Wednesday October 4, 2006

We went back to Maliandao today.

We took a different tack today, first going to the Maliandao Tea City that we’ve both been to separately, but have not yet shopped together yet, but first, a photo-op

Yes, there’s English.

Anyway, we went in there, walked around a bit, saw a store, and walked in, sat down, and tasted some tea. We tried one — a decent cake. It tastes actually somewhat similar to the 2002 Mengku cake we had yesterday, although a bit weaker — but the price was distinctly NOT similar. She either thought we were gullible tourists, which we did look the part of, or just tea drinkers who don’t know any better. She claimed it’s a 1990s cake, which cannot possibly be true. A lying, cheating merchant quoting sky high prices. We walked.

Then we went into another puerh store after much walking around. It was a Dayi only store. We had one — the 0622. It was a cake that consist mostly of buds — very small buds at that. We tried it… and it comes out a bit bitter, somewhat aromatic, but at about fourth or fift infusion, sour. I didn’t like it one bit. We didn’t buy anything there.

Then we saw the 6 Famous Tea Mountain store. BBB wanted to try some stuff there, so in we went. We had two things there, and one was decidedly better than the other. BBB left with one cake in hand — our first puerh purchase of his trip!!! By that time, I was feeling a little dizzy. I think my body really isn’t used to the amount of caffeine and tea I have been drinking the past two days, so it’s protesting. The Dayi cake was especially bad — I think because it’s all buds, the caffeine was overwhelming and my body didn’t like it.

We grabbed a quick bite, then we went to the Beijing Puerh Chadu

To actually look at teapots, not tea. There’s a teapot store there with some decent stuff. We spent a good deal of time there, with BBB looking at various things while I sat down trying to recover from my tea-drunkenness by drinking lots of hot water and having a bite of some biscuit. It worked — I gradually felt better. BBB finally settlled on one pot that I think is quite decent. Maybe we can take a picture of it at some point soon.

We then walked around the mall a bit more, again commenting on how many cakes we simply don’t recognize. There was this one store where he did recognize sometihng, the name of the factory now escaping me — and we went in there and he had some more tasting. Unimpressed, apparently (I was not drinking any tea at this point), so we left again.

So yes, a lot of tasting and “ummm, no”. In some ways, shopping with someone else is a nice thing, because it keeps us from impulse buying. When I’m by myself, I know I often will go “hmmm, this is not too bad, I can try one cake”, and before you know it, I have a bunch of stuff, none of which I necessarily feel THAT great about. Having someone around tempers that impulse. I’d imagine it’s the same with BBB.

We’ll probably go back one more time, at least. It won’t be tomorrow though — I’m just too worn out from the tea tastings. I think I need a low caffeine day to recover before going again.


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