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02 July 2006 @ 11:03 am
Seems like quite a few people have become active on this forum in the past few months. Many of you I know and exchange with off the forum, but others I know very little about. I find that when I am discussing tea, it helps me to know a little about the other participants. Especially the extent of your experience with tea, background, other interests, etc. I'll start with a quick bio of myself.

Bearsx3, if this thread is successful, could you create a frontpage link to it for easy access?
hster on July 6th, 2006 08:04 am (UTC)
Hello everyone. I happily discovered this lively spot a month++ back and have much enjoyed the obsessive yet relaxed atmosphere of this forum.

I lead a quiet life in Berkeley complete with over-crammed vegefruit patches overrun by a precocious chicken. I am in lifelong pursuit of serious eating. Pu-erh is only a recent fancy, less than a year old though I have been drinking teas for decades.

A bow or a wave.

sspeakfreely on August 5th, 2006 12:41 am (UTC)
Coming out of lurkdom....

The sequence of events that led me here:
1) I found myself thinking repeatedly that my only real remaining ambition in life is to serve tea to good friends on a certain hilltop. (I'm approaching 40, not 80, lest this leave you with the impression that I'm ancient, LOL.)
2) On a visit to SF chinatown (which I find fascinating in itself) I chanced into one of the tea shops. The young woman serving the tea (kung-fu style, which was new to me) was impressed that I bothered to smell the tea and that I knew green was unfermented and oolong semi-fermented. That's about all I knew then, but it was enough that she held my purchase back until the other customers had left, and then gifted me with a small about of "bamboo leaf tea" which is a green tea that they were selling for a whopping $800./lb. "Because you are more professional" she said. Had she spoken more English, she would have soon discovered how little I actually knew!
3) Curious, I found a copy of John Blofeld's "The Chinese Art of Tea" - this led to more tea research, more books by Blofeld (including a fascinating account of his time in 1930's Beijing), a purchase from YunnanSourcing, and the discovery of this forum.

So, I'm still a pu-erh virgin, but that will change when my package from YunnanSourcing arrives. I've been drinking the teas I bought in SF Chinatown ("blue tea" a green, and "phoenix" an oolong) to the exclusion of my usual chai with plenty of milk and sugar. This is good, because I'd rather avoid the milk and sugar anyway, and by drinking greens and oolongs, I can do that, whereas black tea benefits from additives, IMHO.
[satyriasis] - Jason: teabearsbearsbears on August 5th, 2006 05:28 am (UTC)
Re: Coming out of lurkdom....
Re: Coming out of lurkdom.... - sspeakfreely on August 9th, 2006 12:33 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Coming out of lurkdom.... - davelcorp on August 8th, 2006 11:33 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Coming out of lurkdom.... - sspeakfreely on August 9th, 2006 12:29 am (UTC) (Expand)
thesounddudethesounddude on August 7th, 2006 10:26 pm (UTC)
Just Joined...
Like many of you, I'm here to learn more about this tea. I find knowing more helps my enjoyment, and adds a certain geek factor. I'm a long time tea drinker, probably brought on by living in Australia for 7 years in the 1980's. I admit, I've been mostly an Indian tea drinker (Darjeelings. Mmmmmm.) But am starting to explore Chinese, including Pu'erh.
My main drink of the day at work, however, is not tea, but Yerba Mate. I get all the jokes about my "bong" at work.
I'm probably a geezer here at 49. 3 kids. Live outside of Phoenix, AZ. Computer programmer for a living (been cutting code since punch card days on an old 360). Interests: mixing live bands (hence "sound dude"), photography (digital and film, esp. B&W), guns & reloading - shotguns especially, and coaching at my kids high school.

[satyriasis] - Jason: 6ftmbearsbearsbears on August 19th, 2006 05:35 am (UTC)
Re: Just Joined...

Have you ever had your Darjeelings brewed gongfu style? I think first-flushes are great this way, cuz they're sort of greenish/oolongish.

Is the mate ball in your userpic your own?
Re: Just Joined... - thesounddude on August 19th, 2006 03:59 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Just Joined... - bearsbearsbears on August 21st, 2006 04:17 am (UTC) (Expand)
lebowitz on September 10th, 2006 06:05 pm (UTC)
Who I am
I am a 38 year old married high school physics teacher and part time graduate student. New years eve I resolved to lose weight and thereby quit drinking soda pop (especially mountain dew). My problem became how to replace the caffine I need to function at 5:30 am (school starts at 7:15am). I kinda liked the cheap oolong tea I get a chinese restaraunts so i tried tea. Went to Pittsburgh to some chinese grocery stores and got the cheap bagged tea and drank lipton also! (i know ick!) But then went to a conference that had mighty leaf real leaf tea (in a bag) and tasted the difference of a quality tea. Searched the internet found adagio tea, bought some samplers (black, green, oolong) some i liked some not so much (I think the japanese green teas taste long grass clipping, no matter how I brew them). One tea sample was pu erh, i read about it, and discovered the variety and health benefits, etc.... After trying it a few times kinda liked, so did my wife who is only 10% as interested in tea as I am (but she drinks it regurarly now). So I noticed adagio only has one pu erh, looked around found yunnan sourcing on ebay, (since then i found he is the best place in the world for variety and price), tried a few from him and now I and my wife are hooked. Pu erh is great, mostly i have been drinking ripe pu erh's have mostly bought the lower priced ones so far. I don't have time in the morning to sit around and brew gong fu style. 30 min commute, kids to drop off, etc. so i brew the regular large pot 4 min, and it tastes good anyways, sorry purists. I will do some reviews soon but I can't do the 1-15 infusion style reviews, but I can tell you what i like.

