Saturday January 28, 2006

So, maybe I’ll start a blog about tea.

Yes, tea, that magical plant that gives me (and millions others) so much satisfaction. Yes, caffeine has something to do with it, but that’s not the only thing. It’s wonderful. The varieties are endless, and the quest for that great cup of tea never ending. Everyday I drink something different, and everyday it refreshes me.

Today I tried something from Upton Tea Imports for the first time. I bought a sample of their best Puerh, as well as a tin of their best Tieguanyin. The price, of course, means that it’s probably not all that good, but I decided to try it out anyway, since I need a source in the US.

Well, I gave the Puerh a go. The tea is loose, not cake, and it looks suitably aged, although with some white bits on it, which means it’s probably slightly moulded. The smell is very strong, another not-so-good sign. It does look well aged, and the leaves are brown, not black, so it’s probably well post-fermented.

The brew turned out to be almost pitch black, but very mellow. There’s very little bite to the tea, and it comes out a little sweet initially with a slight aftertaste in the end that lingers a bit, but not much variation. I brewed it about 7 times, and it stayed rather constant, which seems to suggest that it was actually “cooked” rather than “raw”. Or worse, it got wet (literally) during storage and thus is eternally messed up. That’s actually more likely.

Not worth trying again, I think I’ll stick to the stuff I get from Hong Kong. We’ll see how the Tieguanyin fares. It is obviously from China and I can probably buy it for half the price in Fujian.


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