Monday, January 3, 2011

Oh my. I should have heeded the warnings, but no... I had to go ahead and become a tea-head. It all seemed so innocent at first. Just a hop skip and a jump to a local tea shop in the international district. All those yummy and mysterious-smelling teas in big glass jars. Like walking into an ancient apothecary. It was the long jing that started it. I'd had plenty of tea in my lifetime before then -- store bought bags of fake fruity stuff... the occasional cup of "green tea" that was supposed to be full of something good for my health. But I was never turned-on by it. Not until that really good, and really expensive (compared to the grocery store stuff), long jing. There was no going back. Soon I was ordering fresh quality green teas from far-off places. All *yum*.

Next I started sampling some oolongs from my favorite little local tea shop, but those flowery/fruity aromas were so loud and overwhelming! Nothing like the subtlety of the greens. The more I've learned about tea the more I find myself wondering if I just haven't had really good oolong (except for that one wuyi shui xian, but it could have been my great weakness for chocolate that was responsible for the glowing review, more so than the tea itself).

And then. Pu-erh. If you've got a thing for subtlety like I do, then this is the tea for you. But heed the warnings! That innocent preference for "good tea" quickly snowballs into an obsession. It won't be long before those $50+ cakes of tea don't look as expensive as they used to (but hey -- you get dozens of of tea sessions out of a cake, and you can store them and maybe they'll be worth a bundle someday, but then you'd never think of selling them because your only thought is how much more sublime the tea will taste in years to come). And then you start reading about the mind-blowing experiences of tasting aged pu'erhs and you feel like you just *have* to try one out. Nevermind that a cup of good 30 to 40 year old pu will set you back a Ben Franklin or two. And DO NOT start reading blogs and reviews and forums! Not unless you have a lot of disposable cash to, um, dispose of.

And so it is with 2011. Thanks to my burgeoning tea addiction, coupled with some Christmas cash from Santa, I've got some mighty nice tea headed my way through the mail right now. I'm counting the days...


  1. This post is absolutely priceless!
    Wonderfully (and very truthfully) stated!
    Eh being in college AND having an obsession with the leaf is a wallet buster for sure...and just to think, I have 3 more years to go!
    I feel your pain, but more importantly, I feel your ever arising joy that tea brings!
    Keep up this blog! It is thoroughly enjoyed!

  2. Thanks Sir William :) I can't imagine forking out money for puerh AND college tuition! yikes! Best of luck with your studies.

  3. thank you santa and thank you bev. So nice to meet you at Teacup today! And thanks for bringing that aged bana tea company sample. It was amazing!

    Email me a mailing address (at and I'll put together a care package for you (including that Formosa Bonita you forgot)... or else just come in to Teacup again so I can give it to you personally.

  4. Likewise Brett. Truly an honor :) I hope for future tea meetings and good company. I was so sorry to find I'd forgotten the Formosa Bonita! That deep sweet flavor has been haunting me ever since. I'll make another trip to Teacup soon.