A Tea Addict's Journal

Buying tea…

December 21, 2006 · 7 Comments

I’ve felt less urge to buy tea in Hong Kong now that I’ve been in Beijing. I suppose it’s only natural.

Whereas before I left for Beijing I was only too eager, now…. I feel like I can wait. Of course, having bought a bunch of stuff there helps cure the urge, but I also think I’ve sort of passed the initial “rush to buy” phase, and have settled down a little. I noticed that tastes really do differ widely between here and Beijing, and what people here consider good tea might not be what people in Beijing consider even ok tea, and the same is true vice versa.

Which means that…. there’s always a market for any tea, regardless of “quality” because tastes differ so much.

But more immediately, it means that I need to sit on my stash of puerh, maybe only buy a small amount from now until….. a few years later, and see how my holdings so far develops before making any bigger commitment to buy more. I think I still want to go to Yunnan, and will still want to press some cakes, if the opportunity arises. Yet other than that, I think I should really stop buying until I’ve got more aging experience under my belt.

Of course, this is easier said than done, with something as big as Maliandao there. I probably will succumb to temptation as soon as I get back. I’m sure you all know the feeling.

Categories: Old Xanga posts · Teas
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7 responses so far ↓

  • davelcorp // December 21, 2006 at 1:31 pm | Reply

    I understand your feeling. I’ve acrued so much tea in the past two years that it is truly time to slow down and enjoy the aging process. Hmmm… a metaphor?
    I also understand the constant temptation to buy MORE! I can only imagine the heap I would be sitting on if I lived in proximity to Maliandao.

  • mr_longstem // December 21, 2006 at 1:34 pm | Reply

    I do know what you mean. I have 3.3 kilos of tea (mostly raw pu’er and a bit of oolong) coming to me from China, plus some gaiwans and an awesome six-piece tea set from Hou De Asian. What can I say? The prices were all great and I love tasting new teas.

  • MarshalN // December 21, 2006 at 2:06 pm | Reply

    Yes…. MORE TEA!!! Oh if I could just get that box of tea that I don’t have… oh, wait, I ran out of those whites…. oh no, there’s that new Bangwei mountain cake and I’ve never had a Bangwei tea…. 🙂

  • mr_longstem // December 21, 2006 at 2:19 pm | Reply

    Variety is king. A dozen teas I’ve never tasted are on the way. It’s exciting!

  • sspeakfreely // December 21, 2006 at 7:49 pm | Reply

    Yes. I began buying tea with the silly illusion that I would fairly quickly figure out what some really good ones were, and stick to those. But I find I really love tasting new teas, and also trying to find really good ones of a particular variety, and I’m afraid I’ve picked up a fairly expensive habit. One way to mitigate against the expense is to trade freely with other tea enthusiasts. I recently sent away the wangzhongwang I bought out of curiousity from YSLLC and really, really disliked. But the spouse of person I sent it to loved it! I also bought some dancongs that I feel are just ok; they came (cheaply) in 100g quantities, and I’ve used up some of that collection by creating “tea sampler” Christmas gifts….Even as I do that, I’m waiting on another YSLLC order….;-)

  • sjschen // December 21, 2006 at 8:45 pm | Reply

    Pressing your own cake in Yunnan…very interesting. How would you go about doing that? Don’t you have to have some connection with a tea factory or something?

  • MarshalN // December 22, 2006 at 10:43 am | Reply

    Not really. I mean, yes, you do, but in places like Yiwu it seems it’s not exactly difficult to find someone who has a workshop who can press cakes for you. It really only takes a stone mould and a way to steam the tea to get the pressing done. It’s all pretty low tech. Lots of tea-tourists end up getting some cakes for themselves.

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