Saturday, August 19, 2023

Plastic Bag Liu Bao

I had seen this liu bao tea for sale in a tea shop and at a tea expo in Malaysia a few years ago. I was intrigued.  I had never seen tea sold in plastic bags at retail level. Yes, I had observed wholesale oolong tea (10-20kg) that are packed in a large plastic bag before the tea is further packed in a carton box.  However, such oolong at tea shops would be 'nicely repackaged' either in fancy foil packets or placed in a pretty tin or box.  

As you can see from the plastic bag, this 1 kg liu bao was packed using the '4 gold coins' brand of liu bao.  This brand  is a highly regarded by serious liu bao tea drinkers,  There is also a line (last line) that seem to suggest this was a commemorative production for a Chinese bank (Chang Tong bank), perhaps for a promotion gift.  There was no information who had packed the tea and who the actual distributor was.   

Back to this tea.  I was told there were 2  (2005, 2007) productions of this tea.  There is no date on the bag to tell which year the tea was packed for sale. Both places where I had saw this tea claimed they had the 2005 version for sale. The first 2005 version was perceived as more expensive as it was deemed like the '1st edition' production. When I pressed further for more information, the shop claimed he had gotten the tea from a tea collector in Malaysia. Likewise, the stall at the tea expo told me he had gotten his supply from another tea collector as well.  Both sellers were unable to show proof or documentation that their plastic bag liu bao was a 2005 production.  

In addition, one tea drinker told me he believed the tea was originally packed in Hong Kong. I was even more curious. I contacted my tea shop buddies in Hong Kong to find out more about this tea. It was a surprise that they informed me there was no such tea produced in Hong Kong and banks in Hong Kong do not give away tea in plastic bags.  Another old tea drinker buddy believed that this tea was packed in Malaysia and only sold locally there.  No one seem to know who had actually produced this plastic bag liu bao.  

I had sampled the tea and it tasted about a mid age tea.  It is quite a decent tea.  I have no experience whether it is a 4 gold coins tea.  I will continue to find out more on this mystery. I had bought few bags of this tea and will put them in my online store so my readers can taste and experience this mysterious plastic bag liu bao tea.    

Wednesday, August 9, 2023

My Online Store - Time To Revamp


I am suppose to reopen my online store when I had returned from my USA trip last month.  I will need a little bit more time. 

I want to tinker with my product offerings. Let me elaborate. You would agree that the prices of tea had gone up significantly, especially after the 3 years of covid.  Many goods and services, beside tea, had seen their prices gone up. My regular local chicken rice or beef noddle meals had increased by more than 25% and I find that my overall monthly expenses had gone up.  I can imagine as a Chinese tea drinker as myself, ordering and buying tea can burn a little hole in your wallet. 

This is what I plan to do in my online store. I will like to give my buyers a more exciting, informative and hopefully a happy and inexpensive experience in my store. I am thinking of offering tea that you can compare say within a brand, or a vintage year or comparing tea being store in different regions ( Malaysia, Hong Kong or Guangzhou storage). You need not buy entire cakes of pu erh but I will offer you an economic option of purchasing in say 50g or 100g. This meant say you want to try a 2009 Dayi 7542 and a 2009 Dayi 8582, I will be selling as a set of 50g of each tea. Like wise you can also try selection of old pu erh storage from Hong Kong vs Malaysia in 50g packs. This would allow you to appreciate the many varieties of pu erh as well as the results of storage from different regions. 

We can also have a tasting discussion online where we can have a live chat or even a group video face to face discussion where we can exchange our views or even disagree whether there is a sweet aftertaste in the tea.

I hope this inclusion of 'study' tea packs will provide you a wider appreciation of the Chinese tea without hurting yuur wallet.

So stay tune while I tinker and consider the tea that I will offer as 'study 'packs.  If you have suggestions what you like to see in my store, let me know. Thank you.