This year’s Sheng Olympics by LiquidProust Teas in conjunction with various tea vendors is an exciting opportunity to sample a variety of sheng puerh teas for not a lot of money. I missed out on Sheng Olympics last year to my abiding regret, mainly after a couple of bad group buys soured me on shared tea buying. Half the fun, of course, is drinking and sharing the same teas with a number of people at the same time. It's not a bad deal money-wise.
|Sheng Olympics puerh sampler|
All this cost $25, or $20 if you got the recent discount, and shipping to my address cost just $3 or so. To order all these samples separately from each of the tea companies would cost so much more just for shipping than for this whole package. Spreading out the cost among dozens of people makes this buy possible. Otherwise a tea package like this is, well, frankly impossible to acquire. Unfortunately as of this writing, the package seems to have sold out.
|Wrapper from 2016 Tuhao as Fk exclusive tea ball|
The puerh tea world is rather devoid of well-read, literary people in the US, where for some reason tea attracts science types more often than literary folks. LiquidProust states his inspiration around Proust was his read of what I assume is the entirety of In Search of Lost Time. My own reading of Proust began and ended with Vol. V, The Prisoner, perhaps an unfortunate choice. I’m certain Proust is back in vogue now after years of firmly out until someone “out-ed” Proust, and his Albertine as very likely a disguised Albert.
Knowing this intrigues me further when someone names his straight avatar LiquidProust, winning more admiration last year when I checked out his other social media. I found a rather frank journey from a conservative Christian background to exploring other faiths, including one rather impromptu visit to a synagogue’s Sabbath service, an adventure he defended later among the inebriated friends who joined him. The young man has a lot more going on with his inner journey than just a narrow obsession with tea, displaying expansiveness in his thinking, To wit, tea is a point from which to explore and find common experiences with other people. While tea-as-literature adds a layer of thinking beyond what the tea itself presents, this theme is indeed a point of view lending toward open discussion rather than closed debate, and a theme which LiquidProust takes on with more than a little enthusiasm.
I am certain he won’t feel comfortable with my musings here, or the fact that I’ve read a lot of his past social posts even back in his college years. Just to clarify, I read a great deal on people whose thinking I find interesting. I’ve read tea blogs in their entirety front to back, and tea forums with hundreds of pages. I only take the time to do this when I find intelligent people. In LiquidProust’s energetic postings I find themes of spiritual searching, literature, tea, sex, work, and what the ancient Greeks called koinonia, in communion or community with others. I have tried chatting with Mr. LiquidProust in sentences which include all of these themes in a rather compressed fashion, but my efforts mostly evoke a bit of paranoia from him, wondering if I am criticizing. Not my intention at all. Perhaps I am a bit fumbling and not so socially graceful, adding too many layers into what I try to say, perhaps poorly, obscuring my intention to pay the highest compliment I feel I can give to anyone, to address the entirety of pure intelligence. For he is a rare person.
|Might not look like a lot of leaf,|
but this is a 200 ml gaiwan.
Had to move the tea from the teapot above.
|Red is a complementary color of green,|
so any green visually appears brighter.
|Steep 24, green brew mellows somewhat to a honey color.|
|Such leaf quality for a tea ball!|
|2010 Bang Dong aging apparent when comparing the listing on YS.|
Bitterleaf’s Alter Ego is comprised of the huang pian from their spring production of WMD Mansa, a tea which sold out early and packs quite a tea high. I’ve heard from other tea drinkers that this same tea high experience is in the huang pian brick. Price-wise, the tea costs the same as white2tea’s Fade, $24.50 for a 200g brick. Tea chatters debate which tea is the better one, with some preferring Alter Ego to Fade. I haven’t had a chance to try Alter Ego yet, but when I do I will post some notes on Steepster.
Looks like the Sheng Olympics might sell out, I hope you didn't miss out on picking up this sample pack from LiquidProust, It's fun to share tea with other people drinking at the same time, and I will look forward to trying the rest of the teas at some point. This week I received a generous package of samples of CYH teas and I will get into these next. I seem to drink tea more slowly than many bloggers, I apologize for that, but I try and steep them out as much as possible or drink more than one session!