realized that the top-end isn’t remotely cheap. Yancha also benefits from high leaf to water ratios and can quickly get extraordinarily expensive ($2/g+). This means many sessions can be too expensive for my taste. That being said, I am still a consumer of daily drinking Yancha and occasionally the good stuff. I’ve found it makes a good introduction tea for many new tea drinkers and like to always have some stuff on stock. The past year I’ve used the 2013 Yunnan Sourcing Rou Gui and Tie Luo Han as my friendly teas for guests but have been running low. As a result of the lengths I’m willing to go, I’ll be limiting this to teas of $0.40/g or less.
It will also be interesting to see if pu’erh has changed my perspective on Yancha at all.
Core Teas/vendors for consideration:
- Yunnan Sourcing (Rou Gui + Tie Luo Han)
- Sea Dyke Da Hong Pao (for calibration purposes)
- JK Tea Shop (what are your recs!?)
- Music City Tea
- Great Horse Teas
Cheap Taiwanese Oolongs (to age)
The tea for the second half of March. It’s no secret that I’m a fanboy of aged oolongs. With the west being dry, storing oolongs for the long-term is theoretically easier than pu’erh. I’ve been long meaning to track down oolongs in higher quantity to age, but procrastination has gotten the best of me so far. Alas, the best way to get me motivated is to announce a tea of the month! Since I’m looking at stuff to be consumed in ~20-25 years, I’m going to be limiting the price at around $0.25/g.
Roasted Taiwanese oolongs seem to be the most-proven/safest bet, so I’m going to be sticking with the cheap and functional.
Vendors for consideration:
- Tea Home (Medium Roasted teas)
- Mountain Tea (Medium Roasted teas)