Hello from Los Angeles


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Hello from Los Angeles

Postby pokute » Feb 16th, '11, 18:44

Hi All,

My name is Phil, and I'm new to this forum. I drink a lot of tea! Mostly Taiwan oolongs, but a lot of other stuff as well. I buy 90% of my tea from Wing Hop Fung's brick&mortar store in Chinatown, and occasionally from the San Gabriel Superstore, which occasionally stocks a small number of very fresh Taiwan teas at insanely low prices ($20-$40 per pound for tea that goes for $100+ online).

I found that WHF's online teas (and the non-loose tea in the store) are old and musty compared to what they sell in the store, and that their spin-off chain "Birdpick" is about the same as the online stuff. The great thing about WHF is that you can lift the lid off the big glass jar and stick your face right in it. I mostly buy my tea by smell, because I can detect even very small amounts of mildew that way. I find mildew to be the #1 problem with teas purchased online. I drink my tea very strong with Chinese rock sugar, so I might not belong in a tea connoisseur forum ;^)
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Re: Hello from Los Angeles

Postby bearsbearsbears » Feb 16th, '11, 19:56

Welcome. A bunch of us in LA meet semi-regularly to drink Asian teas (www.latea.org), but we don't drink them with rock sugar :)

Check it out if you're ever interested.

Valley Tea & Coffee is a good local place for Taiwan tea if you like it greener. Info should be on Yelp!. Not quite the same varied selection as WHF, but the proprietor's family either owns or is connected with a tea farm in Taiwan.
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Re: Hello from Los Angeles

Postby pokute » Feb 16th, '11, 21:13

Thanks! I'll check out Valley T&C, which is relatively close to where I work.
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Re: Hello from Los Angeles

Postby Chip » Feb 16th, '11, 21:25

Welcome to TeaChat, Phil. I hope to see you around the forum.

Phil wrote:I drink my tea very strong with Chinese rock sugar, so I might not belong in a tea connoisseur forum ;^)

As a TeaFriend once told me on the subject of sugar and tea ... named Phyl BTW.
Like what you drink, drink what you like!

And although I do not add sugar, this has become my personal mantra on the forum, especially when someone feels they do not belong.

So, enjoy, but also keep an open mind on trying unsweetened finer teas that have a natural sweetness all their own, such as the finer/greener Taiwan oolongs. :mrgreen:
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Re: Hello from Los Angeles

Postby Cael » Feb 16th, '11, 21:37

Phil, you will fit right in. I agree with Chip's friend Phyl, on this one and I seem to be having to tell a lot more friends that these days. I don't care what you put in your cup as long as you like it and don't make me drink it your way.

I was just stopping in to say that I'm glad to see you here anyway, got side tracked up there.
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Re: Hello from Los Angeles

Postby wyardley » Feb 24th, '11, 05:29

Welcome! (also from LA)

I'm curious about your assertion about mildew. I've been drinking tea for several years now, but I've never noticed "mildew" in tea (and I've drank some pretty old and funky teas).

Shun Fa / SG Superstore - you're talking about the snack store in the area with all the booths, not the supermarket itself, right? Green signs? I think that's the same store that runs a little tea store inside HK3 supermarket in Rowland Heights. The RH one carries a lot of Lin's teaware; the one at Shun Fa doesn't have as much. The Rowland Heights place cracks me up - they have a charcoal brazier (just for show), as well as several electric tea kettles, but when I was buying a kettle there, they served me some god-awful ginseng oolong which they microwaved before serving me.

I honestly think that for most stores, having such large jars of tea which people can stick their head in, especially clear ones, is not a good idea. Luckily, the turnover at Wing Hop Fung is pretty high, so they can kind of get away with it.

ps - I think we may work at the same place...
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Re: Hello from Los Angeles

Postby pokute » Feb 26th, '11, 19:39

wyardley wrote:Welcome! (also from LA)

I'm curious about your assertion about mildew. I've been drinking tea for several years now, but I've never noticed "mildew" in tea (and I've drank some pretty old and funky teas).

Shun Fa / SG Superstore - you're talking about the snack store in the area with all the booths, not the supermarket itself, right? Green signs? I think that's the same store that runs a little tea store inside HK3 supermarket in Rowland Heights. The RH one carries a lot of Lin's teaware; the one at Shun Fa doesn't have as much. The Rowland Heights place cracks me up - they have a charcoal brazier (just for show), as well as several electric tea kettles, but when I was buying a kettle there, they served me some god-awful ginseng oolong which they microwaved before serving me.

I honestly think that for most stores, having such large jars of tea which people can stick their head in, especially clear ones, is not a good idea. Luckily, the turnover at Wing Hop Fung is pretty high, so they can kind of get away with it.

ps - I think we may work at the same place...


I guess I'm abusing "mildew" as a catch-all for anything that seems to have grown in the tea. There's a characteristic smell and taste to tea that has been sitting around for a few years that makes me think of mildew.

Yes, the place formerly called "New Jerky Company" on the East side of the SG Superstore. The last tea I bought there was disappointing. My friend who bought some of the same really liked it. I have got much better from them in the past. Their jerky is very good ;^)

The tea at WHF moves very fast indeed. They had some excellent alishan for $60/pound and I only managed to get the last of it. It was better than the $180 stuff three jars down, which was excessively dry and crumbly (and obviously not selling at all).

We do work at the same place.
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