A Tea Addict's Journal

Entries from August 2009


August 29, 2009 · 1 Comment

Have to prepare for classes that are starting in less than a week, which means not a lot of time to sit down and drink tea.  I did, however, open a new bag of my favourite aged oolong these days…. and my, what a difference it makes compared with the sun drenched and sun baked bag that went through three Western states.  In comparison, this one’s sweeter without the nasty aftertaste.  Proof positive that uncontrolled heat is no good.

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August 24, 2009 · Leave a Comment

Once upon a time, everybody used Hotmail as their default free webmail address.  Then, Gmail came along…. and the world has never been the same since.

Long story short, today I just re-logged into my long unused hotmail account, and to my horror, there were a number of emails from well meaning readers to which I have never responded — obviously, since I haven’t seen them.  To those of you who’ve written to my hotmail address and never got a reply, I offer you my sincere apologies.  If anybody wishes to write me an email, please direct your emails to my gmail account (username + gmail.com).  In the meantime, I’ll have to go through my backlog of emails to try to rectify my errors.


Categories: Misc · Old Xanga posts

Zhizheng 2005 Xiangzi

August 19, 2009 · 3 Comments

Zhizheng is an outfit I’ve discussed before once.  I found that tea to be very good, though expensive.  In fact, nothing on that site is cheap, but are they all as good?  I bought three samples, and I tried another one out…

All green cakes look the same when you have it in small chunks, so leaves themselves don’t really tell much of a story.  This is the Xiangzhi cake that they have, 357g for a somewhat pricey $240 or thereabouts, especially considering that this is tea that is less than five years old.

I used my usual young puerh pot, and brewed this thing up, consuming much of the sample I got.  I must say that this tea is actually quite pleasant.  It’s soft but strong, without the intense bitterness that the Hongyue has.  It’s a bit sweeter than that.  The tea definitely shows its age of a few years, and it wasn’t stored in a very dry climate either.  It’s also quite thick, and you can see the bubbles on the surface of the tea – these things do a pretty good job of approximating the thickness of a tea.  It has legs, and will keep brewing.  All in all, a well rounded, well made, well stored puerh.  If only I can say the same about the price.  I personally find it hard to shell out that kind of money for a cake of tea.  I’m sure others will disagree and gladly gobble it up.  After all, somebody must be buying this to keep them in business.

Categories: Old Xanga posts

2002 Mingquan factory Bangwei

August 16, 2009 · 3 Comments

As many of you know, I am in the northeast corner of the United States.  This not being a very sunny territory to begin with, I live in a small, relatively old house, which means that it is cursed with poor lighting.  Until I finally get my act together to buy a decent tripod (any suggestions?) and moving my tea setup to somewhere closer to the window, my tea pictures will at best be sub-par, and at worst, unviewable.  So, no pictures for now.

It’s been ages since I actually posted anything about a specific tea.  This tea is something which I bought a sample of a while ago from YSLLC.  The wrapper says Menghai, but Scott says it’s Bangwai.  I’m thinking Bangwei mountain, but that’s in Lancang county, not Menghai.  As is typical though, wrappers really don’t mean much in the world of new puerh, and we shouldn’t put too much stock in them.  The proof is in the pudding, or in this case, tea.

The leaves of this tea is relatively finely chopped, with some young buds in the mix, seemingly indicating that this is some sort of spring tea.  The tea, when brewed, displays a nice brownish colour — fit for something that is around 7 years old, and not too dryly stored, which is good.  The tea is punchy, and a bit bitter, but not too much so.  In fact, it’s starting to change into that “second” phase, where the tastes become a little more pleasant.

There are better teas out there, certainly, but there are many worse.  It’s a bit of a smaller cake than 357g, so the pricing needs to be adjusted to make the comparison fair.  I do think it’s not a terrible cake though.

Categories: Old Xanga posts

New acquisition

August 13, 2009 · 7 Comments

I’m still not fully unpacked.  I don’t know where to put my tea.  The basement is obviously not a good place, and the attic has a funny smell — probably smelling like the insulation.  So, I don’t have a lot of places to put them, and the only cupboard suitable for teaware was previously occupied, as far as my nose can tell anyway, by candles of the scented variety.  Not good.

So I’ve been living on kyusu brewed aged oolong the past week, surviving but eager to get back to my normal routine of drinking properly made tea.

In the meantime though, I’ve managed to acquire a new piece that I’m pretty excited about.

This is a Qing period pewter wrapped yixing pot.  It’s really not terribly good for making tea, but it’s an interesting piece of work and I’ve been wanting to get one for a long time.  I happened to run into one in an antique shop around here for the right price, and now I own one of these.  If I want to use it to make tea I’d have to clean it pretty thoroughly — the interior is quite dirty.  But maybe that will never be necessary.

Categories: Objects · Old Xanga posts
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Some things never change

August 7, 2009 · 3 Comments

From a broadsheet printed in 1664 on tea (spelling revised to modern standard as best I can)

The Peculiar Virtues are these:

It maketh the Body active and lusty, strengthening the Muscles and Sinews
It helpeth the Headache, Giddings and Heavings thereof
It removeth the Obstructions of the Spleen
Its very good against the Stone and Gravel, cleansing the Kidneys and Ureteries
It taketh away the difficulty of breathing, opening Obstructions
Its good against Lipitude, Distillations, and cleareth the Sight
It removeth Lassitude, and cleanseth and purifieth adult Humors, and Hot Liver
Its good against Crudities
It stregtheneth the weakness of the Ventricle or Stomach, and causeth a good Appetite and Digestion
It vanquisheth heavy Dreams, easeth the Brain, stregtheneth the Memory
It overcometh superfluous Sleep, and prevents Sleepiness in general, a draught of the Infusion being taken, so that without trouble Whole Nights may be spent in study, without hurt to the Body, in that it moderately heateth and bindeth the mouth of the Stomach.
It prevents Agues, Surfets, and Fevers, by infusing a fit quantity of the Leaf, thereby provoking a most gentle Vomit, and breathing of the Pores
It assuiageth the Pains of the Bowels
It cureth the Colds, Dropsies, and Scurvys, by a proper Infusion, purging the Blood by Sweat and Urine, and expellenth Infections
It purgeth safely the Gall

Now all we need is
It cureth the Cancer

And we’re good for an ad for the newest Snapple Peach flavoured iced white tea.

Categories: Old Xanga posts


August 5, 2009 · 1 Comment

If moving is hell, then unpacking all this tea and teaware must be the 9th level of hell.

Categories: Misc · Objects · Old Xanga posts
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