A Tea Addict's Journal

A wedding and a tea meeting

June 11, 2008 · 5 Comments

Weddings are sometimes fun, but tea meetings with like minded addicts are always enjoyable. It was nice escaping to the clear blue skies of LA, going to the wedding of my cousin who gave out jasmine blooming tea balls as wedding favours, and then, on Sunday, meeting with a few of those from the LA tea group whom I’ve corresponded with before.

Two of them I’ve already met — Jason and Phyll — but the others I’ve only emailed on a number of occasions and exchanged teas with, but never met. It’s always good to know who is sending you leaves in sealed foiled packs. It gives me a little more confidence in drinking stuff coated with mysterious white powder sent by them :).

We started with two greens, each different and rather interesting, especially when we experimented with the “mineral rocks” (ch. maifanshi) that you can get from Asia which are supposedly used for adding minerals to water. They do seem to make a difference, even when there’s only one rock in the fairness cup and thus the water is only exposed to the rock for a short amount of time. I’ve always been rather skeptical of the ability of these rocks to do much of anything, mostly because they are exposed to the water for not very long periods and I wonder about the solubility of the minerals in these things… but I must say I’m sold.

After the two greens, we had two aged oolongs (one of mine from the Candy Store, and one an aged baozhong). The little rock still did the trick there, as we tried our tea with and without the rock…. when it’s in the fairness cup, the tea tasted better. Odd, and possibly placebo…

I think we ended with two Wuyi teas, one is simply called “Laoshucha” or “old tree tea” from Will, and another which is a dahongpao. The laoshucha clearly does have some nice qi.

If I seem to be short on the description of teas… that’s because I wasn’t paying all THAT much attention to them. It was far more interesting to meet old friends again, and in some cases, meeting friends whom I’ve only known through the cyberspace until now. Tea, after all, is a social drink, and it is nice to be able to do it finally in its proper setting — among a group of friends, instead of drinking alone. It might be nice to finally be able to live in a city with more than a plurality of tea drinkers whom I can regularly meet with again, but until then… there’s always this blog.

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5 responses so far ↓

  • Phyllo // June 11, 2008 at 12:00 pm | Reply

    Hey, glad to see you’re back.  Thanks for the cup…it’s a nice one.  Candy Store?

  • tenuki_igo // June 11, 2008 at 12:16 pm | Reply

    My thinking on the rock is that it probably works. I know bamboo charcoal in the kettle works wonderfully for me. I have a theory that it gives the water not just minerals but a ‘better boil’, maybe more rough surface area for different size bubbles to form, etc. Still trying to figure out how to test this, maybe something provably inert and the same shape, etc.

  • Anonymous // June 11, 2008 at 12:20 pm | Reply

    So good to meet you in person (and see Phyll again). I’ll try to refrain from posting the picture of you napping. :>

    I think the tea is gǔ shù chá 古树茶 (ancient tree tea), or at least that’s what they call it. Somehow I liked the way it tasted better last time I brewed it (less charcoal and more tobacco kind of flavors), but since I only had enough of a sample for two tries, I guess we’ll never know.

  • trentk // June 25, 2008 at 5:06 pm | Reply

    Marshal, do you know where I could get some maifanshi?

  • MarshalN // June 27, 2008 at 10:28 pm | Reply

    @trentk – 

    I don’t know where you can get it in the States actually.

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