The spoon scraped hard against the bottom of the caddy. The “cheap but good enough as a palate cleanser and general digestive system degreasant” Golden Sail brand shou Pu-erh was all gone. Oh.
As I’ve said many times before, shou Pu-erh is spectacularly good in this role, and that is why as I understand it many restaurants offer it as an accompanying beverage to Dim Sum, something I believe originated in Hong Kong.
The trouble with the cheaper stuff is that although it might taste OK, and represent a decent buy, you are never truly sure what you are getting. You invariably run the risk that such a tea is made from leaves from younger bushes grown on a low-altitude plantation, that have been drenched in pesticides and artificial fertilizers, and thrashed half to death by wringing as many flushes out of them as possible in each growing season.
Quite frankly, you deserve better.
I’d been resolute in my vow not to buy any more of the cheap stuff, and so had to fall back on the cake of Golden Peacock I had in.
A quick check revealed that I had what is often mischievously referred to as the “beeng hole” left of that cake, and not a lot more.
I thought that I could maybe see if the local shop I bought the Golden Peacock from had any more cakes left, but after thinking about it for a bit I fancied trying something different.
I had to act, and fast. Supplies of shou were dwindling, and I was facing the prospect of no post-supper pot of Pu-erh by the weekend at the latest! Unthinkable!
Luckily my current favourite supplier House of Tea up in Stockholm can usually get an order to me the next day if I dial it in early enough. So, bank card in hand, I logged on and clicked and ticked in all the right places to send a cake of 2009 Liming Kong Que Zhi Xiang shou heading my way.
Late Monday night I heard a “ping” from my phone signalling the arrival of an SMS from our postal service to let me know I had a package en route to Teaist Towers, and lo and behold there was my tea in our mailbox just after lunch time on Tuesday. Hurrah!
Once again House of Tea were kind enough to include a small sample for me to try – this time I received a 3 gram bag of Yu Chi Shan Cha, a Taiwanese Black Tea.
Update – Hoji Cha
I think I’ve found the golden ratio that will make this tea perform just about as well as it can.
The water was heated to exactly 80°C. Using the Ikea Riklig teapot, I dropped 2 dead level teaspoons worth of tea into the integral infuser basket, and then steeped for no more than 45 seconds.
Using this method, and to my great surprise, the Hoji Cha makes a decent enough breakfast tea, a pleasant alternative to green and black (red) teas. It’s growing on me.
I’ve written a post about the delights of Bowl Tea, which you can read over at the rather wonderful Chessers Tea blog.
Click here to read it.