Monday, December 12, 2016
Tuesday, November 22, 2016
In Thailand these mushrooms are locally known as Hed Tup Tal (aka เห็ดตับเต่า) and if there was to be a mushroom version of puerh tea this local delicacy would be hard to beat. Very much in line with ripe puerh tea, Hed Tup Tal possesses an intensely dark color that varies from brown to black and despite their strong appearances both have gentle and mild characteristics. The mushroom tastes mildly earthy with a deep mushroom flavor.
Tuesday, November 8, 2016
Tuesday, October 25, 2016
The higher level of oxidation and roast imparts a darker color to the resulting tea. On a deeper level the effect of traditional Hung Shui from Dong Ding is considerably more soothing and comfortable, and ideal for those who have a sensitive digestive tract. As someone who is sensitive I am happy to share that I can drink traditional Hung Shui all day without any ill effects. By comparison the nuclear green oolong tea that currently dominates the market in Taiwan is noticeably more acidic and drinking too much leaves me feeling jittery and unwell.
Tuesday, October 11, 2016
Cleaning and sorting through things is not a particularly fun task so it helps to that there are interesting items that act as motivation for the process. Bringing these oolong teas out from the dark was definitely an incentive.
Tuesday, September 27, 2016
The Menghai TF recipe teacake consists primary of plantation leaves that are chopped, rolled and blended together. It is a category of raw puerh tea that has a proven history of successful long term storage.
Tuesday, September 20, 2016
Tuesday, September 13, 2016
Tuesday, September 6, 2016
Tuesday, August 30, 2016
Tuesday, August 23, 2016
Tuesday, August 9, 2016
Huang pian consists of lower grade large tea leaves that are broken, yellow and at times not too well processed. For this reason the humble huang pian is often overlooked by tea enthusiasts but this soft and mild mannered tea has many practical uses that can contribute towards the greater appreciation of tea.
Tuesday, August 2, 2016
Tuesday, July 26, 2016
Tuesday, July 19, 2016
Tuesday, July 12, 2016
A Bad Batch - After 2 months this batch became slimy, forming clusters of floating matter and reeking of a sour and putrid smell. The taste was quite stomach turning and horrible.
Tuesday, July 5, 2016
The remnants of a 20 year old petrified looking toucha I picked up from Hong Kong. The tightly compressed tea leaves have rigid and unyielding characteristics. Brewing this tea under normal circumstances gives a muted and lack luster brew. However once the leaves are sufficiently rested the tightness in the tea dissipates and the characteristics open up to reveal decent qualities.
Tuesday, June 21, 2016
The Jingmai region is famous for its old trees and the high quality tea leaves they produce. Raw material from these old growth trees have made Jingmai amongst the most recognizable and sought after regions in Yunnan Province for producing puerh tea. The name “Millennial Old Tree” is a reference to Jingmai’s natural treasure of 1000 year old majestic trees that grows in the region. The raw material that make up the mini teacakes by the Kunming Fengling Tea Factory more realistically I believe come from centuries old trees that are more abundantly found on Jingmai’s natural landscape. Having drunk my way through several of the mini teacakes I am impressed by their quality and feel that the distinctive character and high quality of Jingmai’s old growth tea is well represented by these teacakes.
Tuesday, June 14, 2016
For those interested in reading more on others experiences with different sources of water I recommend going to Teachat’s forum on this topic – Experimenting with Water. The exchange gets heated at times and covers broad and wide ranging opinions and practices by passionate tea enthusiasts. It is a fun and informative read for tea lovers with an interest to experiment and with the goal towards getting the utmost from their tea session.
Tuesday, June 7, 2016
This young lady Drukmo Gyal Dakini creates beautiful music that is a part of traditional Tibetan culture that uses sounds to heal. The sounds are unique and leave a powerful impression on the body and mind. It is a wonderful accompaniment to meditation and to a tea session.
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
The 2005 Gan En Ban Zhang is a semi aged puerh tea. The tea has shred most of its youthful green characteristics and is in the initial stages of developing dark characters with low and heavy notes. The tea leaves are giving and provide a substantial brew with strong Cha Qi.
Tuesday, May 17, 2016
The clarity and purity of the natural spring water and underlying sweetness in the above bottles highlights the quality that is missing in my local tap water. From left to right i) Scotland, ii) Fuji, iii) Iceland, iv) Australia
Tuesday, May 10, 2016
For much of the last 5 years I have relied on my Amway eSpring to purify the local tap water and provide me with the water I need to brew my tea. It is a practice of convenience and one that has yielded satisfactory results but fails to put a shine on some of the teas I know can really excel with the right water.
Tuesday, April 26, 2016
Natural and organic farms, wild tea trees that grow naturally in a biologically diverse environment that is thriving with life provides the source for quality tea leaves that possess good Cha Qi.
Tuesday, April 12, 2016
Tuesday, April 5, 2016
A blue sky that provides little shade from the sweltering sun means that rising temperatures are close to 40C in high humidity.
This year’s hot and humid summer in Bangkok has been stifling and things will only become more heated as we enter the peak months of April and May. As a result I can feel myself becoming more and more drawn to bitter and astringent teas as a means to help dispel the buildup of heat from inside the body. Over the years I have noticed this craving for bitter and astringent tea to come more regularly as the thermometer starts rocketing up. Despite tea being a hot beverage I find that brewing and drinking bitter tea is deeply satisfying to my body at this time.
Tuesday, March 15, 2016
A selection of my top 10 list of articles from The Guide to Puerh Tea to invoke your thoughts and add to your appreciation of drinking tea.
Tuesday, March 8, 2016
Tuesday, March 1, 2016
The 2010 Menghai Hong Yun is a ripe tea that is compressed into100g mini teacakes. Inset: Roasting requires constant motion of tossing and turning to keep the little chunks of tea from burning.
Tuesday, February 23, 2016
Tuesday, February 16, 2016
Old Chong Shi Cha is black with a tint of grey. High quality black pearls will display good physical form and uniformity with minimum debris. The aroma is rich and sweet giving of an alluring candy like licorice fragrance.
Tuesday, February 9, 2016
i) The above photo shows the result of 2 months of fermentation at room temperature. The color of the tea brine has lightened considerably from the first day in mid Nov 2015. ii) To stabilize the batch the jar was refrigerated. The reduced state in the follow up photo shows that I have been actively testing the results for the past month.
Tuesday, February 2, 2016
Tuesday, January 12, 2016
It is that time of year whereby we strive to make improvements to ourselves, our lives and perhaps to even influence those around us. It is a highly commendable goal and with the right intentions that change can be for the betterment of ourselves and those close to us. My goal for the last 5 years has been to improve my own health, spread the word on healthier living as well as to gain more well rounded knowledge on health issues. It is a gradual and progressive course of action. However this should not sway you my dear readers into thinking that I am a health freak. I have my cravings for a good burger, pizza and sweet desserts like anybody else of which I periodically indulge. I simply do not believe in living to extremes and it is more about finding a healthy balance that accommodates diversity for making life enjoyable and fun.