I kinda wrote alot sorry.

stevendodd on September 12th, 2006 05:02 am (UTC)
Re: Who I am
Hey, welcome! My usual tea schedule is I have a black tea in the morning that I take in a mug to school (student). In the afternoon I sit down to a nice oolong or puerh where I have time to really enjoy it.
Re: Who I am - bearsbearsbears on September 15th, 2006 04:02 am (UTC) (Expand)
runrabbit6 on October 25th, 2006 08:03 am (UTC)
The more we get together, together, together, the happier we'll be
I'm a 31 year old female living in Shanghai.
Weaned off my mam's teat with tea I was searching for decent single estates and exploring the vast world of oolongs in my teens. A bit unusual for my town and I longed for the opportunity to go to Toronto and visit the (then) 2 tea stores that would cater to my obsession.
I teach music in international schools. My first job was in Beijing, where I didn't really want to go. I was convinced myself that putting in the time would be good on the resume when I applied for the European schools and there's tea in China, so I might learn something there.
Six years later and a change of city, I'm still teaching and my interest in tea is as strong as ever.
I found this link through the Adagio tea page and I'm eager to learn from the expertise that exists here as it's liberally cut with honesty, curiosity, and a spirit of discovery.
God's son vs Godjesusvscurly on October 29th, 2006 02:16 am (UTC)
I'm Ian, don't post much but read religiously. I live in Flagstaff, AZ where I manage a teen crisis shelter, hop around canyons, make farty electronic and acoustic music, etc. I'm twenty four years old and was lucky enough to be around an Imperial Tea Court when I was growing up (they had a location in Kent, WA for a few years) and became friends with all the crazy tea lovers, learning a lot and trying out the "secret stash" here and there. In a month I am moving back to Seattle and one of the few things that excites me about the move is that I will be able to find good tea and reunite with my tea buddies from up there. I've had long ambitions to start something of a pu-erh shop; I'm guessing we all have?
Soooo... thanks for being around.
exstns on November 10th, 2006 08:21 pm (UTC)
Okay, I guess its time to finally post something.
I'm 20 years old student at a college with a pretty view, majoring in something quite depressing (Accounting), while living in NYC. My first exposure to teas was at an early age back at my hometown in Ukraine, where I've tried my first tea brick (not sure what it was.) They have been brought by my family from Eastern Russia (near Korea & Jp.) and the memories of their taste has stayed with me for years. As of now, while in search for those teas again, I stumbled upon this little community, which proved to be quite a helpful resource for all things tea related. Thanks

xiefeilaga on December 1st, 2006 03:57 am (UTC)
I just left a rant on the main page before I saw this one, so here we go:
My name is Jeff Crosby. I'm 27 years old, currently live in Beijing (with a house in Kunming too), and work as media coordinator/spokesman for the Menghai Tea Company, aka Menghai Tea Factory.
I came to Kunming right before I turned 21 to study Chinese, and found myself pulled into the fascinating world of Yunnan's ancient cultures and traditions. I have travelled much of the province, and worked with Yunnan's artistsm cultural carriers and cultural companies as a translator, consultant and cultural exchange coordinator.
Culture is what brought me to tea. I was fascinated to find the Ancient Tea Route and how it shaped the many ethnic groups of the region. I was even more fascinated to find that Yunnan is probably where tea was first born. So even with the freshest of Shengpu's, you are drinking a piece of human history in every sip.
Despite the job, I still have a life outside of tea, though I have a teaset in my office and am brewing some good aged ripe tea right now. I have steady gigs moonlighting as a translator on the Chinese contemporary art scene, and my first book translation, "Huajiadi" will be released right around Chinese New Year's. My other interests include travel (by bike when I can), photography, film and of course traditional cultures.
I speak fluent Chinese and I know a lot of people in the Chinese tea scene, but I'm also hoping to learn a lot from you guys.
-- Jeff Crosby (谢飞)
sspeakfreely on December 7th, 2006 01:56 pm (UTC)
Re: Me
Well, good, an industry insider to consult. I'm sure your expertise will be welcome here, although corporate bias, of course, is right out;-)Welcome!
jesatl13 on December 2nd, 2006 02:03 am (UTC)
I am a transportation account manager as well as a private investigator. I am 54, male, and I live in the metro Atlanta, Georgia (USA) area. 'Married with two teenage daughters. My 17 year old thinks I'm ok but my 15 year old says I'm a freak.? My wife shares my new fondness of tea and I am hoping she is tolerant and acceptable of the pu-erh, Yixing tea set, and bamboo tray I have ordered. I had open heart surgery in June '06 so I hope I can excuse these expenses as for medicinal purposes.
sspeakfreely on December 7th, 2006 01:59 pm (UTC)
When the going gets freaky, the freaks turn pro.

