Tuesday, October 27, 2015

It's Good to Sample

A collection of samples from a time when I was exploring some online offerings.

Samples can be used to serve many purposes with the most common function being to judge the quality of a tea for determining a purchase. To take this further, for puerh enthusiasts who are interested in the study and exploration of puerh tea sampling provides a cost effective and logistically astute way to widen your experiences and scout the vast puerh landscape. Sampling allows the avid tea drinker to probe the different categories of puerh tea and survey how the landscape can change over time without having to allocate substantial investment to acquire tea in a larger quantity.

We have to diversify to educate ourselves.

The vast puerh landscape covers both categories of raw and ripe tea. The terrain for both consists of the growth of ancient tea trees and modern plantations that under the influence of local terroir become significantly varied as a result of regional conditions that make up Ban Zhang, Yiwu, Jingmai, Bingdao, Lincang, etc. The different processing, blending recipes and storage of puerh tea further extends the range and variety of the product. This first layer alone can comprise of a staggering number of different products but puerh tea is anything but one dimensional. Understanding the landscape of puerh tea is to be able to grasp the complex and multi-layered scenery that changes and transform with time as well as under the influence of people and new trends.

In grasping the enormity of the vast puerh landscape highlights just how beneficial samples can be for opening up opportunities for exploration that may otherwise be closed due to constraints in resources and budget. Access to samples allows tea enthusiasts to become more widely acquainted to tea and to further broaden our experiences. However whilst the benefits of samples are clear it is important to recognize that the act of sampling generally will only serve to provide a mere acquaintance to a tea. Gaining an in-depth insight into a tea takes time and more than a few tea sessions. Time is essential for acquiring an understanding of the little intricacies and details that forms The Big Picture of a given tea. - In the next entry I will offer some of the drawback and disadvantages that comes with tea samples.

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