Kunming

Culture, language, tangibles, intangibles from countries known for tea. China, Japan, Taiwan, Korea, India, etc...


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Mar 28th, '16, 22:57
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Kunming

by jayinhk » Mar 28th, '16, 22:57

So...I'm headed to Kunming in June. Any suggestions for things to do, food to eat and vendors to check out? :D

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Mar 28th, '16, 23:41
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Re: Kunming

by jayinhk » Mar 28th, '16, 23:41

I'd like to meet Scott Wilson and Honza too, if their schedules permit. I just read that Scott will drink his shu rinse since he knows his fermentation. Went to brew up a big pot of shu and found my first pube in 2005 7581! :/

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Jun 11th, '16, 02:16
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Re: Kunming

by jayinhk » Jun 11th, '16, 02:16

Leaving tomorrow--what would you guys do in Yunnan if you could go? I'm going to head down to Xishuangbanna I think :)

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Jun 11th, '16, 19:46
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Re: Kunming

by CWarren » Jun 11th, '16, 19:46

jayinhk wrote:Leaving tomorrow--what would you guys do in Yunnan if you could go? I'm going to head down to Xishuangbanna I think :)

Hope you have a great trip. I may have some serious envy. Eat, drink and be merry!


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Jun 11th, '16, 19:47
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Re: Kunming

by jayinhk » Jun 11th, '16, 19:47

CWarren wrote:
jayinhk wrote:Leaving tomorrow--what would you guys do in Yunnan if you could go? I'm going to head down to Xishuangbanna I think :)

Hope you have a great trip. I may have some serious envy. Eat, drink and be merry!


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Thank you! I intend to do all three! :)

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Jun 13th, '16, 22:51
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Re: Kunming

by john.b » Jun 13th, '16, 22:51

Visiting a tea market is kind of a given, but I'll pass on a link to an article about one there:

http://icedtea.com/tea-industry/2011/ku ... fed-chaos/

And a more recent article on pu'er in general, from the same author, Jeff Fuchs:

http://www.tea-and-mountain-journals.co ... ea-basics

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Jun 13th, '16, 23:11
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Re: Kunming

by jayinhk » Jun 13th, '16, 23:11

Thanks John, I've actually already read both!

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Jun 14th, '16, 10:28
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Re: Kunming

by Rui » Jun 14th, '16, 10:28

Yunnan Sourcing and White2Tea are a given I am sure for you to visit. Email them first though to see if it is OK.

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Jun 14th, '16, 14:37
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Re: Kunming

by jayinhk » Jun 14th, '16, 14:37

Scott never responded. I met with Bitterleafteas tonight. Great couple. Talked to them all night! Gonna try their teas tomorrow maybe!

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Sep 16th, '16, 16:46
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Re: Kunming

by doudou » Sep 16th, '16, 16:46

Not sure if you are back from your travels, Dali and Lijiang are my favorite places in Yunnan.

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Sep 18th, '16, 03:14
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Re: Kunming

by jayinhk » Sep 18th, '16, 03:14

Heading to Chiang Mai now! Didn't get out of Kunming but I will at some point. Kunming alone was pretty cool!

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Sep 19th, '16, 01:35
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Re: Kunming

by john.b » Sep 19th, '16, 01:35

You might check out Monsoon tea shop there, in Chiang Mai, and have a look around the airport tea shop, which sells teas directly from at least one local plantation, maybe from a few.

The Taiwanese oolong types, most of what Thailand is known for, are typically coming from the Chiang Rai area instead.

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Sep 25th, '16, 14:37
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Re: Kunming

by jayinhk » Sep 25th, '16, 14:37

john.b wrote:You might check out Monsoon tea shop there, in Chiang Mai, and have a look around the airport tea shop, which sells teas directly from at least one local plantation, maybe from a few.

The Taiwanese oolong types, most of what Thailand is known for, are typically coming from the Chiang Rai area instead.
Didn't get a chance to visit Monsoon, but I did meet the family behind tea-side, and tried some really wonderful Thai teas with them.

I also visited the airport tea shop earlier today, and spoke with the owner. Yes, they source from one main plantation, but they also carry Thai shu pu (overpriced, big time) and some really expensive oolong in plastic caddies that are made to imitate pewter (I almost threw up in my mouth).

The owner said he grew up in Taiwan and he spoke decent Mandarin. Apparently my Mandarin is getting better too, since I understood most of what he was saying and could answer him. I really need to study Mandarin formally.

The store actually had tea labeled as FROM Taiwan, on the box, cans and bags inside--and it was Thai tea. First time I've ever seen Thai tea so blatantly sold as Taiwanese (and they were happy to tell me it was Thai)!

The dongding at the store was passable too, which was scary. Medium roast level, too, and a light date/raisin flavor under the roast dongding flavor.

The best Thai and Vietnamese oolongs are absolutely convincing as gaoshan, IMO--the standard grades, no way, but the good stuff could earn top dollar in TW when sold as gaoshan. The Chinese tea business is a dirty one...

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Sep 26th, '16, 01:39
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Re: Kunming

by john.b » Sep 26th, '16, 01:39

So strange they'd sell tea as a local tea outlet and still have it packaged as from Taiwan. Seems as likely they are just too lazy or won't cover expense to split packaging into types, and the tea is made for export as fake tea in Taiwan, so domestic sale is just an afterthought. Still crazy to do that.

It's easy to find mid-level, so-so Thai teas at decent prices but tea that compares to versions from Taiwan don't turn up so readily. One does tend to hear that better versions from Thailand, Vietnam, and even Indonesia tend to be sold more frequently in Taiwan. It makes me wonder if I've ever reviewed a tea from Taiwan that had made the trip twice.

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Sep 26th, '16, 13:22
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Re: Kunming

by jayinhk » Sep 26th, '16, 13:22

They had teaware from Taiwan and China for sale in the store. That one particular gift box of tea was the fanciest box in the store, so maybe they just had it in there for sale as a promotional item. Many of the Thai tea farms are run by Taiwanese-connected families, so it's possible, even probable, that much of the best Thai tea never makes it to the local Thai market!

After my recent experiences with good Thai tea, I would put money on both of us having bought Thai tea in Taiwan. Taiwan simply cannot produce enough tea to satisfy the demand for good oolong. I've also heard some HK companies sell fake pu erh that is picked, pressed and aged in Thailand, but is shipped over with CNNP packaging and papers!

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