Thoughts from a new Hong Kong bo lei drinker


One of the intentionally aged teas, Pu-Erh has a loyal following.

Re: Thoughts from a new Hong Kong bo lei drinker

Postby jayinhk » Sep 10th, '12, 23:26

The good thing about HK is we get well-aged, traditionally-stored shu house blends everywhere, and they work out a lot cheaper than Starbucks! I still have to try some good, aged cheng cha: do I dare?

Even if we do go fancy, Taobao and the markets in China have us covered. I'm not ready to buy cakes just yet as there is a ton to learn, but I may have to make a trip to Yun'nan at some point. For now, I'm just enjoying the freedom to sample tons of different teas for not much money or effort! There are still two tea dealers within throwing distance of my place that I haven't checked out yet!

I looked at my simple collection of porcelain and the large bag full of tea I've accumulated in a few weeks, and decided to take a little break from purchasing, get more work done and put a dent in the stash. lol. I've been drinking 4-5 varieties a day!

Really enjoying this TGY I picked up yesterday. Really fragrant and tasty with classic TGY flavor and definitely has the bittersweet character I've read it should have!
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Re: Thoughts from a new Hong Kong bo lei drinker

Postby TwoDog2 » Sep 10th, '12, 23:43

jayinhk wrote:I looked at my simple collection of porcelain and the large bag full of tea I've accumulated in a few weeks, and decided to take a little break from purchasing, get more work done and put a dent in the stash. lol. I've been drinking 4-5 varieties a day!



Nah man, it's cool, we get it. Take a break. I'm gonna take a break from puer, too. I mean, I can quit whenever I want...
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Re: Thoughts from a new Hong Kong bo lei drinker

Postby MarshalN » Sep 11th, '12, 00:00

shah82 wrote:Uh huh...Nirvana in tea has the same going rate as the finest cocaine. You think jayinhk has that kind of dough?


Methinks the finest cocaine is cheaper than a 20s pu.
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Re: Thoughts from a new Hong Kong bo lei drinker

Postby jayinhk » Sep 11th, '12, 01:02

It really is like a coke habit...start off buying sample bags from different dealers, then when you find something you like, you buy tongs "just in case." No, I'm not referring to Marshal's last blog post at all :lol:
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Re: Thoughts from a new Hong Kong bo lei drinker

Postby jayinhk » Sep 11th, '12, 10:40

Was about to brew up a gaiwan of the white tea I bought a few weeks ago, when I noticed a vacuum-sealed pack of tea with no label that's been in the kitchen for quite a while. Asked my brother what it was, since he'd bought it, and he said he thought it was chrysanthemum flowers. I asked him if I could open it to find out since he wasn't sure. Well, it turned out to be lychee black tea. Totally not what I was expecting, but I quickly infused two small pots worth back to back, mixed them together and then split it into two cups. It's actually a very nice break from the pu erh. Today's tea count was the Tieguanyin from yesterday, Supreme Pu'Erh from Sunday and then this black lychee tea we didn't even know we had.
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Re: Thoughts from a new Hong Kong bo lei drinker

Postby jayinhk » Sep 11th, '12, 23:17

Just picked up my first cake:

http://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=5080102323

Hope I didn't buy junk, but the reviews seem positive and it wasn't too expensive!
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Re: Thoughts from a new Hong Kong bo lei drinker

Postby shah82 » Sep 12th, '12, 00:56

Too cheap for that age.
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Re: Thoughts from a new Hong Kong bo lei drinker

Postby MarshalN » Sep 12th, '12, 01:01

You know Jay, if you want crappy taobao tea, I have lots
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Re: Thoughts from a new Hong Kong bo lei drinker

Postby jayinhk » Sep 12th, '12, 01:11

lol Marshal...let me see if I can back out of this purchase!

