Though my blog has been static lately, I have actually been quite active within the tea and wine blogospheres. I enjoy visiting other blogs to leave some thoughtlessly written comments just because. The collective online knowledge and wisdom of those who are passionate about tea and wine are immense! I've learned so much from consuming their writings and personal opinions. They never fail to freshen my perspectives.
Some of the interesting happenings lately within the tea and wine blogospheres:
1. Bearsbearsbears made his own pu'er tea cakes (35kg of them!)...
2. And he wrote an article for the 2nd issue of The Art of Tea magazine, too!
3. Brent, a Tea Nerd (like me!), made me realize that, unlike in wine, tannins is not what makes tea feels puckery. Mr. Sanwar M. Changoiwala's excellent article on Chadao about tea and polyphenols confirmed this as well. So I guess it will be "polyphenolic" instead of "tannic" from now on when I describe tea.
4. Imen of Tea Obsession is opening a tea lounge!
5. Houde Asian Art raised their pu'er prices...again.
6. Various discussions about the current state of pu'er price inflation (MarshalN, LJ, Tea Drunk).
7. Eric Asimov, the chief wine critic for the NY Times, contemplates on the topic of how technology changed the art of winemaking (is it still natural?)
As a result of my blogger's block (as in writer's block and nothing to do with China's overzealous censorship), this piece of news had likely become stale. But here it is anyway.
Two Saturdays ago I met three new tea friends: "Estif", who came down from San Francisco for the Easter weekend, Imen, who I have communicated with many times before, and T, who is a friend of Danica. The gracious host was Danica, again.
I think we managed to come across as quite fanatical to T in how we discussed, slurped and comment about the teas we drank that day. Fortunately, she was very open to the new experiences, and all of us could tell that she has got a taste for fancy teas! Another convert?
[Photo (L-R): T, Estif, Danica and Imen holding a 3kg Xi Zhi Hao Lao Banzhang pu'er tea disc]
Teas we tasted:
Lovely. Nutty and buttery with a long sweet and buttery aftertaste. 4 stars.
Good. Nutty and floral, but seemingly short on the aftertaste. I can’t say that I’m a big biluochun fan yet. 3.5 stars.
Light, thin and not expressive enough. Floral, grassy with a soft roasted taste. Came rather short of our expectations. 2 stars.
Delicious, complex and balanced. One of the better roasted Taiwanese oolongs I have ever tasted. 4 stars.
Expressive and charming. Brewed with little leaves and long steeping time in the silver teapot. Best tea of the day for me. Alas, its very pricey for a young 2006 tea. 4.5 stars.
Strong tasting. Don't remember much else. 3 stars.
Strong and kicked everyone's head pretty quickly. 3 stars.
Reverse Osmosis Water Is Not That Bad
We used three types of water that day: Fiji (artesian), Trader Joe's New Zealand (artesian), and reverse osmosis. Danica added about six drops of some ionic mineral supplement into the RO water in the 1.5 liter tetsubin to an excellent result! The supplemented reverse osmosis water was actually as good as or better than the expensive Fiji and New Zealand artesian water. More testing and comparing still need to be done, however.
Lastly, please meet my new ceramic tea friend. It's made by a miniature specialist company called Hagen-Renaker.