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Of course I didn’t live in a tea vacuum in the past three days. One can hardly avoid tea in Hong Kong, especially for a tea fanatic like me.

Aside from the restaurant teas I’ve had the past few days, I’ve had a long (and I mean long) list of teas from various places.

Of most interest was a Yiwu cake I had at one of the Sheung Wan teahouses. It was very, very good. It was also very expensive for what it is (3 years old). I’m debating whether to get a few cakes of it or not. The good thing is, it displays similar characteristics as the tong of tea I bought recently, so I think I am in the right territory in terms of finding really good Yiwu. The downside is I’m not sure if I can find such good tea again even if I go to Yiwu, and I am not sure given the way the market operates there, if I can actually find the teas I want.

I also had some other interesting stuff. Some of it is loose aged stuff… one of which was quite decent, and which I might stock up a bit on for personal consumption. Others were so so, or downright poor.

Among the bad stuff I’ve had was a cake of puerh, allegedly from the early 1980s, that is on sale at the BTH for what seems to be a ridiculously cheap sum of $200 USD. Now, early 80s tea for $200 is, I assure you, very very cheap.

Let me show you some pictures

Looks good enough, right? I think it’s a 7542 type of tea. Not entirely sure. It’s wet stored all right, since it’s got the signature wet stored look — a slight coating of white stuff on the tea.

Well…. the first infusion had an odd taste in it, and was somewhat rough and bitter. It was thin. Yet…. the colour looks great

Yet…. something was wrong with the tea. After another 4 infusions, we stopped. It was just…. not good. It was bitter, thin, and had some weird tastes. There’s a reason why it’s cheap….

Even the wet leaves look good

This is definitely stuff that can fool a beginner.


Comments

Back to the regularly scheduled programme — 2 Comments

  1. Hi Marshaln,

    I’m fascinated by your description of the shopping and buying process.  With the YiWu you tasted, are you concerned that this might be a one-time buying opportunity because it is a small production cake or becuase the market is just very mercurial.  When I read about some of your experiences I perceive that there can be an element of illusion, tension and instability in shopping for what you want.  Is it often frustrating?

  2. I think it’s…. uncertainly over whether or not this is truly worth the sticker price, and whether or not I really need another cake or two, and also whether or not I can get this for maybe less in a few years’ time?

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