Sunday, July 30, 2023

Tea Exchange


I had been talking about tea exchange in my posts and one reader asked how he can exchange tea with me. 

A tea exchange with me is simple. When both of us get to meet .......we would exchange a tea or tea ware with each other.  You can tell me what you would like from me; whether it's a pu erh, oolong, liu bao or other tea you like. It may also be a teapot or teacup....provided I have extras.  In return, you can give me a tea or tea ware in exchange. I hope that we can experience and appreciate the different tea storage conditions of our collections. 

This exchange can take place in Singapore. if you are local or visiting Singapore, let me know and we can not only have a tea exchange but have a meal together as well. Same when I am overseas, we can meet, have a meal and a tea exchange as well. I had met and made many new tea buddies this way. 

We can also meet up overseas when we 'happen' to be at the same place at the same time.  I am hoping to travel to Malaysia, Hong Kong, Guangzhou and possibly Seoul later this year. Tea exchange anyone? 

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

2013 BaiShaXi Black Tea Brick

I have added black tea into my tea drinking repertoire. I now brew black tea at least once a week. The pix above is a 2013  black tea brick produced under by the Baishaxi tea factory. This factory primarily produced black tea and is like the 'Dayi' brand of pu erh. 

What is black tea?  It is actually a popular tea that is enjoyed all of the world. Really. Those teabags you see sold in supermarkets are black tea. Many of this black tea is produced in China, India, Africa and Sri Lanka. Yes, the teabag you jiggle in your mug (sometimes milk and sugar is added) came from these major producers. The aroma and flavours of the tea from these teabags are 'blended' that the tea would taste the same in taste and aroma today, next month and even a year from now. 

This black tea brick is more in a raw form in that nothing has been blended into the tea.   Moreover long term storage of this Chinese black tea, which is highly desirable, make this tea an aromatic and delightful drink. 

This 2013 black tea had undergone fermentation during the production process.....something like shou pu erh. However the taste and aroma is different. While shou pu erh is more earthly or has toasty bread aromatics, black tea is more like a Chinese herbal medical tea concoction with a light sweet aftertaste. I had mentioned a tea buddy in Penang, Malaysia who brewed 7g of black tea into 500ml water and slow simmer the tea over a charcoal stove. You can imagine the intensity of the taste and aroma of the tea. I will try this setup soon, but meanwhile I brew my black tea in a teapot and and let it infuse for a couple of minutes per infusion. Good for 2-3 infusions.