Well, my sipdown project has rolled over into 2021, with the on-going objective of freeing up space in my tea cupboards to accommodate newer, fresher teas.
So far this year these teas have been dispatched in the tastiest of fashions – Kocha Benifuki, Assam Taiwan, Feng Huang Da Wu Ye Dancong, Feng Huang Ya Shi Dancong, Zealong Origins Pure Oolong, and Tai Mu Long Zhu.
The next question was what was I going to put into this newly liberated tea drawer real estate?
Over the last few months I’ve been reading a fair few good reports about Moychay, the Russian on-line tea store, especially with regard to their collection of Pu-erhs as well as their white teas. All things considered, I thought it was as good a time as any to send a few pennies their way.
There was only one potential snag – I was fairly certain that any tea purchase from Russia would lead to a considerable tax slap from the Swedish postal service. Hereabouts that amounts to little better than an email or SMS ransom note…
“…we have your tea! If you want to see it in one piece, leave a large stack of used 500 Kronor notes in a brown paper bag under the old oak tree on the corner near Johanssons konditori…“
Now, this can add as much as 33% to a small or medium sized order, something I ain’t keen on at all. I also have no idea how this is supposed to work in practical terms, either. Apparently the postal service’s cut of the action is based on the value of the contents of the package, and I aren’t exactly happy at the thought of Random K Ericsson hacking open my tea parcel, and then spending three weeks working out how much it’s worth and how much to invoice me for. Bah, grrr, etc.
But then I remembered that Moychay have recently opened up an on-line presence within the EU, specifically Amsterdam, meaning none of all that faffing about with value added taxes. I also recalled hearing that at present it was still early days for their Dutch site, and that consequently it didn’t stock the full assortment available in the mother-shop in Russia. Still, worth a peek, non?
So, this very morn (Monday, Feb. 8), I moseyed on over to have a look-see, and found 7 very interesting Pu-erhs. After a swift burst of maths I worked out I could easily afford 25 gram samples of all the teas on offer, so that’s exactly what I did – Lao Chahu (a shou from Myanmar), Thai Sheng, Bai Yin Shan Gushu Sheng, Ya Bao Yin Ya Eshen Bai Yin Shan, Yongde Da Hei Cha, Menghai Wei Yi Ji Shu Cha, and WEBPUNK 2.0 were chucked into a shopping cart, and the magic plastic wand duly waved.
I received an order confirmation email almost immediately, and only two and a half hours later I received another telling me that my tea was on its way, so for the next few days I get to play the tea trace game, refreshing the tracking information every half hour to see how far my tea has moved. The estimated time of delivery is early next week, which seems fair enough.
Good stuff incoming! Watch this space, etc…
I just wrote review notes for the Yongde Da Hei Cha; it’ll be interesting to see how you like it. I love it; it’s really fruity, creamier than sheng tends to ever be, sweet and complex, and unusual. Some of that could seem like a spoiler but there’s plenty more to sort out. I should look up what they’ve got for Thai sheng; that’s a familiar and interesting subject. And for whatever reason a lot of shu out of Myanmar is really exceptional, maybe from the standard character being suited for that.
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Right now I’m working through all the samples that came with my package – yesterday I had a sweet 2 hour session with their GABA Dong Ding – but I’m really chomping at the bit to get stuck into the stars of the show.
Funnily enough I’d already placed the Yongde Da Hei Cha at the front of the queue, followed closely by the Thai sheng. Based on what you’ve said it looks as though I’m in for some seriously good sessions in the coming weeks…
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