22 July 2016

Still drinking tea

It's been a while. Here's a picture of some pretty Bairuixiang yancha leaves, a sample from an LA tea friend.


12 April 2013

April 2013 Southeast Tea Affair

Now finally back in the swing of my addiction habit hobby, I decided to risk a caffeine binge and hosted a meeting of our local Southeast tea group.

Unfortunately, a Facebook event snafu created a duplicate posting that made one member get the day wrong. So, there were only three of us.

We drank an unreroasted 1980s baozhong that reminded me why I don't seek out aged baozhong. I have drunk a few good ones, but the other two dozen or so have been like this one, rather bland and single character. Still, with no off flavors and good storage, it could have been worse.

April 2013 SETA - brewed 90s liubao

We moved onto a more recent dong ding from Houde, that bryandrinkstea bought the last of, and we could see why. It was punchy, delicious, and didn't want to quit. Beautiful strong leaves with great structure.

We had a 1999 Dayi brand tuo sample given to me by a tea friend who travels regularly to Xishuangbanna. It was dry stored—authentic dry stored, not American dry stored—and quite well on its way. I was sad I waited so many years to finally try the sample.

Then we dug into some liubao, a 1990s liubao I bought in Guangzhou's fangcun market in 2006. The shopkeeper had it in a large tin that said "aged pu'er" on it; one of the older vendor tricks still alive and well! The tea still bit back, but it's definitely mellower than when I first bought it.

We ended with an early 1990s 7542, also authentic dry storage, that still needs a lot of time.

All in all, very good session.

If you're in the Southeast US and would like to join us sometime, leave a comment with your email address and I'll add you to our Facebook group!

April 2013 SETA - happy bunny

18 December 2012

Quitting caffeine

Today is roughly three and a half weeks since I last had coffee or tea. After a brief hospital visit, I decided to quit caffeine for a while.

The hospital visit wasn't caffeine-related, and during my post-hospital five-day recovery I drank some coffee. But once I started feeling physically better, my head was still cloudy, and I was tired all day long. Yawn-a-minute tired, sleep-under-my-desk-on-breaks tired. No amount of coffee or tea helped. I brewed my tea stronger and stronger, then tried a shot of espresso in a brewed coffee, then tried two shots of espresso in a large brewed coffee—and nothing, no effect, still yawning and foggy.

I couldn't determine the problem. I had rested, and I felt better otherwise. No symptoms of any other sickness. I kept hydrated, I ate healthy. I ran down the list of potential issues until I settled on a likely culprit: caffeine dependency. So I quit.

Quitting gave me a 24/7 headache for three consecutive days, a horrible headache that moved behind, pierced, and throbbed my eyes, teeth and sinus cavity. But I didn't get better, my fatigue became worse and my head more densely clouded.

After another four days of sporadic headaches, my fatigue lifted. I neglected to notice at first, but I slept more easily and deeply than I had in many months. Two weeks in, tasks became more interesting, and I encountered bored where I would normally enjoy relaxing.

I don't blame tea for my dependency; in fact, I suspect a period of using workout supplements very high in caffeine played a big role in tying me to a need for higher and higher daily doses of caffeine.

Initially, I wanted a hard reset of my caffeine tolerance to boost caffeine's effect on me. Now, I've decided to moderate my intake, too.

I'll post an update when I begin to drink tea again, probably in the next two weeks.

04 May 2012

Live in the Southeastern US? Join us!

Hello Floridians, Georgians, Alabamians, Carolinians, and Tenneseeans who drink and love Asian teas:

While a few of us have been meeting every over month for tea, I know there are others out there who aren't able to make our get togethers. I thought you might want to keep in touch with us, and perhaps find other friends in your area, to meet and talk tea.

To that end, I've created a Facebook group. Please comment here with your email if you'd like to join us! (Comments will not be made public).

14 March 2012

Next Southeast Tea Meetup: Saturday 3/24

We got tea drunk and had a lot of fun last time, and we're going to meet up again on 3/24 to drink some good gongfu tea! 

We would love to have more local tea lovers come, so please comment here with your email (I won't post it!) if you are interested in joining us. For now, exact location and time is TBD, but for now we're anticipating it will be in North or Central Georgia.