Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Yunnan Brick Tea

The tea I started to prepare on Sunday .. migrated to the office .. and now its Tuesday.

The dry brick, when opened, looked  to be fairly homogeneous,  no obvious layering of different leaf types / sizes.  The wet leaves support this, they are fairly large and uniform (ish)  .. Colour is a rich brown with a few lighter tones of brown, providing a strong rich soup, supporting multiple infusions, as one would expect.DSC00415 The aroma is not strong, a delicate flat tone with a light toasted base, The flavor is an immediate wash on the palate, leaving no mouth dryness, quite a surprise in such an otherwise full rich tea.  I’d propose an analogy of this to a Single Malt Pu-erh,  a notable standout from the crowded world of blended  offerings.  I need to do some backtracking to suss out the age of  this ShuPu, and many thx to Da XiaDSC00405

I’m at a bit of a loss to conjure up appropriate categorematic expression or indeed appropriate euphemisms to describe the taste and aftertaste.  They are to say the least, very pleasant.  So I’ll let the “little gray cells” run their course and see what transpires.  For now I am satisfied to just enjoy and enjoy some more …..

Monday, October 26, 2009

More tea please, MORE! MORE! , yes please ….

xiexie ni Julia. 謝謝你朱莉婭,  Mr Yin brought more tea from Taiwan to the office in Chang Ping,  Julia sent a couple of packages of Taiwan High Mountain Oolong, as I am here in my US office.DSC00409 DSC00408Life of an International shipment .. Chang Ping, Dongguan China to Irvine California. Picked up on Thursday night at 9:03 pm .. arrived Monday 9:28 am.


10/26/2009 9:28

10/26/2009 7:18

10/24/2009 2:48

10/23/2009 21:56

10/23/2009 17:03

10/23/2009 13:03

10/23/2009 12:47

10/23/2009 19:59

10/23/2009 12:58

10/22/2009 22:27

10/22/2009 21:03



At local  facility

Departed location

Arrived at location

Departed location

Int'l shipment release

Arrived at location

In transit

Left origin facility

At local facility

Picked up













A brick from Yunnan tea factory:DSC00400 This was a gift back in 2008 from a friend of a friend. Da Xia and her family own and operate a tea farm in Fujian province, and a retail shop in WuXi. Her friend from Yunnan sent her this tea to pass on to me.  Life is all about the web of friends and contacts we weave and share …DSC00402 Sunday, a great opportunity to try this tea .. a cooked pu-erh .. using, one of  the many SS dive knives we have around the house,  the moderately compressed brick yielded its treasures. DSC00404 As luck would have it .. Sunday went pear shaped very quickly … both Robbie and I ended up home about 6:30 pm ish .. too late to try new tea. .. So Monday in the office it is … more later

Ops .. a especial thx to Trevor (# 2 son) for stacking TWO cords of wood.  As you can see this is a fair amount. (remind me to fix my kayak )DSC00410 .. ready for the harsh Southern California winters :) we are currently hunkered down in the mid-80’s F

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

It’s NOT English actually !!!

Every once in a while I get my knickers in a twist. (panties in a wad, colonial translation)

Fraud is afoot : afoot

Yesterday my Russian friend proudly announces “ When I live in Russia this tea was my favorite, not in the Tea Bag ,but in Russia we just buy this type of tea, is loose not in bag. But I think this is good, is from London.” Ceylon Tea / Black tea


Anatoly left a tea bag in an individual airtight wrapper.  After a bit I looked at the bag “AHMAD TEA London”  If it looks like a Duck, Walks like a Duck, Talks like a Duck, chances are it is a Duck.  The packaging (picture), company name, street address  just did not fit.  Check out the company web site .. Ye Olde  England dripping off  very page, yet it seemed to be a pastiche that failed to convince (me)  So I dig a little deeper.  It’s NOT English actually !!!  This veritable tea company is an Iranian, Internet “Fred in a shed” based in Tabriz.

Poke around the NET and you find:

Import and Export of Tea products in Iran and East Azarbaijan in Tabriz. We purchase and distribute Black Tea in Tabriz city.   Managin: Ahmadi

Business Role: Importer      Business Type: Distributor/Wholesaler

Business Status: Corporation/LLC      Years In Business: 16 to 20

Number of Employees: 6 to 10        Number of Offices: 1 to 5

My observations are that this is a deliberate effort to:  market and sell by deception and mislead the buying public. 

