I finally bought a few things after having had a whole bunch of free tastings at various shops. I do, after all, need to keep up the appearance that I’m somehow shopping for tea all along.
I tried three things today. One is actually a Wuyi tea that I brought over to the Best Tea House (for Rosa to try). She wants me to buy a whole jin of it, because it’s so cheap and yet tasting quite decent (for the price). It’s 1/2 of the price of the cheapest Wuyi tea on offer at the Best Tea House, and I personally think it’s even better.
The second is a small 100g cake of supposedly Yiwu tea. I don’t think it’s Yiwu, or at least it doesn’t taste like the Yiwu that I know. It doesn’t have that “Yiwu” taste. Not that great, and very expensive for what it is.
The third… is better. Some unknown origin old tree tea. Good chaqi, nice feeling down the throat that lingers for a long time… it’s hard to find tea that actually does it, and I am still wondering what it is that causes such a feeling down the throat (and why it’s only present in some, but not all, teas). It’s a bit of a mystery to me still, since you’d think that the same chemical will be present no matter what, but apparently not. Teas that look almost identical can have a great variation in how that particular sensation develops (or fails to develop). I think this is why YP thinks it is such an important indicator of a tea’s quality.
It is increasingly difficult to buy anything from Hong Kong though, simply because prices are high. I can usually find the same thing for much cheaper. I know I probably paid more than I need to for what I got today (which wasn’t much), but I can sort of justify it as payment for all the free teas I’ve had over the past two weeks.
Back to Beijing tomorrow, then Shanghai, then Beijing again, then Hong Kong, and then the States for a little bit…. the next few months will be busy!