Fu Shou Shan 2017, reality & sanity check

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Oct 2nd 16 2:49 pm
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Fu Shou Shan 2017, reality & sanity check

by ethan » Oct 2nd 16 2:49 pm

I did not think about Fu Shou Shan until Kyarazen's distribution of it & the very positive reviews of it by teachatters who got some through him. In January 2016 while in Taiwan, I had been shown pretty tins of superior government tea; but I stopped vendors from telling me about it once I saw no tin was being opened to prepare a sample for me.

Because people were so happy with the Fu Shou Shan, I've been looking for it here in Taiwan. It is hard to find. The one vendor that had the pretty box w/ 2 75-gram tins inside it, was not selling that box. In fact he was not even taking orders for this winter's Fu Shou Shan since his allotment already was promised to various customers.

The reality check, for lack of a better phrase, is how good can this tea be? Those that love it, I ask you, has no other tea of this type been as good for you?

The sanity check is that I can order some Spring 2017 Fu Shou Shan. It is expensive & of course cannot be tasted. That seems crazy to me; yet, it might be a bit crazy not to order what is so hard to get. I did not even get the price, which will be higher than the Spring of 2016.

Your advice & opinions are requested. Since I took the trouble to learn proper pronunciation, fu show shahn, I am serious in my questions & consideration about ordering; & (at least for a while) away from my old self, who tastes what is in his sight to decide which teas to purchase.

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Oct 2nd 16 3:07 pm
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Re: Fu Shou Shan 2017, reality & sanity check

by kyarazen » Oct 2nd 16 3:07 pm

interesting post.

and what do you mean by sanity check here? your sanity or the consumers?

Oct 2nd 16 3:51 pm
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Re: Fu Shou Shan 2017, reality & sanity check

by ethan » Oct 2nd 16 3:51 pm

kyarazen wrote:interesting post.

and what do you mean by sanity check here? your sanity or the consumers?


My sanity is what I refer to. The consumers of the fu you obtained for them seem very very happy, so they are not crazy. They are smart &/or lucky.

& "sanity check" is an imperfect phrase meant to grab attention because often when I ask a ?, I get no response. I am getting a bit crazy about decisions. I feel I should buy tea that I taste before buying but am tempted by this fu shou shan. So, I feel a bit crazy.

The ? is serious. I know I read rave reviews of the tea, but sometimes because a tea is very good & new, we love it & don't care how much we paid for it. Later we may feel somewhat differently.

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Oct 2nd 16 3:57 pm
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Re: Fu Shou Shan 2017, reality & sanity check

by jayinhk » Oct 2nd 16 3:57 pm

No guarantee of quality and unless you trust your source, no guarantee what you get will really be fushoushan. Also kyarazen may help Mr Chen with preorders of spring 2017 tea. Maybe you should give it a miss and as you say, focus on what you can taste while you're there!

Oct 2nd 16 4:23 pm
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Re: Fu Shou Shan 2017, reality & sanity check

by ethan » Oct 2nd 16 4:23 pm

Thanks for advice, Jay. Hopefully, I'll soon have excellent tea flavors in my mouth & no concern about what I might miss in the Spring of 2017.

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Oct 2nd 16 5:40 pm
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Re: Fu Shou Shan 2017, reality & sanity check

by jayinhk » Oct 2nd 16 5:40 pm

Might be better to focus on autumn tea if that tea is on the market already!

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Re: Fu Shou Shan 2017, reality & sanity check

by debunix » Oct 2nd 16 6:43 pm

ethan wrote:The reality check, for lack of a better phrase, is how good can this tea be? Those that love it, I ask you, has no other tea of this type been as good for you?
I have been enjoying the 2016 group buy version grandpa style, mostly beca5use I can get so much pleasure from just 6 to 8 rolled up leaves that way. It feels very luxurious and the tin is emptying pleasingly slowly.

I have not enjoyed a similar tea as much since the Da Yu Ling from Origin Tea. I cannot be sure, because it was several years ago, but I believe I enjoyed a couple of teas from Norbu as much: he had a series of unusual teas from Nannuo that he has not stocked since. Whether they were equally good, I don't know, but I think the degree of pleasure from them was similar. He regularly has very good Alishans, but the one-time Nannuo's were a cut above.

In other words: I've not found a stable source for tea of this type (minimally roasted green oolongs from Taiwan) and this quality (for me, a 'wow' tea): it seems to be available to me in the US only as special purchases when someone connects to a source and makes it available for a limited time.

Oct 3rd 16 1:21 am
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Re: Fu Shou Shan 2017, reality & sanity check

by ethan » Oct 3rd 16 1:21 am

debunix, Thank you.

Your post made it clear for me. Today I will order some Spring 2017 fushoushan; then forget about it to take Jay's advice to focus on teas at hand.

I tried dayuling from Origin. At that time, I had bartered w/ Tony, sending him cigars for which he sent me about a dozen samples. I was overwhelmed w/ quality that was new & wonderful for me; so, no particular tea singularly left an impression while together they got me much more happier drinking tea.

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Re: Fu Shou Shan 2017, reality & sanity check

by jayinhk » Oct 3rd 16 5:21 am

ethan wrote:debunix, Thank you.

Your post made it clear for me. Today I will order some Spring 2017 fushoushan; then forget about it to take Jay's advice to focus on teas at hand.

