William wrote:Sorry, snoberism is not for me.
No offense, but I think your talk-down of (pretty much) everything that's factory made and (allegedly) not "grown in harmony with the nature" qualifies as snobbism, although of a different kind.
Of course no-one would disagree that something "grown in harmony with the nature" is better than something that is not, but this tendency to regard everything factory made as chemical, posinous and downright evil tea, as opposed to the suggested "pure" stuff that can only be found from the handful of friendly and small-scale vendors available to the western consumer is getting a little old. I appreciate teas from said vendors, and I'm generally very happy about the work they do and the teas they provide, but to use myself as an example I cannot, with my current financial situation afford their good teas as daily drinkers.
For me this is where factory teas such as Dayi and Xiaguan fills an important hole (well, at least the recepies I've come to like, of course there is a lot of junk out there, and some initial sampling will be necessary). They provide me with decent teas that I can afford to drink every day (which is a necessity after I dropped coffee altogether a few months ago), and have given me many enjoyable sessions. As for Xiaguan (which has been discussed here specificially) I, for one, am a fan of the smokiness (perhaps not surprising as my taste in single malts also gravitate toward the smoky Islay whiskies), although not every day.
Of couse I'm not going to have my feelings hurt by people on the internet calling these teas crap (and generally assuming that even those who have drunk these teas over time, and claim to like them, must be confused or inexperienced), but I think it's pretty interesting that those doing so a moment later take on the humble, sagelike mask and lecture others on being elitist.
So when shah refers to himself as an "experienced drinker" I find that more honest than the much more common false humility sprinkled with rolls-eyes-smileys and passive aggressive remarks, but hey, to each his own.
In any case, as the topic deals with cost-effective puers, I don't see why factory stuff should be off bounds. Perhaps this is the only section where they are actually able to shine, since that's one of the benefits they get from being evil capitalists with large scale venture, with all this implies in terms of access and economies of scale