Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Revisiting the 2007 Puerh Market Crash

 

2007 was a turbulent year for those involved in puerh tea, especially tea businesses that were heavily invested. After a decade of escalating prices the momentum driving the value of puerh tea would peak during the spring of 2007. However the high prices could not hold and as the price for puerh tea tumbled, the first crash of the modern day puerh market was at hand. Fueled by heavy speculation and in part the wave of euphoria generated by the Chinese national media the price of puerh tea was at an all time high and was no longer sustainable without a significant correction. Furthermore the realization that the quality of puerh tea was increasingly being compromised for bigger profits by producers had begun to greatly dampen the euphoria of puerh tea leading up to 2007. A lack of confidence in new products whereby quality was sacrificed for quantity increasingly deterred buyers and investments. By mid-2007 the puerh tea market had crashed. As prices plunged to deeper depths for the reminder of the year many tea businesses that had gambled on escalating prices would be forced to close their doors.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Bomb Blast in Bangkok, Thailand

Front page, Thai newspaper Daily News

A sad beginning to the week as a bomb exploded late Monday evening at 1900pm (local time) on 17 August 2015 in front of the Erawan Shrine at Ratchaprasong intersection. The blast left at least 20 dead and more than 125 injured.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Natural Fermentation – The Pickled Cucumber

For many people I know including myself at times “maintaining health” is one of the most overlooked aspects in everyday life. We live in a fast paced world, the demands are many and the distractions are endless. We are simply too busy that good health is habitually taken for granted and undervalued. It is only when under painful or extreme adversity caused by terrible illness that the true value of good health emerges. It is during those dark days that all the wealth in the world will appear insignificant by comparison to simply alleviating relief and regaining the freedom of our physical and mental normalcy. Good health allows us to better appreciate all the things around us including the tea we drink. Good health provides us with the capacity to live a fuller life adding color and joy to our journey through life. With more research pointing to the importance of maintaining a healthy gut flora (Ref 80% of our immune system is in our gastrointestinal (GI) tract), this is where I will begin with the humble pickled cucumber.

In my books what you see before you is a superfood awaiting transformation (... think Clark Kent and Superman). The above picture show freshly prepared cucumbers  (w/ dill and red peppers) immersed in a salt brine solution awaiting natural fermentation to take place. By selecting the most natural ingredients available, you create an environment for natural bacteria and beneficial microbes to thrive. Natural fermentation does not require heating or pasteurization and is kept free from artificial preservatives in order to maximize the benefits. In this case only salt, water and fresh cucumbers make up the essential ingredients.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Food Pairings – Stewed Duck w/ 2001 Xiaguan Toucha

 
Don Wai riverside market offers great food and a wonderful ambiance. One of the oldest and most popular raft restaurant situated by the river is Ped Palo Nai Nub which translates to "Mr Nub's Stewed Duck with Chinese Blended Spices".

I love the uniqueness and energy to be found at a local Thai market. Each market has its own personality that becomes all the more lively during peak hours when the buzz of activity from the interactions of excited shoppers, sellers and other market forces drum up to a crescendo. For diversity, excitement, unforeseen happenings and sheer entertainment the local market beats the standard uniformity of walking the straight and tidy aisles of a supermarket hands down.