tingjunkie wrote:You can compare tea to wine, beer, coffee, liquors, cigars, chocolate, or even cheese, olive oil, or soy sauce. Why not? Aren't they all just luxuries we consume in order to delight our senses? Products other people produce for passion, profit, or a blend of both? Things we can choose to be aficionados about, just buy the basic cheap stuff, or even survive without (God forbid)?
Hell, anyone with half a brain can compare a hawk to a handsaw... if the wind is southerly.
Oni wrote: I have seen dragon teahouse selling high priced yancha, but I cannot afford that price range nor the prices at essence of tea, and I do not want to buy classic DHP from teaspring or jingteashop, or yunnansourcing, I want higher than basic quality, and from a trustworthy vendor.
wyardley wrote:Whether tea vs. wine is similar / comparable in terms of how we taste it is kind of irrelevant to this particular question. I think it's clear that, however you do the math, small amounts of the very highest levels of tea on the market (vs. those that aren't available for sale at any price) are still within reach of many middle-class people, whereas the same can not really be said for wine, where a single bottle can cost > $2k+. In other words, regardless of whether the amount consumed in one "experience" is comparable, the barrier to entry to trying the most expensive products available is lower with tea.
A full cake of a really old pu'er can, of course, be prohibitively expensive, as could a jin of high-grade competition oolong. But I think with the wine analogy, you have to compare a bottle to "an amount of a tea that you'd consume within a 1-2 day period"; let's say 5-15g. Spirits might be a more apt comparison, since you often have to buy a large bottle, but you can consume it over a longer period of time.
Of course, you don't have to drink the very most expensive teas to enjoy tea, and everyone has their own philosophy about what teas to buy.
tenuki wrote: I've found some of the less popular varietals to be much easier to find at good quality/price ratio in the US - my current favs are golden turtle or white cockscomb.
wh&yel-apprentice wrote:tenuki wrote: I've found some of the less popular varietals to be much easier to find at good quality/price ratio in the US - my current favs are golden turtle or white cockscomb.
links please...the less popular, 'ancient' cultivars, including but not limited to the two you listed; being sold by DTH, are nearly (in one case more) as expensive as the premium DHP they sell.
FlyedPiper wrote:I agree with the "affordable luxury" slant on good tea. If you think about it, many people here in the US spend as much in a week at Starbucks as it costs to get a bag of some good yancha or gyokuro that will last much longer and provide a lot more enjoyment. Yes, good tea is expensive, but I can spend more on a night out at the bar than I would spend on enough tea to last me a month... Granted I can't afford the top shelf stuff all the time, but it's nice to try something "really good" once in a while to treat yourself.
I'm treating it like gyokuro season... drinking above average tea through the "season", then finishing it off with a bang with a really good one. I think I know which one that will be- but the recs on decent tea at a decent price are helpful too. Seems like the world of yancha is sort of a minefield I don't really want to step too far into though... like finding new teas is a career rather than an enjoyable experience.
Makes me glad I prefer Japanese teas
what I am saying is that they are more likely to be worth the money you pay for them as they are not as popular. I'm talking about a good quality/price ratio, not cheaper.