the_economist wrote:What a magnificently longwinded way of saying: "we don't know."
Exactly! Is this a common occurrence with DYL?
If there was one tea I was repeatedly told to doubt the authenticity of in Taiwan it would be, without a doubt, Da Yu Ling tea. The second would be Fu Shou Shan tea.
As Silent Chaos has already said earlier in this thread in regards to Fu Shou Shan tea, there are multiple ways a tea can said to a certain tea:
"Just to clarify, there are four things we are talking about here: 1) ''Foushou-Shan Farm'' oolong as in oolong from the famous government farm; 2) Oolongs not from that specific farm but claims to be; 3) Foushou Shan oolong as in oolong from the Foushou mountain (which the aforementioned farm is on); 4) oolongs not from Foushou Shan but claims to be."
I want to just emphasize that just because (3) isn't (1) that doesn't somehow make (3) ''fake''. (Silent Chaos)
I would add that the 5th way is Fu Shou Shan (or other tea) that is blended with other leaves, which is the third most common thing I was warned of in Taiwan by 秋山堂 teahouse, another friend who is a tea seller in Taiwan, other Taiwanese friends, and my tea teacher Fang Laoshi （方老師).
It was implied to me that very little, if any, authentic Da Yu Ling tea makes its way to the states. In fact, while there, many Taiwanese friends were hurriedly trying to by an "authentic" Da Yu Ling 2012 Winter harvest tea. The prices were high. I had one friend, whom works for Lin's ceramics pay about a $100 for 150 grams of Da Yu Ling. This seemed to be the rate when I was there. But I don't know from which source she bought hers.
Not that America isn't, but Taiwanese, and I would assert Chinese culture, is specifically very name conscious. (I say this as a man who is married to a Taiwanese woman, raised her extended family here in the U.S., lived in Taiwan and studied at the university there, whose teachers for Tai Ji, guqin, and tea are Taiwanese, and whom studied East Asian Studies with an emphasis on China and Taiwan) Generally great esteem can be gained by power of association with name (ming2 pai2（名牌) in Taiwan, which leads to, at times, difficulty, especially in tea, with finding 'the genuine.'
This is why we buy our tea in Taiwan each year and very seldom online. By sitting and tasting the tea with a vendor in Taiwan, even if it's fake, I know I'll at least have a good tea, wherever it came from.
I'm curious what Silent Chaos will have to say to this since his posts seem too to be forthright, informed, and clear.