; Cwyn's Death By Tea: Saveur Blog Awards Day 1 ;

Monday, September 26, 2016

Saveur Blog Awards Day 1

1998 Yiwu by white2tea
A long journey to tea heaven started yesterday in my death trap of a car driving to Milwaukee to stay overnight with my sister and catch the plane to NYC the following morning. Now, my car is exactly 22 years old, what hasn't rusted and fallen off is now caving in from the roof. Cracked manifold, corroded radiator, power steering squealing and not just in cold weather, and last night some sort of horrible high pitched squeaking from the back axle somewhere that I convinced myself is due to all the rain we've had lately. But as least I know where my car is. Our nephew called last night after I arrived.

"Auntie, I can't find my car. I was just buying drinks for everyone at the bar, and I don't know why these cops gave me a ticket and drove me around for an hour. They put me on a bus going north." 

As far as I know, he's still looking. He doesn't drink tea, is why.

The Saveur events started this evening at the William Vale hotel with a cocktail party.  Was starved not having eaten all day, and the munchies offered at the cocktail party consisted of a veiny cheese, some sort of bread pieces the size of a thumb, grapes, and some very nice people. I'm a quarter century older than everything and everyone. I can be a talker but I'm self-conscious as a person socially because I spill food on myself, pee when I laugh and I don't get the blissful effect from alcohol that most others get. But I'm a sport. I hydrated with orange juice and seltzer and I repeated the same same conversation five times with different groups of people. 

Me: "Hi, nice to meet you."

Others: "So, are you one of the bloggers then?" 

Me: "Yes." 

Others: "And what kind of blog do you write?" 

Me: "Tea, pu--"

Others: "Tea! Oh that's wonderful, I drink a bit of tea. Mostly coffee." 

Me: "Well, a particular kind of tea, I just write about one kind of tea. Puerh tea." 

Others: "It's called what?" 

Me: "Puerh. Fermented tea cakes." 

One other: "Oh, you mean those disk type things? I've seen those around. Haven't tried it myself." 

Me: "It produces hoarding behavior." 

That usually ends the conversation.

Had a nice chat with a waiter holding a tray of wine glasses. She suggested I go upstairs and check out the bathroom, but so many stairs I'd need a lot of tea beforehand. And I needed food. Hadn't eaten since breakfast. 

Then I found a rescue message from boychik2989 on Instagram. Thank god, she's coming over and bringing teaware. Now if you use Instagram, and you drink puerh, you probably follow her feed. She and I have been playing an evil game for a year or so now. Both of us have a teaware problem which has got worse due to one another. We take turns looking for enticing, heavenly pieces of teaware on IG, tag each other and see who cracks and buys something. I didn't have a teaware problem myself until she came along, but now I have no available surface left on my dresser or anywhere else in my room for that matter. According to her it's my fault she has no drawers in the kitchen for utensils but I really don't think anyone will believe that story. 

Boychik brought puerh-sk's 2015 Gushu Naka to go with my 1998 Yiwu from white2tea. We drank both teas at the same time out on the deck, the Gushu Naka in her cups and the Yiwu in my cups, which she noticed to my immense satisfaction are Lin's Ceramics cups. We debated whether or not we really have a teaware problem and agreed the thing to do is blame it on our kids. I lost count on the steeps after ten rounds of each of the teas and then I think we doubled that. There is no way I can drink past her. We stopped at a point of mutual agreement to take photos. You'll have to check her feed for the tea and teaware. I contented myself by photographing a glass we used for the rinse.

The 2015 Gushu Naka is a tea with presence. Strongly bitter with thick stems and sturdy leaves, this tea has an incredibly long huigan. It doesn't leave the mouth and has strong legs extending into the chest and belly. Boychik noted the full mouth action, this tea coats everything it touches and lingers almost numbing the tongue with intensity. Chasing each cup of the Naka with the 1998 Yiwu made the Yiwu taste incredibly sweet by comparison. We didn't come close to brewing out either tea in three hours of drinking, so she took the leaves home. I'm so thrilled I got the chance to meet this lovely lady and after all that tea to feel like myself again. Hanging around a tea buddy like her, I don't feel awkward and I don't have to explain. In fact, I can feel normal which of course is true all along. What the tea does is not my fault. 

All this means I'm in fine form all set for tomorrow!

I'm incredibly grateful to my readers and friends who made this trip possible for me. Thank you so much to everyone. I promise I'll make an effort tomorrow at the other events and will steer people away from the tea on Black Friday lists.


  1. #onlineTea blog is very nice and helpful thank you for shearing that blog.

    1. Don't click the link, people, it's a coffee site. I delete most spam but this one highlights a particular reality.

  2. Hehe, teawarehoarders unite! I am so glad you are on such an awesome adventure, I hope you have a blast!!

  3. You have a very special blog which is very entertaining to read: your nomination is very deserved. Great you were able to go to New York! Hoarding tea can apparently take you places...

  4. Love this blog! Your style of writing is inspirational! You may see a similar type of writing on the 'Study Tea' website (www.studytea.com.au) soon! hahaha They contacted me to see if I could do their blogging. I need to get back into the swing of blogging again!

  5. It was only when I caught myself wondering if we really needed that big a fridge AND a freezer, and Lordy what I could do with that **space**, that I was finally ready to admit that I might possibly have a teaware problem...

  6. I'm so glad you got to go, and happy to have been able to help. I expect it will be an interesting experience and look forward to reading more about it.

    I had to stop reading Boychik's IG feed since it was causing me to buy teaware I did not need, but I'll take a peek just this once to see what she brought for your session :)

    1. You stopped reading her feed to avoid teaware buying? I'm not sure why I didn't think of that 😂

  7. I see a bunch of pumidors being built in the near future as the tea hoarding increases.

  8. the description of the naka makes my mouth water!