EDIT: Seller has shipped.
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Re: Thoughts from a new Hong Kong bo lei drinker

Postby jayinhk » Sep 12th, '12, 11:16

Well, it appears the cake I bought isn't too bad and really is ten years old, according to a post from another member. Nothing special, he says, but I'm glad I didn't get entirely ripped off. :)

Finishing off the evening with some of the first bo lei I bought across the street. It really benefited from the bag being loosely closed. It was sealed in mylar when I got it. Almost all the wet storage and smokey taste is gone and it's developed some very sweet, but subtle, hui gan (if that makes sense). It was ripe tea all along, but the wet storage taste threw me off. I like it enough to perhaps pick up another 150g bag or two while I try other local offerings.

The dealer also sells reasonably priced, HK-stored 250g cakes of shu from a factory she 'can't remember' that have 7-8 years of wet storage on them. I told her I'd like to try one as I was pleased with the loose pu she sold me. The TGY she sold me was absolutely amazing, but since it's a heavily Chiuchow neighborhood, I should have expected she'd have something for the locals. Definitely worth picking up more of the TGY too!
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Re: Thoughts from a new Hong Kong bo lei drinker

Postby apache » Sep 12th, '12, 11:32

In HK, it is much easy to buy thing on Taobao. To begin with, you don't need to buy through an agent and no agent fee. Shipping is just a bit more than within China. Whereas us in the West, quite often the shipping cost almost the same cost as the cakes we buy.

What you need is to find someone as a guide and go to Fangcun in Guangzhou, there you would find lots and lots of teas.
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Re: Thoughts from a new Hong Kong bo lei drinker

Postby jayinhk » Sep 12th, '12, 11:54

apache wrote:In HK, it is much easy to buy thing on Taobao. To begin with, you don't need to buy through an agent and no agent fee. Shipping is just a bit more than within China. Whereas us in the West, quite often the shipping cost almost the same cost as the cakes we buy.

What you need is to find someone as a guide and go to Fangcun in Guangzhou, there you would find lots and lots of teas.


Up until recently, I used an agent because Taobao asked me for a ridiculous amount of info to use Alipay because using Google Chrome set off their protection features. I just realized they've fixed up their credit card processing for HK and it is now much cheaper than it was before. Now that I can Taobao to my heart's content, I need to be careful. :lol:

My first cousin and his Chinese wife live in Guangzhou and I can stay up there at his place whenever I want: he wouldn't let me stay anywhere else! We're good friends and he owns a bar in Guangzhou, which means lots and lots of drinking (and I don't think I can whip out the ol' gaiwan at the bar).

I told my dad about the market and he said he's been there before. I used to go up to Guangzhou quite often, so even without a guide, I can handle it, but I'll hold off on trips to the market until I have more money to spend and I know what I'm doing. :)
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Re: Thoughts from a new Hong Kong bo lei drinker

Postby apache » Sep 12th, '12, 11:58

I mean a tea guide.

Do you mean you can use a HK registered credit card to buy stuff on Taobao?
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Re: Thoughts from a new Hong Kong bo lei drinker

Postby jayinhk » Sep 12th, '12, 12:24

apache wrote:I mean a tea guide.

Do you mean you can use a HK registered credit card to buy stuff on Taobao?


Ah yes, a tea guide would be a good thing for sure!

Yes: you could before too, but there was a service charge levied, and when they asked me for copies of my credit card, HK ID and passport, I decided to just go through an agent and save myself the hassle.

Being non-Chinese (yet HK-born), I cannot get a Home Return Permit, so I have to shell out the same amount of money for a visa as any British Citizen. I think they go for around $230 US at this time.

I do qualify for a three-year visa as a permanent resident, however, which makes it well worth it if I'm making regular trips north of the border.
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Re: Thoughts from a new Hong Kong bo lei drinker

Postby apache » Sep 12th, '12, 12:36

jayinhk wrote:Being non-Chinese (yet HK-born), I cannot get a Home Return Permit, so I have to shell out the same amount of money for a visa as any British Citizen. I think they go for around $230 US at this time.

I do qualify for a three-year visa as a permanent resident, however, which makes it well worth it if I'm making regular trips north of the border.


This to me is discrimination :evil:
Do they treat half Chinese like this as well?
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