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21/09: 2008 Fall Tea Trip

My plane landed in Kunming Sept. 20, 2008.

Kunming was such a home city for me, I got no trouble to return my apartment quickly by taking a bus, spending a total of 1 RMB ( $ 0.15 USA ) bus fare.

The second day saw me touring around Kongle Tea city - the most popular tea market in Kunming. You could tell the market was a bust from 2007 craziness. Few tea companies were brave enough to make new productions, they were mostly still selling their 2007 stock at a high price (except Menghai and Xiaguan).

There is bad news spreading around the tea city. Many tea companies are struggled with financial troubles. I was told that Changtai tea factory could go broken, many others big names you and I known for years were on the edge of bankruptcy. Even the ownership of Menghai and Xiaguan could change hands.

You would think I could drive a bargain in buying teas, but I did not get that at all. Plus I found few items worthing purchasing.

I was offered a hand-braided tea cake, but I turned it down. Because I knew that hand-braided tea was a somewhat gimmick, the worst part was that the tea leaves were processed by using a hot water 'killing green' method, not traditional wok cooked, in order to roll the leaves into soft strips, then make the braids. It was a time consuming and tedious job to make the special appearance, but bad for aging.

Part of me wants to make another trip to Banna ...

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