Saturday, March 9, 2013


Inspired by positive reviews of teas sourced by the Cha Wang Shop folks (particularly some of their Lapsang Souchong) I decided to dive in and give them a go.  After fishing around on the Cha Wang webpages I discovered that the company offers a fairly stunning array of Heicha.  I've not had much experience in this realm, but have enjoyed what I have tried.  I still don't really understand what the hell Heicha is.  I'll be searching for a primer in the near future.  Ordering tea from Kunming always provides an excuse to splurge for more than I originally intended to make the most of the shipping costs. 

It has been awhile since I found one of these plump basketballs of  tape-girdled joy on my porch (this time hidden by our sly mail carrier behind a set of shellac Rubinstein recordings left by our friend "The Hippie").  Very reminiscent of Yunnan Sourcing parcels.

I have dabbled a bit in the contents of this box over the last couple of days and have been quite pleased.  The LS is enjoyable and I'm already sorry I did not order more of the '03 Wuzhou Liubao as I see it is sold out and it is my kind of tea.  But more on that in another post.  For now, I'm just so pleased to have some new tea that is exciting for a change.  It should keep me occupied for a bit.  I had a stomach upset today after picnicking on a sunny hillside with a spread of chorizo, roasted almonds, Alishan, blood oranges, green bananas, goat cheese, honeycrisp apples and, of all things, lemon vodka.  (WTF?)  Some liubao set everything right.  And I'm finding I can drink it in the evenings and still sleep like a bag of rocks.  Nothing wrong with that. 

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Tea Kettle Complacencies

After many years of pussyfooting about, I finally bought myself an electric tea kettle.  It's a 1 liter Bonavita with a long, slender spout.  I was looking for a way to make tea brewing at work more enjoyable.  I spent a lot of time trying to choose a kettle that was not going to lend a bad taste to the water.  The first time I brewed tea with it, a terrible scent whacked me like a 12 foot tube of kindergarten construction paper paste.   Bummer.  Another piece of tea flotsam clogging the the mess of junk in my apartment.  Hster wisely suggested I send it back.  But I am lazy and do not relish a trip to the post office.  It is almost more trouble than it is worth.  So I have kept on with the thing.  I even brought it to work and it tripped one of the breakers a couple of days ago.  I've been hoping the glue smell would dissipate.  And, you know, after a week of operation, IT HAS!  There is no detectable odor and work has become more pleasant. 

It boils water pretty fast.  Way quicker than the Lin's Studios ceramic kettle at home, which leaves me waiting forever while I yawn in the pre-work twilight.  For a few days before I took the kettle to the office, morning tea making was so painless.  Fill it up the night before and flip the switch on the way to my morning ablutions.  It's like.....a coffee maker.  So I think I've gotten spoiled a little and I'm going to buy a Kamjove for mornings at home.  I wonder if they make one that you can program to turn on at a particular time?