Thoughts from a new Hong Kong bo lei drinker

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

Feb 27th 16 12:04 pm
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Re: Thoughts from a new Hong Kong bo lei drinker

by toby » Feb 27th 16 12:04 pm

oh. just realised from the post on the first few pages, you have already been to Zen Tea AKA Sin Fook.

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Feb 27th 16 1:32 pm
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Re: Thoughts from a new Hong Kong bo lei drinker

by jayinhk » Feb 27th 16 1:32 pm

Yup, right before they moved! At the time, MarshalN said he thought it was nothing special. After going there myself, I have to agree. There are much better tea stores in town, but perhaps for dry stored tea it's worth stopping by. I bought a few teas there and they were ok for the price, but nothing stood out as good.

Just bought a 500g box of premium grade Three Cranes liu bao. 2007 vintage. From the reviews it appears it needs some time to air out as it's been traditionally stored. Six months of air even! Let's see how it tastes when it comes in.

Feb 27th 16 2:36 pm
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Re: Thoughts from a new Hong Kong bo lei drinker

by toby » Feb 27th 16 2:36 pm

well, depends on what're you looking for. 8)

If you are after post 2004-Menghai/Xia Guan, Zen tea is not for you.
When I went there for the first time, I tried a 2003 CNNP 65th anniversary cake (light wet), 2003/2004 Brown Chang Tai (dry) and a 2001 wet Feng Qing factory cake. Bought the 2003 CNNP.

I was there on Sep last year. I tried 2001 Shuangjiang Mengku "Yuanyexiang" dry, 1999 Fuhai Yiwu dry, 2002 Xinghi Big Green Tree super dry, a 2000 CNNP mid wet and T93 shu brick,

Might need to give "ghost house" and Henry Trading a visit next time I am here too.

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Feb 27th 16 3:42 pm
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Re: Thoughts from a new Hong Kong bo lei drinker

by jayinhk » Feb 27th 16 3:42 pm

When I went there I knew very little about pu erh. I still know very little, but enough to know some of those cakes sound worth trying! ;) I'll check them out the next time I'm in the area. I like dry and light traditional storage, so it sounds worth my while to visit again!

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Mar 7th 17 7:20 am
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Re: Thoughts from a new Hong Kong bo lei drinker

by jayinhk » Mar 7th 17 7:20 am

A lot has changed in the last year--started a tea business and have learned quite a bit. Still LOTS to learn about tea, so the title of this thread still applies, IMO! I appear to be learning Mandarin through osmosis by visiting Taiwan and China, which is nice. I should really take classes.

Just got back from Guangzhou, where I tried 30-40 teas in 4-5 hours. Talk about caffeine...I stayed up until 6:30 am the morning after! Found some very nice dry storage pu erh up there. I expected more traditional and wet storage, but surprisingly, everything I sampled was good dry storage. Dry, but enough humidity for good aging without any off aromas whatsoever. Bought some 2007 702 7572 that is lovely and has raisin and cocoa notes. I think I might buy several tongs for resale as the price is excellent and I think it will sell very well.

Surprisingly none of the Wuyicha I tried in GZ met my needs! The quality was too low for my standards compared to what I get down here.

Also bought a lovely zini teapot for a good price. The dealer was from Jiangsu and had a Cantonese-speaking employee, which made communication simple. Oddly I can get around Guangzhou in Cantonese better than Shenzhen--Shenzhen seems to have more non-Cantonese-speaking folk than Guangzhou.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BRUsuwThorw ... e.hk&hl=en

https://www.instagram.com/p/BRUrtwEBZkS ... e.hk&hl=en

Buying teapots in person is a much better way to go about things as you can examine the clay, and they even let me put boiling water in a pot so I could smell it and see if the clay was at all funky. I plan on going up to Guangzhou quite regularly this year as there are about 4,000 stores up there! In future I'll be sure to only take a few sips of each infusion so I don't end up drinking way more tea than I should, which makes my anxiety level rise from the caffeine.

