The Tea Market Experience – October 2018Bitterleaf
The Tea Market Experience is a non-subscription tea club that offers unique, interesting and possibly dubiously labelled teas, bringing you as close as possible to the tea markets of Yunnan without hopping on a plane.
For our inaugral month, we visited an old family friend and select two teas: A pair of mini-tongs, each containing 7 x 8g coins of 2018 Bulang sheng and 2017 Menghai shou (pressed in 2018). We also asked a few questions, and here’s what she had to say:
How long have you been doing tea?
It’s been over 11 years that I’ve had this shop. Back then puer became very popular and this whole area was tea shops, but by now I am the only one left.
What type of tea do you drink the most?
Sheng puer, which has been aged for at least 2 years.
What is the best (or your favourite) regions for sheng?
I like Xigui. It’s very unique, and you can recognize it right away.
How do you get your tea?
Much of my tea comes from an old friend that owns a factory in Puer cty. I distribute a lot of her teas, and she has been helping me every since I left my job to open a tea shop. She has been my main support over the years, and her quality is quite stable.
Who do you mainly sell to?
Most of my customers are friends or familiar people who come back regularly. There is not a lot of traffic here.
What kind of tea do you think fits foreign drinkers’ tastes?
I haven’t had any foreign customers, so it’s hard to say. I think many might be used to things like coffee, which have a strong taste. Teas that are delicate or subtle puer might not be suitable then.
What makes a good tea?
It depends on how the tea is handled and who is producing it. Experience is important in order to have good results.