About Me

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I embarked on my tea journey when I studied abroad in China in 2008 and traveled around Taiwan that summer. I'm here to share my experiences and offer my own opinion, advice, and comments on tea.

Thursday, October 1, 2009


There isn't a better title than this...and it's pretty self-explanatory. It hasn't even been a day since I posed the question before my readers, and I already found myself caving into the temptation. Between the advice of those on TeaChat (a cake = a sample) and the advice of WY (buy samples), I didn't know which school to follow. So I choose the middle path, buying a few cakes and a ton of samples. I figure I would buy some of the classics, and even if I didn't like them...it would be a good learning experience and give me a better understanding of some solid foundations. I picked the following cakes:

'08 8582
'08 7532
(I would've gone for the 7542...but I fear that its potency would turn me off completely)
'08 Xiaguan FT Baoyan Jincha
'08 Xiaguan FT Yiming Jingren aka "Instant Sensation"
Yunnan Sourcing Sampler (Just because it's nice to support your vendors, and the Half-Dipper tasting event made me curious)

Even though others might say that single-mountain cakes may not age as well as blends...but unlike many others out there, I'm not buying to collect, I'm buying to drink now (well, I might hold a few for long-term storage). Don't have the space/money to build a pumidor, so I'll just let nature take its course for now, and in a few years I'll get around to buying/assembling one. A few years isn't going to kill a cake, in my opinion. So anyway, I'm interested in tasting the different mountains, and maybe get a feel for their distinctive qualities. I didn't even know where/how to find recommendations for cakes that would be representative of their region, so I just emailed Scott from Yunnan Sourcing and said, "I want to sample cakes that are representative of the major estates: yiwu, nannuo, bulang, bada, lincang, jingmai, etc. What suggestions do you have?" He emailed me back in about 15 minutes and produced the following:

  1. 2009 Guan Zi Zai "Ban Zhang Wild Arbor" Raw Pu-erh 25g
  2. 2009 Yunnan Sourcing "Ai Lao Jue Se" Raw Pu-erh tea 25g
  3. 2009 Yunnan Sourcing "Yi Wu Da Qiu Feng" Pu-erh tea 25g
  4. 2006 A-Gu Zhai Wild Arbor Pu-erh tea * Bu Lang Shan 25g
  5. 2009 Mengku * Wild Arbor King * Raw Pu-erh tea * 25g
  6. 2009 Guan Zi Zai * Jing Mai Wild Arbor Pu-erh tea * 25g
  7. 2007 Zhen Si Long "Autumn Harvest Yi Wu" Raw Pu-erh 25g
  8. 2009 Yong Pin Hao * Stone-Pressed Manzhuan tea cake 25g
  9. 2009 Guan Zi Zai "Jing Xuan Bu Lang" Pu-erh tea * 25g
  10. 2009 Hai Lang Hao "Yi Wu Zheng Shan" Raw Pu-erh tea 25g
  11. 2004 Hai Lang Hao "Big Snow Mountain" Pu-erh tea * 25g
  12. 2009 Guan Zi Zai "Zao Chun Nan Nuo Shan" Pu-erh tea 25g
  13. 2005 Hai Lang Hao "Lincang Impression" Raw Pu-erh * 25g
  14. 2006 Jinuo Shan * You Le Wild Arbor Pu-erh tea * 25g
  15. 2007 Hai Lang Hao * Jing Mai Wild Arbor Pu-erh tea 25g
  16. 2007 Hai Lang Hao * Bu Lang Wild Arbor Pu-erh tea 25g
  17. 2008 Guoyan "Queen of Yi Wu" Premium Raw Pu-erh tea 25g
  18. 2008 Lao Ban Zhang Wild Arbor Pu-erh tea * 25g SAMPLE
  19. 2008 Yong Pin Hao * Stone-Pressed Yi Wu Wild Arbor 25g
  20. 2005 Lincang Tea Co "Wild Arbor King" Pu-erh tea * 25g
  21. 2007 Mengku * Mu Ye Chun * 001 * Raw Tea Cake * 25g
  22. 2002 CNNP * Bing Dao of Mengku * Raw Pu-erh tea * 25g
So including the Yunnan Sourcing samplers, I have 675 grams of pu'er to sample. I think I'm going to have a crazy September.

And I found out that I don't have to start paying my student loans until January instead of November, which is the reason why I was tightening the belt. So I get to have both options, and next week I'll be putting in an order of high fired TGY from Aroma Tea House.

I love living in California because it's the closest part of the coast to China...which means that any shipment from China will come to me quicker than it would to anyone else (except people on the island or something). Waiting anxiously...my last order via EMS arrived about four days after it shipped


Anonymous said...

Wow. That Yunnan Sourcing really came through for you with the samples. That's what I'll end up doing, buying endlessly from them. It's all Puerh samples for me. --Spirituality of Tea

shibumi said...

Sorry for taking up your blog maitre-

Jason are you just mimicking people- why on earth would you only buy samples?

One of the great "spiritual" journeys one can go through is to get old with a cake- and being able to appreciate the transformation over time. I'm not out to get you but your misinformation and nonsense is overwhelming me.