; Cwyn's Death By Tea: Revisiting Misty Peaks ;

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Thursday, March 7, 2019

Revisiting Misty Peaks


A few years ago, Misty Peaks puerh tea was all the talk rage on social media, mainly for the odd marketing campaigns touting the health miracles of puerh tea. Misty Peaks primarily sold puerh from a single farm somewhere in the Yiwu region, and at that time the prices seemed a bit on the high end. Despite this, most of the spring productions between 2013-2015 sold out. Aside from references to the odd email marketing campaigns in my blog posts, I did not comment much on the tea. I acquired a quantity of Misty Peaks puerh mainly through box swaps, round robin style, and a bit more since which I have been storing. Today I decided to taste a bit, as a few years have passed in my storage.


Nicholas at Misty Peaks claimed to acquire the tea due to a relationship with the farmer’s family, having spent time with them teaching English. The tea sold on the website between 2013-2015 seemed on the expensive side back then, falling into the $0.25-0.50/gram depending on autumn or spring production. But with today’s prices from 2017 forward, the tea now appears a bargain in hindsight with decent Yiwu tea starting at $1/g and that’s just for decent tea, the higher end Yiwu teas are double that or more. When Misty Peaks did not post any new puerh teas after 2016, I wondered if the tea prices are now simply too expensive to acquire for an American-side tea shop. On the other hand, Misty Peaks moved into wholesaling, claiming to sell teas in more than 500 locations worldwide, and the teas offered have expanded into other tea types, probably also wholesale, and not from the original farm. You can still buy a few autumn productions on the Misty Peaks site, but the prices have gone up considerably.


Even though I did not write a great deal about the tea, I do consider the tea a decent Yiwu area puerh. When the social marketing campaigns embarrassed puerh drinkers who had bought Misty Peaks, the teas ended up in swap boxes and sold in stash sales. Oddly, Misty Peaks posted an offer on Instagram to buy up any tea that people did not want. I don’t know how many took advantage of that offer. I acquired a quantity of free tea from swap boxes, and I purchased a ½ kilo brick from a collector and I paid $149 for that. I showed my canister of loose tea to a vendor who told me “This is decent puerh, better looking in person than the photos. The guy selling this needs to work on his pictures.” I also bought the so-called 2016 “spring” small 100g beeng which I didn’t think at the time was really spring tea because it was too browned already, maybe the “spring” pressing was a bit fishy. Fishy bothers me less when the tea is decent, and I can get it cheap.


I do know that I now have nearly a kilo of Misty Peaks puerh tea acquired on the cheap, and I’m fairly happy with it, considering where prices of similar quality tea are now. I spent about $180 all told for this kilo, having acquired some of it for free certainly helped my bottom line. No way is it possible to get Yiwu area tea like this for $180/kilo today. I store some of the loose tea in a vintage stoneware canister, a mix of autumn and spring tea. The leaves of the autumn tea are long and lovely.


Today I brewed up a bit, and am pleased that the tea is in excellent condition, still green of course, but the leaves are beginning to brown and a tinge of orange appears in my cup. Some Yiwu area teas brew up a little darker than others, which fades out to yellow in later steeps. The processing is good with no red leaves.

My tea is intensely tongue-coating bitter surrounded by a sweet finish, rather like a lemon drop coated in sugar. The tea has not yet lost any of its floral character, and has a vaporous return from my stomach. I’m surprised how much stronger this tea is compared to some of the Yiwu samples I have received from other vendors over the past couple of years. The qi is mild, and of course I have better examples, however these better teas are mortgage payment prices.


Misty Peaks is by far the stronger tea compared to at least a dozen other teas I have tried. I am not looking to acquire more tea, but here is an example of a way to get tea. Find teas which collectors are tired of, and offer to buy them up, or offer to swap in exchange for something you no longer want. In this way I acquired a range of Yiwu teas that today I could never afford.




5 comments:

  1. I liked misty peaks when I bought a small amount from a paper shop in DC in 2016. I wish I had purchased more.

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  2. This piques my curiosity now... I still have a beeng of autumn yiwu from 2015; I may have tried it when I purchased it but honestly have no recollection of it. As it’s been in my pumidor untouched for four years, maybe I should give it a try! $34.50 for 200g is cheap as hell by today’s standards.

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  3. I too ditched my Misty Peak teas after all of the hullabaloo. Your post makes me regret that a bit, lol

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  4. How do you find collectors to steal their teas they don't want?

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