How to write about tea?


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Re: How to write about tea?

Postby gingkoseto » Mar 13th, '13, 08:09

lordsbm wrote:
gingkoseto wrote:That's one of my favorite large type of tea forums :D I can't say puerh board is my favorite board there, but it's one of the places with greatest diversity of opinions, which is more important than many other things, especially for puerh.

I do personally feel some people there are over-enthusiastic about xiaguan and dayi. But I also think it's understandable enthusiasm, and xiaguan and dayi are indeed respectable. Besides, some of the xiaguan and dayi die-hard fans there are very well-seasoned tea drinkers. So probably sometimes they are quite right :D


I think to most of them only DY, XG, FL, LC produce good tea. The rest are hit and misses. :roll:

That forum is useful for a newbie like me, there's a higher chance I'll find a review there of a particular tea I want to try. Then help decide if I want to buy it or not. The truth is only after I try that tea and if I like it or not. :lol:

There are hundreds of new posts every day in that forum. I never fail to find several interesting ones every time I visited it. But I would imagine one can get lost easily if using other people's review as references, since there are too many of them. The sample distribution might be more helpful because you get samples to taste. These days good samples are grabbed rather soon. But that forum is one of the few sample hubs where you get (mostly free)samples from various producers. Before last year, I got probably over 100 or more puerh samples in total. Many of them are new sheng, but good chances to taste different things and various producing styles. Some of them are nice arbor tree. Over all of them, probably 5-10 are xiaguan and dayi, a couple of lingcang, most are boutiques, many arbor tree teas.
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Re: How to write about tea?

Postby lordsbm » Mar 13th, '13, 09:38

gingkoseto wrote:There are hundreds of new posts every day in that forum. I never fail to find several interesting ones every time I visited it. But I would imagine one can get lost easily if using other people's review as references, since there are too many of them. The sample distribution might be more helpful because you get samples to taste. These days good samples are grabbed rather soon. But that forum is one of the few sample hubs where you get (mostly free)samples from various producers. Before last year, I got probably over 100 or more puerh samples in total. Many of them are new sheng, but good chances to taste different things and various producing styles. Some of them are nice arbor tree. Over all of them, probably 5-10 are xiaguan and dayi, a couple of lingcang, most are boutiques, many arbor tree teas.


I didn't know they offer samples, but it doesn't really matter to me. For now, I mainly buy cheaper range anyway.

It's actually quite simple to search there if you know the keywords. Like yesterday I was reading a thread on one of LTZ 357g cake which cost around 28-30 RMB. Like in most cases, people there are discouraging buying of that cake and saying things like there's no good cake at that price.

But someone there actually disagree and said there's good kouliang cake around that price last year and year before. The examples he gave were from TL. So I went to "马家" and search, the prices had went up quite a bit, but their 752 sparks my interest. I just went to that forum and search TL 752 and I found a couple of reviews.

Most likely will buy that to try in next month order :lol:
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Re: How to write about tea?

Postby gingkoseto » Mar 14th, '13, 00:41

lordsbm wrote:
gingkoseto wrote:There are hundreds of new posts every day in that forum. I never fail to find several interesting ones every time I visited it. But I would imagine one can get lost easily if using other people's review as references, since there are too many of them. The sample distribution might be more helpful because you get samples to taste. These days good samples are grabbed rather soon. But that forum is one of the few sample hubs where you get (mostly free)samples from various producers. Before last year, I got probably over 100 or more puerh samples in total. Many of them are new sheng, but good chances to taste different things and various producing styles. Some of them are nice arbor tree. Over all of them, probably 5-10 are xiaguan and dayi, a couple of lingcang, most are boutiques, many arbor tree teas.


I didn't know they offer samples, but it doesn't really matter to me. For now, I mainly buy cheaper range anyway.

It's actually quite simple to search there if you know the keywords. Like yesterday I was reading a thread on one of LTZ 357g cake which cost around 28-30 RMB. Like in most cases, people there are discouraging buying of that cake and saying things like there's no good cake at that price.

But someone there actually disagree and said there's good kouliang cake around that price last year and year before. The examples he gave were from TL. So I went to "马家" and search, the prices had went up quite a bit, but their 752 sparks my interest. I just went to that forum and search TL 752 and I found a couple of reviews.

Most likely will buy that to try in next month order :lol:


Yeah you can find a sample distribution board there for doing this kind of things. Sometimes it's better to get some good samples for postage only than getting some low price mediocre tea. I think sample distribution is one of the best functions a tea forum can potentially have, like the OTTI on teachat, it's a very good idea. But since you are in Asian, OTTI would be a bit farther away.
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Re: How to write about tea?

