Made a trip down to the Chinese Tea Shop; my original trip plan was to pick up a refill of their 20 year old charcoal-roasted Iron Buddha oolong (x), and to see if they had any of their “flower” flavor dan cong (the site is sold out); I picked up the former, however they only had a different version of the latter (not listed on the website, although it may be under a different name). A more strongly oxidized version, I think.
CTS’s packaging is very clean and professional, and I quite like it. Not pictured here is the bag they package everything in (x). The only complaint I have ever had is that their small sample/1 oz packages are plastic and clear, and stored out in the open. But everything else (sans their compressed teas) is in vacuum-sealed bags in clean white boxes.
I also ended up picking up (also not listed on their site) an orange puerh, for five bucks. Pretty good. I was pretty surprised. I’ve already sipped it, although I haven’t posted the review on Steepster (I just curled up with a notebook instead, so that’ll be up later I guess); it’s a bit mild, I wouldn’t say outstanding (though with my limited puerh experience), with a bit of astringency that seemed weird for a puerh (though it might be the orange rind).
I managed to screw up every photo I tried to take of it out-of-package (ALL blurry), but I got a few of it in the gaiwan. Only did a small amount, with fifteen-second steeps.
Meanwhile I’m trying to decide what to blow all my money on online. I use my jack-knife for tea prying these days, but I wouldn’t mind a clean, simple puerh needle; I’ve been looking at this one that comes in a few different stains as well. The Chinese Tea Shop has a very ornamental one for sale, but I didn’t find myself particularly enamored with it. Otherwise, Andrews and Dunham’s Damn Fine Teas seems to be hinting that they’ll be discontinuing their field mug, and I’m regretting not grabbing it during their last free shipping event. I start Field Geology next semester. It just seems like it’s… a sign. Field Mug. Field Class. Perhaps it was meant to be? After all, I did recently buy a travel teapot. Although, after taking it camping with me, I realize it’s a little clunky/requires that it remain upright (as the spout is still “open” for tea to pour out of). But it keeps everything amazingly not, and when I’m not using it for tea, I’ve been using it to store boiled water in for multiple steeps in my gaiwan.
Aside from that, the other online purchases I’m considering mostly have to do with Doctor Who, transgenderism, Doctor Who again and books. Oh yes, and tea books.
On the note of tea books! I thought it would be a good idea to link to archive.org, as it has many (although not all) of Robert Fortune’s published work. It’s public domain, so it is entirely legal to download it. I do warn, the epubs offered are of poor quality, as they’ve been converted by machine, using the scans (thus the text is rendered well enough, but the Table of Contents is non-existent in most works, it’s littered with odd breaks and out-of-place symbols, and the pictures… well). I believe amazon offers the books in a higher quality epub format, for a price. I’m tempted myself to edit these epubs and then offer them here for free. Otherwise, try the pdfs. There’s even a kindle format, however I haven’t a Kindle so I can’t vouch for it. I imagine it’s much in the same state as the epub.
Lastly, I’m finishing up reading For All the Tea in China, so there’ll most likely be a post on that soon.