Friday March 17, 2006

Well, after my long bus ride in the early morning, I had no energy in the afternoon to go tea-exploring, even though I really wanted to…

So I ended up back at Cha-an with a friend I haven’t met in 6 years after dinner. It was crowded on a Thursday night. I had a tieguanyin served kung-fu style, with an obviously Taiwanese set but very authentic, down to the faux yixing pot that’s made of Taiwanese clay(I think it’s faux yixing pot, I’m not a great expert on pots). The original amount of tea they wanted to give me only filled about 1/8 of the teapot, which was not nearly enough. I asked for a double, and the people there had trouble comprehending my request.

They couldn’t figure out what it was that I wanted — did I want more tea leaves ,and a bigger pot? “No, I would simply like more tea leaves, I’ll pay for it”. Would you like a new pot? “No, just more leaves”. But wouldn’t that make the tea too strong? “That’s the idea”

Anyway, the tieguanyin is actually a real Chinese one, with a very nice afterglow that sticks. Fragrance is not high, but real tieguanyin’s smell is never terribly impressive — it excels in taste. The water was ever so slighly not hot enough. They give it to you in a thermost. It’s ok when they first give it to you, but seems to cool a little too quickly because when they give it to you it’s already not boiling hot. The first brew was weak, but it does yield more brews that way. With two servings of leaves it only brewed about one cup every round. Good enough for one.

My friend had a baihao yinzheng, which looked decent enough, although since I’m sick, I didn’t ask to try.

One thing — they only take cash. Remember that. Next time, I’m going to do the kung-fu teas again.


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