Thursday, October 15, 2009

From Taiwan with Love .. 從台灣的愛

My colleague Jeff’s (the leader of the Mt. Baldy summit team) wife is Taiwanese, and they have friends visiting from Taiwan.  This morning Jeff came in with a wonderful present of:
Taiwan “High Mountain Oolong.”   高 山 烏龍 茶DSC00396
We review and discuss the leaves, while the pot heats up and the tea breaths a little.
I made a first infusion and the day quickly evaporated .. tomorrow morning we sit and enjoy. And plan next months trip (Jeff, wife and daughter) to Taiwan.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Show your STUFF

What is in your collection of stuff ??
My office is a magnet for “Stuff” an eclectic mix to say the least:
One example: top two shelves of a small corner bookcase.
DSC00394 Stuff from: Singapore, Malaysia, China, Germany, Thailand, Korea, Scotland, England, USA(various states), New Zealand (south island)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Taiwan celebrates National Day and 60 years

Friends summit Mt. Baldy, 10,064 ft., San Gabriel Mountains in Southern California, on 10/10/09

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Don’t mouth a gift horse in the look

By 10:00am, about 1/2 a gallon of Pu-erh disappeared, completely. (David Copperfield eat your heart out)  I  returned to my office, after a much needed Bio-break, to find Anatoly had left a little present / “Tea Bag” on the “Cha Ji”  Inside the bag it look like a veritable potpourri, “Organic Cranberry Green Tea” with instructions “brew time 5 Min” by none other than that  purveyor of fine items Trader Joe’s .. enough said ..

I had just started a brew of Pu-erh (the brew that is true is in the vessel without the pestle. ) When the mood was on me, must have OCGT NOW !!DSC00390 DSC00391DSC00392

Caveat emptor:  拉屎 茶

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Ancient Silk / Tea Road, a thoughtful Gift

A collogue returned from China this weekend,  bearing gifts .. how nice.   A special thx to Fatemah for this keepsake:
Depictions, short history of the Ancient horse trading route(s) and Buddhist iconography to be found along this historic route.
gift1 gift2 gift3

Monday, October 05, 2009

Video: Britain's tea revolution - Times Online

A plethora of  Tea related articles are being run by the major Brit newspapers of late. Quaint video, longish article, but worth a read, with stuff of this ilk:

……  To demonstrate her case, Henrietta Lovell, dubbed 'The Tea Lady' by friends, customers and even by the author Alexander McCall Smith in Corduroy Mansions gets out a very familiar looking packet of big-brand breakfast tea. She tells me I'm not allowed to write down which brand it is for fear of starting a tea war (Lovell is a bit of maverick in the tea world - she wants to "break the tyranny of the tea bag")….

Video: Britain's tea revolution - Times Online

Shared via AddThis

The threat to the great British brew

By Rowena Mason, London Telegraph,  finance section

Chucking away £2 a day at a trainee barista for a so-so coffee chain black americano always seems like a good idea when I’m hauling myself on to the tube every morning. But for an under-brewed cuppa from Starbucks (tepid water first, tea bag floating aimlessly on top)? That would just be too much.

Sadly though, we’re all going to have to get used to paying more for our Great British brew. Worldwide shortages of black tea leaves have pushed prices up 25% this year and research by: Mysupermarket.com, shows that retailers are charging an average of £4.85 for 240 teabags – compared to £3 a year ago.

Kenya, exports 35% of the world's black tea

The surge in prices began in May, when auction averages soared to record levels, on the back of unseasonal droughts and shortages of fertiliser caused by high oil prices.

Meanwhile demand, especially in emerging markets has continued to grow, outpacing the growth of tea harvests. Now experts are even saying that stocks of tea may drop 10% next year.

For the more alarmist among you, start stockpiling now….

FTC: Bloggers must disclose payments for reviews

AP news feed:


The Federal Trade Commission will require bloggers to clearly disclose any freebies or payments they get from companies for reviewing their products.

It is the first time since 1980 that the commission has revised its guidelines on endorsements and testimonials, and the first time the rules have covered bloggers.

But the commission stopped short Monday of specifying how bloggers must disclose any conflicts of interest.

The FTC said its commissioners voted 4-0 to approve the final guidelines, which had been expected. Penalties include up to $11,000 in fines per violation.

The rules take effect Dec. 1

Tea (party) anyone??