LA Tea Affair events have been some of the most fun tea drinking I have experienced since coming back from Asia. Those of you within driving distance of Los Angeles do not know what you are missing if you haven't come to an LA Tea Affair event yet.
A few weeks ago we celebrated our 2nd anniversary with an outdoor tea at the California Institute of Technology, drinking tea from 1:30 p.m. until past sundown. The recent rains cleared up for the day, and we enjoyed tea, cheese, honey, fresh air and good company.
Jason with honey. Dan unimpressed. (Photo: Will)
Pu'er and oolong were on the menu:
- 2007 Spring Yiwu Cha Wang of Chen Guang He Tang, Hou De Asian Art
- 2007 Spring Fèng Huáng Dòng Dǐng (凤凰冻顶) (Classic Roast), Teamasters
- 2008 Ròuguì (肉桂) of Lin Ping Xiang, Cloudwalker Teas
- 2008 Sòng Zhǒng Dān Cóng（宋种单丛), Tea Habitat
- Early 1970s Qī Zǐ Xiǎo Huáng Yìn (七子小黄印), Hou De Asian Art
- 70s Thick-papered Měnghǎi (勐海) #7542 (sheng pu'er), Hou De Asian Art
The spring yiwu was thick and impressive. The Dong Ding was hearty and chocolatey (well priced, too). The Rou Gui had strong qi and fruity oxidation. The Song Zhong I really liked, even though Imen, proprietress of Tea Habitat, said it usually comes out better; it was dankly floral like too many roses, and when we drank it, we all shut up.
Yay tea! (Photo: Will)
We saved the oldest for last and switched to two 1970s pu'er. By the second tea, it was already dark, and I had to wear a headlamp to brew the tea. That's dedication! Somehow, someone (not me) had planned for this.
Tea dork (Photo: Imen)
The two 70s pu'ers pushed us into tea drunkenness, and the last one still had some strength left when we had to leave for dinner, so we brought the wet leaves with us and had the restaurant brew them for us.
We ate at a Sichuan restaurant so authentic the front door could have been a portal to China. Fresh Sichuan peppercorn numbed us, pickled peppers burned us, and many napkins later we left with full bellies and ready for some dessert. We slurped black rice and fruit concoctions at a Hong Kong style dessert place known for serving frog fallopian tubes and birds nest mixed into their treats.