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Mar 7th 17 7:36 am
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Re: Thoughts from a new Hong Kong bo lei drinker

by jayinhk » Mar 7th 17 7:36 am

For those of you in London and around it, I found a surprisingly good Chinese restaurant near Leytonstone in East London. The area is lower income, I feel, which made the little Chinese restaurant I found a surprise, since the food seemed to be surprisingly authentic. I only had beef and leek jiaozi and ripe pu erh. I was a little stressed since I was in a new area of town and had just had a pint at a pub where I felt a little like an alien (all locals (older English blokes)).

The restaurant was an oasis, and the waitress was from Guangdong. Spoke to her in Canto and she was so surprised she laughed and ran back into the kitchen! :lol: I don't think she'd been working there long, since I ordered pu erh and she didn't know it was on the menu:

https://www.instagram.com/p/BRI3YU1F9qV ... e.hk&hl=en

It's quite a way up high street from the Underground (about a ten-minute-walk), but AFAIK it's the only Chinese restaurant in the area. Worth checking out IMO

Later that day I walked back up the road to the Leytonstone tube and found a Moroccan restaurant. Ordered a Moroccan mint tea as I was sitting outside smoking (I don't smoke cigarettes regularly, but I had a pack of high end cigs I bought on the Mainland). This is how it was served:

https://www.instagram.com/p/BRLcLxxhGtp ... e.hk&hl=en

I thoroughly enjoyed the tea and the presentation and the waiter probably assumed I was Arab and give me a big grin when he saw me smoking (Moroccan men sit around smoking and drinking 'Moroccan whiskey' in their free time).

Less than 24 hours later, I was sitting at at a Cairo shisha place with an archaeologist and had some tea and shisha :)

https://www.instagram.com/p/BRLcLxxhGtp ... e.hk&hl=en

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Mar 7th 17 10:48 am
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Re: Thoughts from a new Hong Kong bo lei drinker

by Rui » Mar 7th 17 10:48 am

jayinhk wrote: For those of you in London and around it, I found a surprisingly good Chinese restaurant near Leytonstone in East London.
Hi Jay,

Do you recall the restaurant's name or any other details?

One of the things I am also surprised is that they serve pu'er.

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Mar 7th 17 1:39 pm
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Re: Thoughts from a new Hong Kong bo lei drinker

by jayinhk » Mar 7th 17 1:39 pm

Rui wrote:
jayinhk wrote: For those of you in London and around it, I found a surprisingly good Chinese restaurant near Leytonstone in East London.
Hi Jay,

Do you recall the restaurant's name or any other details?

One of the things I am also surprised is that they serve pu'er.
Rui, unfortunately I don't remember the name of the restaurant. The shu was alright, but they went light on the leaf. It's an open kitchen-style place and everything is prepared to order, which was nice! Only six tables if I remember correctly. I was very happy to eat there. You have to walk south from the tube station once you walk over to Leytonstone High Road. Quite reasonable too--I only paid GBP 6.50 or so for the tea and freshly made jiaozi. If you take the wife, I think they'll be extra happy to see you guys as I don't think they get many Chinese customers. You could probably take your own tea, too, and just use their teapot and cups.

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Mar 7th 17 2:30 pm
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Re: Thoughts from a new Hong Kong bo lei drinker

by Rui » Mar 7th 17 2:30 pm

jayinhk wrote:
Rui wrote:
jayinhk wrote: For those of you in London and around it, I found a surprisingly good Chinese restaurant near Leytonstone in East London.
Hi Jay,

Do you recall the restaurant's name or any other details?

One of the things I am also surprised is that they serve pu'er.
Rui, unfortunately I don't remember the name of the restaurant. The shu was alright, but they went light on the leaf. It's an open kitchen-style place and everything is prepared to order, which was nice! Only six tables if I remember correctly. I was very happy to eat there. You have to walk south from the tube station once you walk over to Leytonstone High Road. Quite reasonable too--I only paid GBP 6.50 or so for the tea and freshly made jiaozi. If you take the wife, I think they'll be extra happy to see you guys as I don't think they get many Chinese customers. You could probably take your own tea, too, and just use their teapot and cups.
Thank you again. I guess I just have to try all the Chinese restaurants along Leytonstone High Road south of the underground station and there are few of them to keep me trying Chinese food around there for a while.