Postby lordsbm » Mar 14th, '13, 01:08

gingkoseto wrote:Yeah you can find a sample distribution board there for doing this kind of things. Sometimes it's better to get some good samples for postage only than getting some low price mediocre tea. I think sample distribution is one of the best functions a tea forum can potentially have, like the OTTI on teachat, it's a very good idea. But since you are in Asian, OTTI would be a bit farther away.


Thanks for the thought, but gonna build up some basic supply first. My family takes at least 21g daily. So just more cost effective to look at low priced products as "kouliang". It mainly for health benefits anyway.

I'll likely look at laochatou and huangpian :lol: If you know any good seller for huangpian please let me know :) I thought I found a good seller (cai cheng), but only to know from that forum the seller sells xuefei cha :lol:

Edit: ya it's easier for me to order from China as I order stuffs from China on monthly basis. Even Taiwan is more cost effective.
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Re: How to write about tea?

Postby ChengduCha » Mar 14th, '13, 06:46

lordsbm wrote:Also China is that big of a market with enough resources, they really don't need to be exposed to foreign.


In theory yes, in practice lots of food products like baby milk for example are considered generally unsafe after scandals and there is a huge demand for imported products from western countries.

China is rich enough to pay premium price for better qualities agriculture from their own country.


In China you can't really trust any premium labels like "certified organic" and at least 1/3 of all agricultural soils are contaminated with heavy metals. There are lots of people in China these days that can pay for premium products and are willing to pay for them but the potential quality that you get for the high premium is just so unreliable thanks to highly corruptible certification practices that highly taxed foreign imports are pretty much the only way to know that you get what you pay for.

Lots of well off Chinese are in the curious situation that they can't get much in terms of quality for their money, wether it comes to food, housing or quality of life (beijing air anyone?).
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Re: How to write about tea?

Postby lordsbm » Mar 14th, '13, 07:37

ChengduCha wrote:In theory yes, in practice lots of food products like baby milk for example are considered generally unsafe after scandals and there is a huge demand for imported products from western countries.


The bigger population of China is still make up of lower and lower-middle class. What I meant by paying premium is for example. 10+years ago China export most of their top grade agriculture products, leaving the lower grade for their people as most can't afford then.

Yes they do try buy imports, but it's not everything. Only when some food scandals happen then they'll try get that particular item from import.

Food scandal can happen in any country, not only China. Like the recent horsemeat scandal :lol:

ChengduCha wrote:In China you can't really trust any premium labels like "certified organic" and at least 1/3 of all agricultural soils are contaminated with heavy metals. There are lots of people in China these days that can pay for premium products and are willing to pay for them but the potential quality that you get for the high premium is just so unreliable thanks to highly corruptible certification practices that highly taxed foreign imports are pretty much the only way to know that you get what you pay for.

Lots of well off Chinese are in the curious situation that they can't get much in terms of quality for their money, wether it comes to food, housing or quality of life (beijing air anyone?).


Same thing, corruptions can happen in any country. Paying a premium fee to labs for certification is a common practice in the business world. Wonder where China businessman originally picked that up from :lol:

I remember when I was a kid a lot of stuffs were made in Taiwan, most opinion of those stuffs were considered poor quality. Now people don't think Taiwan stuffs as bad. It's just part of a nation progressing.

I don't think I'm getting my money worth buying things in Singapore compared to many other countries. :lol: But can't complain, as we don't really have anything but people.

I'm never overzealous over products from China. There's always a risk regardless where the item comes from. In any country there'll be heartless greedy businessman.
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Re: How to write about tea?

Postby MarshalN » Mar 14th, '13, 11:34

Well, you know, I remember a vendor in Beijing telling his clients (I was at the next table drinking tea in the same shop) "In the winter I drink Dayi, because of its awesome warming qi, and in the summer I drink Xiaguan for the cooling qi". I almost burst out laughing.

Sorry, but that's pure marketing speak, and I'm pretty sure the people on this forum talking about XG having awesome qi are doing the same thing. XG is a fine blend, most of the time, but to say it has awesome qi is a bit of a stretch, to say the least.
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Re: How to write about tea?

Postby lordsbm » Mar 14th, '13, 12:07

I think the vendor is saying the medical properties of shu and sheng. :lol: Not really the immediate body reaction which most people experience after drinking tea with high chaqi.

