|Wilson's 2009 Haiwan No. 1 Shou|
Recently some tea samples arrived in the mail from tea blogger Wilson, making me a grateful recipient of tea that I surely have no chance of trying otherwise. Wilson's tea blog travellingteapot (see my list on the right--->) is one of my favorites, what I might call a Tea-se Blog. Wilson lives in Singapore, and traveling to China for tea buying is a day's trip by train for him. Consequently I can live vicariously through his tea buying tours and see the lovely tea ware and BOXES of tongs he hauls home. His blog is a bit of a tease though because the entries are all too short and spare. Very often we get photos of amazing cakes and I get all worked up, only to discover that nope, he is not going to unwrap that cake and show me the goodies. His beauties hold their bling in tight chastity belts of bamboo and holographic stick-on's. Initially I thought to myself, perhaps he didn't have time to finish the post. Then I began to think he does it on purpose, yes that's right, except with no opportunity to hold up another dollar bill to keep the dance flowing. My Distress increased further when Wilson posted photos of 1998 Xiaguan tuos in the BAG that never opened.
Luckily I got a small sample of that Xiaguan which I'm saving for another day. Today I'm going to try a 2009 Haiwan Lao Tong Zhi 901 Ripe, which we actually got to see earlier this year. You can read about this tea and also a story about how Wilson bought 8 tongs at Haiwan Tea Shop in China. The chunk I got reminds me of chocolate, chunka-chunka buffalo on my vintage cafeteria ware.
Nine grams of this and I notice the wonderful quality of the leaf, this is one pretty cake. Opens quite easily with hot water. I notice the buttered toast scent which isn't as powerful as the Lao Cha Tou I've been drinking lately, but the tea is very smooth. I'm impressed at the dry storage Wilson manages in Singapore. Eight tongs, eh? Maybe he has tongs instead of furniture, then again eight tongs hold a tabletop, don't they? Tea soup here swirls crimson and coffee colors.
Wilson isn't the only traveling tea pot these days, we also have William. Prince William, Duke of Cambridge that is. ABC News in the US reports on The Royal Duke's trip to China this week, which supposedly focuses on football and other cultural missions. Then we read of the plan for Wednesday this week.
|Anyone else spy the covered cups/gaiwans on the table? Photo and story ABC|
"On Wednesday, his China trip winds up in Xishuangbanna in Yunnan province near the Myanmar border, where he will visit an elephant sanctuary and a nature reserve."
Okay, let us deconstruct this...Banna...in late March...a nature reserve. Any tea drunk fully in their cups sees right through this one. Elephants? Uh huh. Sure. We know the real story here and it looks like gushu. I can see the Daily Mail headline now: "The Prince Drinks Pu." I should send him a t-shirt.
Anyone up for a wager? Whose spring trip will finish up with the better tea, Wilson or William?
My money is on Wilson.
Requiescat in Pace.
Update to Original Post later in the day on 17 March
Received email from Wilson who writes he is in Guangzhou right now.
"Wish u were here... No need to drink water ... The tea intake more than daily water requirements. Just had a tea session from 10am - 6 pm. One of the teas was the famous 88 Qing bing. Same 88 cake as the famous Hong Kong but thus cake was kept by a Guangzhou tea collector."
My little tea wager is a No Contest from the start! Unless the Duke of Cambridge can come up with a 1950s Red Mark. But I think Wilson already has one. I rest my case.