All Chinese will celebrate the Lunar New Year on 23 Jan 2012. Based on the Chinese Zodiac calendar, this is the year of the dragon. A dragon year is popular among the Chinese to have babies, as the dragon is deemed to be a strong and powerful symbol. And yes, you will see all Chinese homes celebrating the festive new year with lots of food, goodies, fire crackers and red packets.
For the Chinese tea drinker like myself, you would have realized that the prices of tea, especially the new harvest, are more expensive. Higher demand as well as higher production costs had driven up the prices of raw commodities which include tea. I forsee higher prices for 2012 teas as well. At least I console myself that my pu erh tea stash, which I overspent, is enough to last me for a long long time.
For myself, I am drinking lots of ripe pu erh and am starting to explore raw (sheng) pu erh. I am starting my raw pu erh adventures with a focus of those pu erh with a smoky scent in them. Somehow, right now, I feel that the additional smoky scent do enhance the overall raw pu erh brewing session.
I intend to go visit China and Malaysia this year explore the tea scene there. I had made many tea friends from these regions and I look forward again to having "tea-jamming" sessions with them.
The 2nd pix shows a 1997 yiwu raw tea sold in Malaysia. Yes the tea cake looks really worn but in my personal opinion, this particular tea stand outs as a very impressive tea in terms of taste, aroma, woodsmoke, woody camphor and sandalwood notes and a very pleasant herbal-sweet and satisfying aftertaste. Its really very good and very expensive.
I wish all readers every happiness and good health. Time to brew a pot of tea. Happy Chinese New Year.