The Green Puerh class hosted by Timothy and Michael provides an opportunity for something a bit different from our usual fare. Michael began with a young, unblended single estate tea, 2008 Bing Dou. Timothy contrasted this with a semi-fermented, classic Menghai recipe, 2002 7352. The duo did their best to explain the differences between the small batch and factory teas, but having a full house of new and old tea lovers alike, a number of insightful questions arose.
The Philly Tea Club (and guests!) assembled in the back yard for an introduction to Chanoyu. Being far from a proper tea room, Pamela L - a third year student of the Urasenke school - performed one of the more casual forms, o-bon temae. This ceremony is performed with the utensils arranged on a round tray, and draws hot water from a tetsubin rather than ladled from the kama. She selected a fantastic sweet to pair with the tea - candied Yuzu, a slightly sour citrus fruit.
Sharing tea is one of the greatest joys I have found. Quite often, people are generous enough to share with me as well. After enjoying the contrast of two grades of Shan Lin Shi, fresh from Taiwan, our friend Benito offered another special treat. This mini-beeng is made of very high quality leaves. It isn’t punchy in its youth, but rather sweet and buttery. If you are only drinking alone, you are missing half of the experience.
We made our second trip to the Royal Orchid Tea Museum, currently under a serious program of improvements. The event carried a water theme - an exhibition of Shui Pin Yixing teapots from Ming to modern, and, a sampling of several Shui Xian teas. I offered two pots of my own - 1970s hong ni and 1930s zi ni. Kai suggested my elder pot was originally made for export to Japan.
I usually pride myself in being able to rattle off the 8 to 10 teas we drink during the course of a meetup. However, in the company of Dae and David I finally met my match. Dae says she hasn’t drank this much tea since her trip to Taiwan - I am indeed struggling to remember every tea. I’ve done my best to recall them in no particular order. 1996 Huang Yin - Sun Sing 1997 Menghai 8582 1980s Xiaguan Traditional Characters 2004 Silver Tip Puerh - The Tea Gallery
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.