Well, I got off the Chinatown bus from Boston to NYC yesterday, and what did I do? I went to a teashop. This place, called the Tea Gallery (Map) is run by a young couple who were students of Mr. Chan of the Best Tea House in Hong Kong. Mr. Chan told me about them before, but I forgot about it (since I don’t live in the city) until a tea friend reminded me of them this time I’m coming down. So I got their contact info and went (apparently it’s best to make an appointment).
I was feeling slightly under the weather, thanks to a small cold I caught and the copious amounts of tea I drank the night before. I told the store owner that, and decided that we should drink some rock tea (Wuyi oolong). Well, long story short, I ended up trying 4 different kinds (and the tea friend came halfway). Some were better than others, and when you drink a few back to back you can really tell the difference. I wasn’t quite 100% in my tasting abilities, since my nose was stuffed, but still I could manage to get some notes out of it.
We also tasted a big brick that said tea friend stores at the teashop. It was a flavourful brick, quite interesting. It was supposed to be dry-storage only, 1980s tea, but seems like it wasn’t stored quite as well as they claimed (or maybe wet storage, I’m not 100% sure myself — they think it went into wet storage at some point).
I ended up buying one kind of dahongpao. It wasn’t the cheapest thing on earth, but then, I got a free, small cake of puerh out of it. More importantly though, I got to meet a few new tea friends (the tea friend from NYC has, until yesterday, been an internet friend). In many ways the company of tea drinking is as good as the tea itself — sometimes :).