NYC Tea Meetup #1

In search of the elu­sive Tea Pearl, brave friends gath­ered at The Tea Gallery for the first NYC Tea Meetup. Being the inau­gural I decided to doc­u­ment this one in some detail — I expect that I may drop off sooner or later as the jour­nal of record.

Mys­tery For­mosa Oolong

When I arrived Tim had already wres­tled Win­nie out of her seat and had taken over as Tea Mas­ter. In a large pot of Tai­wanese clay, Tim brewed up sev­eral rounds of the unknown tea. He tried to get us to ignore his brew­ing chops by sug­gest­ing that the real tea mas­ter only focuses on lin­ger­ing fla­vors and aroma, not the ini­tial impres­sion of the brew. Nice save!d

This was a nice tea, what­ever its source. Thanks to Tim for pro­vid­ing it. We returned to this tea sev­eral times.

100 Year Tree

Win­nie regained her chair to brew this Yan­cha in her own style. Roast was appar­ent but plenty of other fla­vors and a great mouth feel came along to the party. Brew #3 was knocked out of the park, but the tea dropped off quickly after­wards. The aroma of the tea was very impres­sive, chang­ing from brew to brew but remain­ing vivid. For me this tea had a lot of “downer” qi. Dae agrees. I won­der what this tea would do if pushed hard.

2008 Bing Dou — Ice Island

Michael returned home and took over brew­ing. Tim returned after fetch­ing his friend Tony from Hong Kong — a friend redis­cov­ered in NYC after 25 years. Best of all, Tony loves tea and was glad to join us.

A vin­tage gai­wan was soon stuffed with wet, rinsed leaves. We drank this for sev­eral rounds in Michael’s sig­na­tures knock­out style before the leaf was fully open.

Then, he started to com­bine two batches, to leave some in his new Yixing.

Our orga­niz­ers Mike and Katy fur­nished us with a fine selec­tion of snacks to put off the munchies from Michael’s pow­er­ful brews. Tim was too tough to par­take in any snacks. The “bo’lay” was not too strong for Tony. He was well seasoned!

Japan­ese Puerh

Tim and I have been talk­ing about this tea ever since Win­nie men­tioned it a few weeks ago. Now she is attempt­ing to hide it from the tea drunks. The shy tea even­tu­ally reap­pears as a nightcap.

Dry leaf smells like black licorice cer­tainly, but also some­thing reminds me of the Long Jing Hong Cha exper­i­ment. Adrian thought that tea was more of a hei cha than a hong cha (fer­mented vs oxi­dized), and that is cer­tainly the case here.

Wet leaves had a very intense aroma, Tim placed it as d’dok cha, a Korean puerh.

Taste was smooth and light, hard to pick much out. This could be due to the small quan­tity of leaves used, but more likely because of the ear­lier abuse from Michael’s 15 minute Bing Dao brew — Time to quit for the evening.

2 thoughts on “NYC Tea Meetup #1

  1. Thank you kind Sir for putting this on the record. And Again, Thanks the host Michael, Win­nie and Dae at the gallery, of course a round of applause to our New East Coast Tea Group (ECTG) Chairman/woman Mike and Katy. Great job guys! Sin­cerely, Toki the assistant-in-waiting.

  2. Man, I gotta tell ya…this sounds like about the cra­zi­est best time I could imag­ine. Look at that lineup of qual­ity teas! How could there be much bet­ter enjoyed for the meetup? I’m a bit envi­ous because I don’t have this capa­bil­ity here in St Paul. How­ever, I do have a Steep­ster buddy that lives here in town. I’ll make the best of that. –Tea­ter­nity

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