05/11: 2009 Fall Tea Trip, Part VI

I spent last two days of my tea trip at Maliandao, Beijing, the famous tea district in Northern China before returning home.

It was the season for TieGuanYin 2009 Fall harvest. I myself had never been a TieGuanYin fan, but it was my duty to get some for our customers in US. I decided to get the best - aka the most expensive one.

Then I went back to the tea shop I got my Rock Oolong Tea from two years ago, and asked for their best offerings. The Rock Oolong I bought from this shop was sold out a long time ago at, and it was cheerfully received by our clients.

We brewed at least 10 famous Rock Oolong teas, and I felt my taste buds suffering an indifference. Most Rock Oolong teas tasted just the same, sort like I had my ripen Pu-erh teas, they all tasted simuliar. One Rock Oolong called Bai Ji Guan (white chicken crown) caught my attention, it tasted a lots like a TieGuanYin, yet it was a Rock Oolong. So I said, 'I want this too'.

In the end, I selected about half a dozen Rock Oolong teas I thought I should purchase. 'Bring the bill, please', I asked the girl who performed the gongfu brewing for me for more than 3 hours.

When I set the sight on the bill, I was almost fainted! A small amount of 'white chicken crown' costed the same as all other 5 teas combined. It was a small fortune to pay for 'white chicken crown' as you would never believe it.

My face turned red, yes, I could pay for it, but I should not buy it! Based upon my calculation, 'white chicken crown' Rock Oolong would have to be priced more than $ 60 per 100 grams. I thought the same tasting profile could be had with TieGuanYin I just bought at one third of the price.

I told the girl to cross out the 'white chicken crown' since I could not afford it, while keeping a straight face.

I didn't believe in an expensive tea, no matter how good it was.

Five premium Oolong teas I bought were:

1. ShuiXian (Water Angel, Narcissus)
2. RouGui (Meat Cinnamon)
3. TieLuoHan (Iron Monk)
4. BanTianYao (Half Heaven)
5. Qilan (Green Orchid)

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