Moving, especially long distance moving, entails lots of packing and lots of unpacking. I’m still surrounded by boxes, half packed, half unpacked. It’s frightening to think that it takes about 5 largish boxes to hold all my tea stuff. It’s also obvious to me that, despite my earlier attempt to unload some of my teaware, I still have far too much of it.
So, while my tea stuff are still being unpacked, I have been subsisting on a few samples kindly provided by Mr. Lochan of Lochan Tea. These are all 2008 first flush FTGFOP darjeelings, or “Finest Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe”. There are a total of 8 samples, and I’ve only tried two, numbered 3 and 4. It’s quite interesting brewing teas you know very little about. I remember once upon a time, when I was first exploring the world of tea, when first flush darjeelings were one of my favourites — especially the greener kind that gives a nice fragrance. I’ve since left that world and pursued other kinds of teas, but brewing some of these reminded me why I liked them in the first place.
I use a 300ml (or thereabouts) yixing with a generous but not over the top amount of leaves, and pour them into a big mug to drink. I suppose you can think of this as a cross between my usual brewing and a more English style, although brew times are short — under a minute at most, usually about 15-30s. The teas are obviously very high quality, especially sample 4. A nice depth and overall very fine fragrance, qi, and body. They are also quite long lasting — sample 4 I brewed for two days. Wikipedia says a joke for FTGFOP is “Far too good for ordinary people”. I can see why…. and I’d imagine this stuff doesn’t come too cheap.