I just read a post by Felix Salmon, and I must say the same phenomenon happens a lot in tea as well. It’s probably also happening with increased frequency. When you get a story with a tea, the tea somehow, sometimes, anyway, becomes better, or more interesting. When I talk to friends who are not particularly interested in tea, telling a story has a way of drawing them into a particular drink than if it were simply just some generic “aged oolong”, which does not sound too glamourous. “Stored for ten years on an organic Taiwanese tea farm”, then you’re getting somewhere.
Most of this, of course, is just some marketing claptrap. They exist because they sell the teas in question. But then, sometimes there are stories like the old jian of Liu’an that they supposedly found in some medicine shop. Hard to beat those.