I tried dayuling from Origin. At that time, I had bartered w/ Tony, sending him cigars for which he sent me about a dozen samples. I was overwhelmed w/ quality that was new & wonderful for me; so, no particular tea singularly left an impression while together they got me much more happier drinking tea.
Before Tony started Origin Tea, he visited HK and brought me 20-30 samples. I'd never had green gaoshan before. The DYL, SLX and LFX he brought me still stand out as excellent and any high mountain tea I buy, I compare to what I got from Tony all those years ago. The fushoushan is different, but still very nice--the flavor profile is less fruity and more fresh and floral to me. I still have most of my can!

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Re: Fu Shou Shan 2017, reality & sanity check

by ethan » Oct 3rd 16 6:47 am

Jay, Tony put the legwork in & used his tea wisdom to acquire great tea. I'm putting in the time & hope for = or close to = results.

I was told that I can put myself on the list for a box (containing 2 75-gram tins) of fushoushan & back out at any time. The vendor thinks = or better tea is around for less $ but understands the allure of getting something that is hard to get. If someone on the list does not complete the purchase, he can easily sell it to someone else. So, no worries for him or me. No deposit required.

I spent 3 1/2 hours w/ this vendor today & 1 1/2 last Saturday. Today I was going to buy about 300 grams each of 4 different teas but was told to buy only 75 grams each, drink some of each in my room tonight, & decide if I want more of these particular teas.

Will have 2 more tasting sessions before I leave Tainan. Writing about these teas on the Taiwan travels thread. Cheers

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Re: Fu Shou Shan 2017, reality & sanity check

by jayinhk » Oct 3rd 16 7:26 am

Good luck! Will be interesting to see how the FSS you get compares to Chen's!

The vendor gave you good advice--very interesting that he told you to go home and try them and think it over. That'd never happen in China :lol:

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Re: Fu Shou Shan 2017, reality & sanity check

by kyarazen » Oct 3rd 16 8:17 am

jayinhk wrote:Good luck! Will be interesting to see how the FSS you get compares to Chen's!

The vendor gave you good advice--very interesting that he told you to go home and try them and think it over. That'd never happen in China :lol:
its part of the game, who would want to sell something with negligible profit and margin?
the Origin tea system can only be replicated with the right connections, backing the vendor you either need a renown offline tea merchant with decades in the trade, or a team of tea farmers :)

from review of close friends, i think Taiwan Sourcing, The Jade Leaf, etc are all doing a great job in terms of quality. Whilst they seek to serve the global community and increase accessibility to excellent teas, I work on a different direction of serving the farmers to see how the next generation farmers can tide through with preserving tradition.

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Re: Fu Shou Shan 2017, reality & sanity check

by jayinhk » Oct 3rd 16 10:17 am

kyarazen wrote:
jayinhk wrote:Good luck! Will be interesting to see how the FSS you get compares to Chen's!

The vendor gave you good advice--very interesting that he told you to go home and try them and think it over. That'd never happen in China :lol:
its part of the game, who would want to sell something with negligible profit and margin?
the Origin tea system can only be replicated with the right connections, backing the vendor you either need a renown offline tea merchant with decades in the trade, or a team of tea farmers :)

from review of close friends, i think Taiwan Sourcing, The Jade Leaf, etc are all doing a great job in terms of quality. Whilst they seek to serve the global community and increase accessibility to excellent teas, I work on a different direction of serving the farmers to see how the next generation farmers can tide through with preserving tradition.
And thanks for doing that--a lot of people are buying directly from Chen now! His tea is definitely different from the stuff I've found on my own in Taipei.

With flights to TW going for 200 Sing from HK, I'm looking forward to a trip next summer! Although winter is a much cooler and more comfortable time of year...hmm :)

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Re: Fu Shou Shan 2017, reality & sanity check

by ethan » Oct 3rd 16 11:25 am

It's October & as hot here as in Thailand most of the day. If one wants to avoid excessive heat & humidity, I'd suggest sticking to the really cold months. Winter oolong gets available in December. Would be a good time. (I hope w/ a return for 2 weeks around Xmas.)

I have been told the government totally controls FSS. I do not understand how it would matter whom it is bought from as long as one is not getting counterfeit tins, if what I was told is true.

I have also been told that only 1 of the 2 mountains where the tea is grown will be used for tea after this year which might make next year's FSS exceedingly expensive.

I only know what I was told & already fear I got overly concerned w/ this. It is one tea of many in the world. I requested 2 tins; but, it's a long time between today & when those tins will come to the vendor & then to me, if I do not withdraw my request.

Black teas are just out & something close to Oriental Beauty. It's a different cultivar, also bitten by bugs, & grown higher up. I tried it Saturday when I did not seem to be functioning tea-wise; so will try it again.

Knowing vendors one can rely on & farmers w/ whom one can deal directly makes a future of no travel sound much betters. I hope am on my way to establishing useful relationships but really don't know how well I will succeed.

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Re: Fu Shou Shan 2017, reality & sanity check

by Math » Oct 3rd 16 6:27 pm

Getting inspired now so I'm brewing a couple of rolled balls of the 2016 fushoushan right now grandpa style as of debunix suggestion. Fantastic alluring aroma.

Very elegant, balanced tea. As with all high-end teas there is the fact that there are no flaws to be found.
You can brew this tea overnight with hot water and the tea and no bitterness showing up in the cup the next day.

I first had the opportunity to try legit fushoushan farm tea back in 2011 from Guang.

Worth every penny. Thanks Kyara for sourcing!
Hope there will be more opportunities to source this tea in the future. :)