Thursday, February 2, 2012

In Which a Large Box of Tea Falls Into My Lap (Sorta)

I'm just so excited, I can't contain myself. As I've mentioned, my brother currently lives in China. Not long ago, he mentioned sending me a few samples of teas from one of the local tea shops he frequents in Wuhan. Expecting a small box, I was thrilled to find a large one handed to me at the Post Office when I went to pick it up.

I figured there was a good chance some of the box was sort of stuffed to prevent things from bumping around. But I was wrong! Every last inch was packed to the brim with tea (and a gorgeous set of tea cups)!

I unpacked it all on camera so I can send the video to Greg, so I won't necessarily get into the exact excitement as I opened each item. Besides, I'm pretty sure you can all get a good idea just from knowing me or reading my blog, oh... ever!

I will, however, list out the teas he sent me with his annotations from the handy-dandy list he wrote out for me!
The Ya Bao tea
  • Ya Bao: From the ends of certain Pu-eh branches, like a white tea, but ages well.
  • Da Hong Pao: An oolong from Fujian across the strait from Taiwan - spicy red flavor
  • Jin Jun Mei - Golden Horse's Eyebrow: A really nice Fujian red tea
  • Tie Guan Yin: Most famous Fujian tea, from Anxi county - given by tea-shop-owner friend, from his family's plantation.
  • Ren Shen Wu Long: Ginseng oolong - the kind you like - from Taiwan usually - oolong (wu long) means "black dragon" incidentally [sidebar: I actually learned that recently in my reading! Woohoo!]
  • Huang Zhi Xiang: From Guangdong province - yellow branch fragrant - literally translated. Don't know much about it.
  • An Hua Hei Cha: An Hua black/dark tea - a kind of long-aging tea from Hunan - I just discovered this stuff. The saying in Anhua is, "A father buys PU-erh for his son to drink. A grandfather buys Anhua Hicha for his grandson to drink." This is a new tea, as in this one I'm sending you is not aged very long.
  • Yue Guang Bai: This time in cake form
  • Pu-erh Shoucha: Olive wrapper - a "cooked" pu-erh from 2007. Fujia brand name
  • Pu-erh Shengcha: Orange wrapper - 2007 raw Pu-erh from the same company - brews orange - quite well aged for a 2007
Needless to say, I'm very excited to try these out! Oh, and one final thing.... 

Geoffrey in a Chinese Box!


  1. If this is an authentic Jin Jun Mei, then you're in for a treat. I've had some from the second year it was produced (2007, I think it was) and it was outstanding. But since then, the already very expensive price has gone up beyond the affordable level...
    I love the Ya Bao teas. They're so unusual. Very different from any other tea. A good Hunan Dark Tea is also a special treat and of course, a good TGY is just wonderful.
    It seems like your brother either knows his teas or he had very good advice.

    1. Thanks for the input, Jo! My brother is learning his teas and I'm certain he had very good advice. He's been spending time at a particular local tea shop apparently, and has become something of friends with the proprietor.

      I believe the Jin Jun Mei is authentic. You can see a photo of what I received in my Steepster cupboard:

      I haven't tried the Ya Bao yet, but I think I'll try it first thing tomorrow when my palette is clear!