I recently went to my local teashop to catch up with my tea drinking buddies. We would sample the teas available at the tea shops (sometimes our own tea as well) and looked at the various teapots for sale. I would normally try to buy something from the teashop …... a personal gesture, a small reciprocation for hosting me to these tea sessions while I was there.
The teashop had a few of the 2005 Hong Tai Chang cakes left and I bought one cake. I realized that this cake is now $50, twice as much as I had paid from this same teashop 5 years ago. I have a few of these cakes and had stashed them away in my tea cupboard but buying one more piece seem a bit extravagant especially at double the price.
This 400g ripe cake remains one of my favorite ripe tea. I enjoy that unique Hong Tai Chang taste and aroma. I find that you have to break up this tea cake into pieces and storing in your tea caddy for a week before drinking. In addition, adding a bit more tea leaves in a tea session would be ideal in appreciating this Hong Tai Chang cake. The aroma has the scent of old antiques. It is like walking into an antique shop where you smell old wood and leather furniture and old books. And….somewhere in the drink is a delightful, sweet, toasty aftertaste.
So is this tea worth $50? For a simple discussion…. if I can break up this tea into 50 portions (each portion makes or is used for a tea session), one brewing session would cost me a buck. $1 could also get me a can of soda…………but yes, I believe that my readers and I are comfortable with a tea session that costs about a couple of dollars each. Most importantly, I am grateful and thankful I can have my daily cup of tea.