bonescwa wrote: MarshalN wrote:
bonescwa wrote:I found an old bag of samples and came across about 10 g of teaurchin's spring 2012 gaoshanzhai. This is the tea that made me understand what the fuss was all about. For being only 2 years old it has almost no bitterness and has a sweet floral barnyard taste and aroma. Anyone know of any decent non-Teaurchin gaoshanzhais that are still available and reasonably priced? This one is neither.
Any real gaoshanzhai gushu will cost you a bundle.
I figured... I wasn't sure if it was one of the costlier regions or not. do you think there are any regions that are undervalued for their quality right now?
It's not one of the costlier villages in Banna, but that doesn't mean it's cheap anymore. My friend pressed two types of gaoshanzhai cakes this year. One with the plump looking leaves typical of the place (made from selected bigger trees) and a more normal one, and sold me a kg of the second, at cost. It was 1500 rmb per kg, 2500 retail. That's the cheapest possible, imo, unless the farmers sold later flushes for less, or if you get something heavily cut with small tree material. Tea from Xishuangbanna has gotten very expensive all over. Many places, even ones that had stable high price-to-quality ratios, doubled in price from last year. There are still little-known groves in places like the deeper ends of Yiwu, but the chances of finding tea from such a place are very slim, and the chances of finding anything worth the while (due to processing issues) are even slimmer. (That's talking about 2014 teas, that is.)
edit: I think I sounded a little to apocalyptic. There are affordable teas in Banna, obviously, but generally not too below 80-100 usd a cake.
Other than that, for real cheap teas with non-plantation material, you can look into teas from Lincang, Lancang, Laos, Burma... I personally don't, on average.