; Cwyn's Death By Tea: July 2023 ;

Thursday, July 20, 2023

Pandemic Puerh

My primary relationship in life is my puerh tea collection, and the rest of the time I maintain an appropriate facade of caring about anything or anyone else. My dear tea and I endured the pandemic, and we have not yet had Covid. Far more real at the moment is the post-pandemic economy, and this is shifting my relationship with my tea somewhat. 

Just over a year ago, I was startled to read more details about the emergency economy during the lockdown in Shanghai, and how within 5 days the most valuable currency anyone had was reportedly Coca-Cola. Maybe that’s anecdotal, but illuminating nevertheless and adding a dimension now to my tea collection. I don’t like the word collection anymore, my teas are primarily ones I want to drink, not merely collect. 

My tea started feeling like a kind of trade good. One that almost no one else around here has. Coffee started getting very expensive, but seems eased lately. In a situation where coffee gets scarce, my cheap teas might be worth more.

I got a trade relationship going with my local vet. Both my cats have health conditions, and the vet/prescriptions costs are such that I noticed how quickly he got his roof repaired after the tornado hit last summer, whereas mine is still patched and damaged. Also, he’s not a great vet, but has a redeeming quality of an aura of acquiring tastes about him. And he’s a yang type, so I got that covered. Started bringing him tea, for no reason, really more exasperation because the vet part is just not good. Finally I stop trying to be normal and go the eccentric that I am. He’s getting tea. After a year of that I got a free kidney test for the cat who needs to be put down, but test ok so he won’t do it, and the cat finally ran away in madness.

That’s the one 

So far I brought over fu brick, Lu An, Jeong Jae Yuen’s marvelous batch, shui xian and green puerh (the diuretic kind). In March I thought to myself, I always want spring tea come July, why not plan early this year, and subbed to white2tea for the spring cake. When the vet wouldn’t put the cat down I gave him that tea. I was giving up, sort of. I should have just booked a spa before giving away tea like I have. This is old lady behavior for sure and someone needs to put a stop to it. My son is afraid of me, so who will? 

But really, people set up card tables at the Farmer’s Market here and sell yellow gourds they grow, and you can’t eat them, and nobody needs any except as Halloween decoration, so they just end up at the food pantry for free because, hey, nobody can’t waste them and the ones who need the food also need to act grateful. 

What is stopping me from setting up with my tuos? Before the pandemic I thought about doing a class at the library on puerh and a lobby case display, the library is always looking for people. But now, puerh tea would never fly on the be-serious level of the library, but could positively flourish as survival currency for the aesthetically desperate…although…if I brought the crocks along the Mennonite ladies would give a look for sure, and hey, I could hand out samples. I got loads of shou balls back from my Fermentation Fest days. 

Kombucha won out here on the high end, the library-level side, and puerh is probably more useful on the everyday neighbor side of things instead. It’s social currency but in a real way you can use it wean off coffee.

Oh. And I’m back on coffee. The same impulse that drove me to give away my spring cake drove me into buying a cheap plastic Keurig and coffee pods from the Bent-n-Dent store for 5 bucks a box. I must be depressed but I don’t feel anything really. I can complete the impression by adding I’m cutting my hair. They say a certain amount of cluttered chaos leads to a cluttered mind, but it’s probably a tool, one that I’ve always used to straighten my mind against it, you play an A and I’ll tune all five of my other strings. On harmonics.

Yeah, I guess I’m ok. Hope you are too…