So it’s been a long term, and I’m only two chapters into Harvesting Mountains.
Last I checked, anyway.
My life has been consumed almost entirely be geology, and I haven’t done anything tea-related since November, which is a pitty. I haven’t partaken in any spring pre-buys, or picked up any interesting new sample packs. I haven’t really bought much new tea in general.
The only interesting thing I did was keep up with tea club meetings. It’s definitely nice to have a regular group of people to drink tea with, although it’s more of a casual pot with homework club. I try to bring my gaiwan in every so often to share with the one other person in the club interested in single-origin teas.
These last few months have been a hectic time of just keeping up with my studies. I do have a few small updates, though. First, I found an interesting little yixing at a second-hand shop.
My best guess is it seems to be a ripoff of a similar style of frog-lotus pot that pops up a lot on ebay; these have more detailed lotus seed pods compared to mine.
Secondly, I got to take a short stint to The States. Strictly for the geology; exploring the Channeled Scabland in Washington state. It was a fun stay, and the two tea discoveries that I can take away from this is that 1) when you ask for an ‘iced tea’ at a restaurant, they really DO just give you unsweetened brewed tea they poured over ice, which is honestly the best thing ever (I think I was the only one who enjoyed that), and 2) everywhere we visited had a huge iced/sweet tea selection. Didn’t matter if it was a corner-store gas station or a grocery store, there was either an entire cooler or half a wall dedicated to iced tea brands I’d never heard of and flavours from existing brands that you just can’t get in Canada. Makes me sad. I should have smuggled twenty bottles of Pure Leaf’s Blackberry and Sage across the border. We only get two of their four new flavours up here.
I took a single selfie (under peer pressure), but somehow forgot to take any pictures of me sipping tea on cliffsides. Especially disappointing because a week before I left, I picked up my ultimate field-mug. With a clip for my backpack.
Lastly, a couple of new teashops opened in in Vancouver this year. Cha Le and Silver Crescent; there’s a few others that I didn’t realize were operating and may or may not be new (Vancouver’s a big place).
And as always there’s five bubble tea shops for every tea shop.
I wish I’d thought to take pictures during my teaventures on my one-day break between exams, but I didn’t; Cha Le is a very modern teashop, where everything’s brewed with scifi-imagined vacuum presses. All I can say is they’re not as fast as an individual gongfu brew, but a tad faster than a western brew. And interesting to watch. I picked up a few teas while I was there (a yue guang bai, which I tried in-shop and liked, and a sample of their tie guan yin, because I find a quick way to rate a new shop is to try their tie guan yin). I didn’t stay long, and a few other people that had never been before also wandered in.
Silver Crescent is a very traditional, very small sit-down shop of the likes of Chinese Tea Shop and Best Tea House. It was packed when I showed up, but very inviting, and I ended up staying much longer here, after it’d quieted down and everyone had left.
My full reviews are, of course, on Steepster.