I do experience warmer body after drinking shu. After I left the army, due to aging I think my blood circulation wasn't that good. I can have cold palm and feet even on a warm day in Singapore.

Been drinking shu daily at 3-5pm for a couple months, my palm and feet are warmer now. My family members are surprised by this. May sound voodoo to some (or most), but that's just how my body reacts to shu.

IIRC, I read somewhere that not many people really know what chaqi is regardless how many years experience. Most just think they know. Things like sweating (sudden body temperature change?), burping (gas?), feel more alive (caffeine?), and many other reactions are not the sure tell tale signs if the tea has chaqi.

I don't think I'll ever know what chaqi is, nor do I want to act like I know. A lot of things are marketing gimmicks anyway. Just part of "educating" the market to think what they sell is special, so they can sell at premium price. In the process making something simple complicated and specialized :lol:

Just gonna keep it simple and enjoy the tea, and read what others want to share. True or not, doesn't matter, as long I find joy reading it. At the end of the day it's just a cup of tea :mrgreen:
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Re: How to write about tea?

Postby MarshalN » Mar 14th, '13, 13:59

No, the vendor was not talking about shu and sheng. He was most definitely talking up his stock, because Dayi and Xiaguan were the only things he sold. The other teas from other factories/makers? "They are no good - you should only buy from these big factories because they are the best"
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Re: How to write about tea?

Postby edkrueger » Mar 14th, '13, 14:26

But.. but... but... I really want to make up some story to rationalize what what some guy who only sells Xiaguan and Dayi is saying...
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Re: How to write about tea?

Postby lordsbm » Mar 14th, '13, 17:13

Most China (what I understand from China forums) pu erh drinker has the mentality of DY for shu and XG for sheng. The rest of the brands are inconsistent with their productions. Like DY 7572 will always taste like 7572, XG jia tuo will always taste like a jia tuo and not be te tuo.

Why DY not for sheng? Because XG sheng is more cost effective and more preferred taste for smokers. China a lot of smokers. Can't really argue with that logic when you look at 7572 and 7542 price difference. Then look at jia/te tuo price :lol:

If I sell tea in China, I'll likely concentrate on DY and XG since the mass market are buying those 2 brands. Will likely promote the 2 brands to new drinkers too. It's just business and their livelihood.

Not saying true or not, but sharing what I'd read. I find there's a reason for most things, agree or not is another thing :lol: As I mentioned before I think they are biased.
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Re: How to write about tea?

Postby shah82 » Mar 14th, '13, 17:45

Well, thinking about the cost effectiveness of sheng for drinking now, looking on Taobao, Xiaguan does win hands down--the FT stuff is quite respectable as drinks and they can be absurdly cheap.
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Re: How to write about tea?

Postby lordsbm » Mar 14th, '13, 18:01

I get the feeling that some in that forum don't like majority of the ft products.

I came across one thread regarding xiao fa tuo. The TS seems to be a big fan of xiao fa tuo. He is really happy to get the taste of the old xiao fa tuo taste in 2013 released. According to him 2009-2011 lacks that old plum (IIRC) taste mainly cause they were FT.

Guess it's a matter of preferred taste by individuals. Just happy not many speculated on XG products. :mrgreen:
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Re: How to write about tea?

Postby shah82 » Mar 14th, '13, 18:14

oooohhhh, gawd...

oh well, the FT stuff I was thinking about are the things the Western community got and drank and talked about frequently, which were primarily '07-'08. We barely even talked about the XY Yiwus from '01 and '10 tuo.

What I don't understand is what he's complaining about. You barely have to pay $20 for '07 FT #4 and I bet you can find it for a quarter or more less. If you liked that old plum taste so much, why not buy older Xiaguan?

Oh waaaaaaiiiiiittt....
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Re: How to write about tea?

Postby lordsbm » Mar 14th, '13, 18:47

I think he has older xiao fa tuo. He seems to buy stuffs in jians. He was showing off 2 jians of 2013 xiao fa tuo :lol: Dunno how much he drinks a day to finish that many :roll:

I can understand his complain. It's like a stapled drink to him. It's like you are used to having Thailand rice all this time, but ended up with Vietnam rice available those year.

It's just his preferred taste and expectation. Kinda like your boss have an expectation for your work, but you failed to meet it. He can just fired you and get a replacement or just "complain" his disappointment. Anyway it's just human nature to complain. :lol:

Edit: But not all FT are made for westerner right? Like BY (and NZ?) is for Tibet, most of FT are for Taiwan, original XFT was for Fr/Eur. Some even argued that the original XFT old plum taste was added for the Fr market.
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