Check your pm.

Cheers.

Rui

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Mar 7th 17 3:51 pm
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Re: Thoughts from a new Hong Kong bo lei drinker

by jayinhk » Mar 7th 17 3:51 pm

I bet it's the only one that has pu erh on the menu! :lol: That should help narrow things down some!

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Mar 14th 17 9:38 am
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Re: Thoughts from a new Hong Kong bo lei drinker

by jayinhk » Mar 14th 17 9:38 am

A HK cop who spoke Urdu as his first language growing up. Listen to his Cantonese! :o Wish I spoke it that well!

https://coconuts.co/hongkong/news/netiz ... king-urdu/

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Mar 21st 17 4:46 pm
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Re: Thoughts from a new Hong Kong bo lei drinker

by jayinhk » Mar 21st 17 4:46 pm

Interesting observation over the last few days: the temperature went up to a whopping 27-28 Celsius. Highly unusual for the third week of March. Humidity was 70-90%. Over the last several weeks (up until a few days ago), it's been a little cooler, but very humid, and I could smell my shu pu clearly in the room when I came in. Well, once the temperature climbed, no smell at all. I guess the tea was drawing in the moisture and the enzymes, bacteria and fungi were hard at work breaking the tea down at the higher temperature! I've also noticed Xiaguan tuos I bought a few months ago already seem to be losing their rough edge when I smell them up close. I didn't expect that kind of change to occur so quickly, but it is fascinating to see how all of the different teas change once they hit our climate here.

Also, I had the most incredible Shanghainese food delivered to my office today. I enjoyed it much more than the Michelin-starred Shanghainese restaurant I went to last weekend! Go figure! I'll definitely be ordering again as I thoroughly enjoyed the food. I'm very fond of cold marinated dishes, and I LOVE black fungus and century eggs. The jellyfish was darn good too:

https://www.instagram.com/p/BR5A5QiFxBL/

Dan dan mian is another favorite for sure, and the noodles in the soup were excellent. Now I'm hungry all over! This was a little special in that it had five-spice marinated beef heel in the bowl. Beef heel is a popular cut of meat here because it is economical, well marbled and has nice texture as well. Yummy

https://www.instagram.com/p/BR5BXkvFpAz/

The restaurant also made soy milk in house and I had some osmanthus and goji berry jelly, one of my favorite desserts. Quite the meal. :D

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Mar 30th 17 9:13 am
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Re: Thoughts from a new Hong Kong bo lei drinker

by jayinhk » Mar 30th 17 9:13 am

Seriously humid today--90-100% and warm. I have been running around and I am positively dripping with sweat. The dehumidifer and airconditioner in the dry part of my office/warehouse is not keeping up. I have another dehumidifier incoming, but I suspect I may need a third dehumidifier to prevent mold!

Spring is definitely here, because a very cute Chinese cook (female) gave me a napkin to wipe myself down! My T-shirt is soaked too. I move too fast in the heat and it makes me sweaty. :/

I had to pick up a couple of Yixing pots at the post office, and I had to walk to the housing estate by me. There are very few non-Chinese folk walking around in this neighborhood. I popped into a local eatery on impulse since I wanted something to eat and the place looked interesting. I got a lot of very curious stares, but I ordered a beef organ (tripe, intestine and lung) noodle soup (Chaozhou style). I eat noodles pretty much all day nowadays, and Hong Kong is a great place to be a noodle lover. I had some choi sum and a Hong Kong-style iced lemon tea. The staff got a kick out of me walking in and ordering like a local, and the elderly folk around me (and the cute cook/waitress) heard me talking to the UNHCR on the phone and started talking about me. I smiled at them and then the waitress said I spoke some Cantonese. I told them I could understand it and speak it and we got talking. They were genuinely curious!

On my way out, the guy at the register took my Yixing pots (in boxes) from me and said he was keeping them. I was like they're mine! You want em? He said yes, so I was like ok, they're yours! There was a waiter behind me and they both chuckled. I paid up for my food and said ok, thanks, bye, and acted like I was going to walk out. We all laughed and I took my packages back. :lol: