Notes from the Field

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 pity. 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.


  1. Glad to have you back.

    This is really the ultimate outdoor tea mug :D
    And iced tea and the USA is a really long story.

  2. There are times for more and there are times for less…. Sometimes very frustrating.

    I hope (and assume) your exams went well. :)

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