Saturday, May 5, 2007

Breaking Up is a Messy Affair

To the music of Tchaikovsky's Love Theme (Romeo & Juliet), I broke the beeng up using a sterilized letter opener and a pair of white cotton gloves.

6 Halved and the resulting loose leaves.

6 The resulting initial pieces. Uneven sizes. To be evened out later.

6 After the sample sizes have been evened out, into thick sealed mylar bags they went. 12 bags total (2 are going to some other friends -- unsolicited). On Monday they will travel to San Diego, San Francisco, Illinois, Georgia, Missouri, New York, Kentucky, Kansas, Oregon, Maryland, Czech Republic, and Slovakia.

6 My leftover from a whole beeng. Lots of loose leaves were produced in the process.

To the 10 - 12 people who are going to receive the samples: Enjoy! I look forward to hearing what you think of the tea when you get a chance.


Salsero said...

I really enjoyed this post, just as I have loved all the community tasting events lately. While the focus of the event is the tasters' reactions, feelings, comments, it's also very nice to feel like we've been let in on the back story of the grand event, in this case the dismemberment and dispatch.

Events like these create shared experiences and a real community among web teaheads, participants and observers alike. Thanks for sponsoring it, a fitting way to celebrate your one-year anniversary!

On a more practical note, where did you get the nice mylar bags?

Unknown said...

I was going to ask about them bags too... until I remembered you helped TChing do the tea a while back, so maybe this is leftover?

I didn't break my cake quite as nicely, probably because mine looks more densely packed. Oh well.

I decided to mix my pieces more thoroughly so a lot of leaves are quite loose. Everybody will get a bunch of loose leaves with one or two larger pieces.

~ Phyll said...

Thank you, Salsero. I'm glad to hear.

I got the mylar bags (1oz size) from Dragonwater ( They are $18/50 bags.

M - this cake is nicely compressed. Not too loose, not too tight.

Mary R said...

Similar bags (only solid, not clear) can be purchased for $19.50 per 100 at

Then again...would anyone ever need 100 bags? (At this point, I actually sat and calculated the probability of using a full 100 within a year and realized that it was indeed well within the realm of belief.) Nevermind. I'm sleepy.

Mary R said...

Oh! I'd originally intended to say how cool the tasting was and how much I look forward to seeing all the participants' notes. Czech Republic and Slovakia? That's pretty awesome. I wonder how much it would take to bribe the grandparents into translating...

~ Phyll said...

Mary -- Ah, yes. Sorbentsystem is a good source, though the bulk size is a bit offputting for someone like me.

The Slovak and the Czech participants wrote to me in perfect English. I am ashamed to say that I know not a single word of Slovak or Czech.

MarshalN said...

Bags like those are almost impossible to find in China, so I just have to stick with those ugly Glad bags. They also smell of plastic :(. Sigh. I hate how they don't have the little things here....

Ido said...

If only it was Beethoven (9th Symphony?) the first picture could easily make it as the poster for "A Clockwork Orange".

I cant wait to get my little bag of goodness - I WISH.

Regards from Europe.

Anonymous said...

Ido - after looking at the picture again, you're right - it could pass off as A Clockwork Orange poster! The white gloves are very appropriate indeed. And Phyll, judging by appearances, did perform a "a bit of the old ultraviolence" on a defenseless beeng.

Phyll - this has nothing to do with your excellent post and generous sampling offer, but I couldn't help but notice "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay" tucked away (on purpose?) in the corner of the photo. I've heard good things about it - have you read it? I'd love to know what you thought.

sweiss1964 said...

Thanks for such a generous offer. I look forward to tasting it.

Kavalier and Clay, huh? I thought it was an excellent book. It would be better with some 20+ year old raw puerh like the type that Danica shared with me at the last tea tasting in LA. David and I drank some of it last night.
Lovely spicy wood flavor.

~ Phyll said...

Nikhil - It's an engaging book. I think Michael Chabon is a wonderful story teller. His writings are always close to his Jewish background. The book was in the pic not on purpose, but I placed it there on purpose because I used a rolled up gift wrapping paper, so I needed to weigh down all 4 corners. (I'm having your delish Firefly).