Week In Pictures (July 25 – 31)

New wood fired #tea jars, with our 2007 Silver and Golden bowl tuo chas for scale.

A photo posted by Bitterleaf (@bitterleafteas) on

2 of our first wood fired tea jars, side by side. These two have slight differences, with one exhibiting a drip effect down the side.

Yunnan is an amazing place to live for those who like things that come from the ground. That includes not only tea, but fruit, wild vegetables, and of course mushrooms. The climate can be drastically different depending where you are in the province, and the biodiversity is incredible. At least half of the species of mushroom alone exist within this province, making the late summer months a delicious time for mushroom lovers. It’s also a deadly time though, with dozens of deaths being reported and even more hospital visits thanks to the ingestion of funky fungi.

We compared 2 cakes pressed about 1 month apart of each other. The result: not much noticeable difference.

Just showing off more of our teaware, including our Gold Coin wood fired teapot, Dimpled copper cha ze, Sandstorm gong dao bei and Bullet tea pick.

Part 1 of our 2 cha gao posts. Cha gao, or tea paste, is like an “instant” puer – for lack of a better description. The traditional way of making it, and the method used for the above pictures cha gao, is to essentially boil it over a period of time until it because a paste, then pour it into molds to solidify. After that it’s best to wait at least 1 year for it to air our and develop a better flavour. Brewing methods can vary too, with some people dissolving a whole piece in boiling water, or brewing it gongfu style with multiple infusions, as we have done.

We plan to observe the process firsthand this fall when we return to Yiwu and work with the farmer who produces the cha gao we picked up.

This is what cha gao looks like on its own. Black, sticky and wrapped in tin foil, its appearance makes it looks more illicit than it really is.

This was a special pot that has long since been sold. This pot was double fired and features a beautiful metallic orange finish on the bottom and rough grey top. It was hard to let go, but satisfying to know it landed in a good home.

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