A Tea Addict's Journal


July 9, 2008 · 9 Comments

As some of you might have noticed (or all of you, really), things are a little slower here these days.

Partly it’s because I’m still refusing to climb out of all the boxes from the move, which means a relative lack of variety in tea, but also because I don’t think it’s very productive for me to tell you about how I drink, yet again, another aged oolong I got from here or there. I have a feeling it’s really not very interesting.

But also, because I don’t think I find it very interesting to talk about a tea I’ve had anymore. Not that I won’t do it from time to time, especially when other people send me a tea for my two cents. But it’s not particularly interesting, most of the time.

For example, I had some cheap reroasted slightly aged oolong today, stuff I brought back from Taiwan. It’s not particularly good, and needs time socked away to lose the roasted taste in order to get a little better. Right now it’s just some charcoal plus fruit plus “tea” flavour.

But isn’t that just like most other teas? Sort of like how most young puerhs are a bit bitter, maybe fruity, and perhaps minty? It’s worse in this case, because I can’t attach a name or label to it. It’s not something that you, my reader, can go buy and then say “oh, right” or “no, not really”. In essence, I’m talking in a vacuum, and since these days I’m drinking mostly these things that are otherwise unavailable to most of my readers (those of you who have regular access to Asia or from Asia are excepted). In that case, is there a point in me telling you about it in all the gory details?

Maybe that’s why I drifted to talking more about teaware these days, it feels more concrete, more tangible. A black teapot is still a black teapot no matter how you look at it. There’s some certainty out there that teas don’t generally have.

This is not to say I will forsake writing any sort of tea drinking notes from now on. In fact, I just got a cake of puerh today in the mail that I will probably break open tomorrow to try. This tea you can actually still get from online sources. This is a rarity these days, isn’t it?

Categories: Old Xanga posts

9 responses so far ↓

  • Anonymous // July 9, 2008 at 3:38 am | Reply

    One can really relate to this post as one often encounters these same issues.  Almost all tea one consumes is not avaliable to markets outside of Korea or Asia.  And so one fills gaps between posts of ‘alien teas’ with posts on education, culture, and as you mentioned, teawear.

    Nevertheless, one always enjoys reading this blog even if it’s about a tea from another world.



  • lewperin // July 9, 2008 at 1:28 pm | Reply

    For a long stretch of time, you had a post (at least) per day. Not only that, they were worth reading! So I’ve been in the habit of checking your blog every day. It’s something I’ve really looked forward to.

    But really, if there’s nothing you can think of to write about on a given day that interests you, why bother? (I think you understand that.) Besides, if your “productivity” declines to the point that I won’t want to hit your blog directly every day, there’s always the Alltop tea blog consolidator.

    That said, I really don’t think you should avoid topics just because you think most of your readers won’t be able to experience them in person. To my way of looking at things, you have it backwards there. Given a choice, I prefer to spend my time learning about things I haven’t encountered rather than reading yet another take on something I know well. Some of my favorites among all your posts were when you visited your (literally) ancestral haunts, which by definition I’ll never be able to do. And when you talk about a tea that’s unavailable over the Web, if it sounds interesting enough, maybe I’ll find a way to it anyway; and eventually, if more people get interested in it, it’ll probably become more accessible.

  • Anonymous // July 9, 2008 at 2:05 pm | Reply

    It is very,very very interesting

    Wonderful blog,I have some difficulties to understand all because my english is poor but very interesting and well done

    And Matt’s blog is also interesting,and Hobbes too and,and and,all of them,I like it very much

    Cheers from France and Peace to all bloggers not mentionned


  • salserito // July 9, 2008 at 6:52 pm | Reply

    Only MarshalN can post about not having anything to post and receive rave reviews!  Somehow, every topic seems to move up a notch toward the philosophical realm when you discuss it.  Very nice.  Thanks!

  • MANDARINstea // July 9, 2008 at 8:43 pm | Reply

    How about talking about how the tea make you feel, instead of how the minty or camphor appears on the 3rd brew? Just my 2cents. T

  • Anonymous // July 10, 2008 at 10:22 am | Reply

    The teaware on show is just as unattainable as the tea, i think.

    I’ll still be dropping by regularly.

    The merits of a particular black teapot can be just as vague as the merits of a particular black tea.

  • bsclark81 // July 10, 2008 at 11:18 am | Reply

    Though it might be true that many of your teas that you discuss are unattainable, your unique voice in discussing such, keeps bringing me back.  And I believe because of such talk and integration by the tea community at large, these teas will become more and more accessible.  Look at the diversity of teas available now, that weren’t available 5-10 years ago; and if they were available the cost was too high to justify.

    Certainly understand slowing down on the seemingly mundane, which is sometimes difficult to continue to keep an artistic spark, but certainly throw us a bone once in awhile.

    And certainly the most wonderful thing about your blog, besides your writing prowess, is the fact that your pictures bar none are what zip and zing this blog as well.  Your pictures are always top notch.  They not only exemplify your blog topic at the time, they also are simply wonderful to look at without even knowing the particular subject.


  • teautja // July 10, 2008 at 7:16 pm | Reply

    The fundamental problem in your tea way, (without want hurt you) maybe the difference between your real tea character and the character of the choiced teas. Aged and more aged oolongs with same very good puerhs. And all this aged teas you search to taste with the best judged utensils.  

    Aged is fashionable, because is rare, because gods were tought to be close in nature to the aged. Not casual aged teas were tought as medicine.  (And because it is possible to sell it very well to western and rich people as an unattainable object.. )

    Wulong (and not the nowadays fresh green wulongs) originaly is a fresh, fired, fruity tea, and aging is a obligte ornament.Aging a fresh green is simply a violence of the original reason of this teas.

     For aged puerhs we have scarce traces, for aged wulongs almost nothing. In this circumstances the most important thing what a tea can give us: cha qi, clarity and purity are all lost or not affidable. Now, practice a tea way constantly with aged teas and aristocratic bright utensils it is a fals way. The unattainable old tea with the purest and highest quality silver pot is the end of this rout. Inverting the practice with more pure sheng, many more korean and japanese green and particularly matcha can clear this way.

  • MarshalN // July 10, 2008 at 7:37 pm | Reply

    It’s interesting reading all these comments — thank you. Proof that once you write and publish something… it’s out of your hands 🙂

    Teaujta: I’m afraid we don’t see eye to eye on this issue. Oolongs were not always made to be drunk fresh — roasting old tea is a time honoured tradition that isn’t invented recently, so there’s nothing wrong with that.

    Unfortunately my body doesn’t tolerate much green tea, so drinking fresh greens too often is not an option for me. To each his own.

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