Roy invited me to join him at the teahouse Monday to try some of the latest samples tea farms and factories have shipped from China and Taiwan. He's been frustrated with many of the fall/winter harvest Taiwan oolongs he's tasted recently, because it's rained so much in Taiwan that aromatics and flavor haven't developed properly (oolongs need lots of sun, and too much rain also leaves the tea tasting thin and watery, no matter how much leaf you use). He didn't find anything he liked, so the search continues.
We also tried a tie guan yin from Anxi, but compared to our current outstanding crop of Monkey-Picked Tie Guan Yin it was disappointing as well. With growing interest in tea worldwide and changing environmental conditions in China, it's getting harder and harder to find the great teas we stake our reputation on.
Luckily Roy saved the best for last, an interesting new sheng puerh cake. Richly fruity without the sharp astringency of many sheng cha, this tea is pleasant to drink now and should age well in the dry conditions here in the Bay Area, with the sweet fruitiness continuing to concentrate and develop over time. We look forward to adding it to our online store in the next few weeks.