I have the gungfu setup in a corner of my office. But this is a research facility, so everybody is a little strange.
lurkfan on December 4th, 2006 05:23 pm (UTC)
My Bio
Greetings! I came to this site by way of a post on an Adagio forum, so while I mostly lurk, I thought I'd post a quick bio. I'm 31, a happily married female from Montana. I've been drinking tea on and off all my life, but got serious about it after college when I needed a healthier alternative to all the Coca-cola I was consuming. I've never liked coffee (don't even like the smell), so tea was it for me.

I drink mostly black tea - yunnan and assam are my favorites, though I love flavored teas as well. I have a few darker oolongs I like, but I'm not fond of green tea at all. I'll occasionally drink a white tea when I find one worth drinking. I've just discovered puerh in the past couple weeks, and have only tried two (from Dragonwater Tea Company in Seattle) - Black Pu-erh Tuo Cha (which I absolutely loved), and a loose organic pu-erh (which wasn't as good - still drinkable, but more "grassy" and less "earthy"). I love the earthy taste of puerh, and am fascinated with the whole aging process, so I've talked my hubby into putting a shelf up in the bedroom for me, so I can try aging my own tea. The bedroom will be the room least likely to harbor any strong scents, so it should be a good place for aging.

I ordered a couple of raw puerh's from Tea Spring (from the link I found here) - 2005 Yunnan mini-tuo chas which had positive reviews, and a second 2006 100 gram Xiaguan Gold Tuo Cha that also had positive reviews (all reviews mentioned that the reviewers thought these would age well). So we'll see - I plan on keeping them as "new years" teas, to be tasted once a year on Jan. 1st, so I can experience the aging process first-hand and keep a journal of it from year to year. My hubby will taste too, but he's not all that fond of puerh to start. ;-)

Of course this gives me a rather good excuse to buy another yixing pot, as the three I have are all seasoned for other teas...so I'll be shopping for that this month, which will be fun.

In any case, that's my story - in a not-so-brief post. I'm excited to explore the world of puerh, the journey just as much as the tea itself. :-)

[satyriasis] - Jason: teabearsbearsbears on January 30th, 2007 02:56 pm (UTC)
Re: My Bio
awesome intro. silly me didn't check this page for a while!

i look forward to hearing what those teas are like every january :)
sjschensjschen on December 7th, 2006 09:45 pm (UTC)
Didn't see this post until a few moments ago. Suppose an intro is a bit overdue on my part. I'm 27yo medical computing researcher, or was until a few months ago when I left to seek newer ground and to fulfill my hedonistic needs :P Though I've lived in many places around the world, I currently reside in Canada where the climate is dry and cold, and the air conditioning is free in the winter time.

Started drinking tea before I can really remember but got into tea seriously around 5 years ago due to the influence of my family of heavy tea drinkers and a brain-rearrangingly good pack of light roasted high mountain oolong. Drank mainly Taiwan oolong, paochong, and Japanese yulu before drinking a 2005 mengku mushu pu-erh last year that caught my interest in pu-erh.

yiwu on December 25th, 2006 02:26 pm (UTC)
I am 52 male, and live in Western Australia. I have been drinking oolong and shu puerh for some 4 years. Slowly, over the last 2 years I have begun collecting and drinking sheng. I am learning slowly. My preference is not to drink sheng that is less than 7 or 8 years old. This means that I have only a few teas which I can drink. While I wait, for my sheng to mature, I drink good quality older shu which I have collected over a frew years. I adore Yixing pots and teaware.
phil_brown on January 12th, 2007 12:04 am (UTC)
New to everything
Hello, all. I'm new to this group, Livejournal, and pu-erh! I'm 24 years old, and I live in Birmingham, Al. Until last year, I was completely unaware of the existence of pu-erh. I am a long-time Western tea brewer and drinker, a fanatic some say. I have, over time, learned how to extract multiple, flavorful infusions from black teas, even Earl Grey. I did not find out until recently that I was reinventing the wheel, and had stumbled across some of the gong fu cha methods by experimentation and pure luck. My first properly-prepared sip of Tie Guan Yin plunged me into a love of the lesser-imported Chinese teas that has brought me inevitably here. Pu-erh is my new obsession. The aroma, the flavor, the power, the mystique; it's one of those things that I can't believe I didn't know about. I've dragged up as much information as possible in English and begun collecting cakes for daily consumption. I don't think that I'm ready to make informed purchases of sheng (I haven't even worked out storage yet), but my palette has adapted readily to shou. I found this group via a search engine, and joined Livejournal for the express purpose of absorbing as much of your knowledge as possible. Of course, in the presently unlikely event that I can contribute anything on the subject, I will gladly do so. I look forward to learning a lot and having people to share my new hobby with!
(Deleted comment)
fatman2 on June 28th, 2007 04:57 pm (UTC)
Re: Baby on the blog

Where do you normal buy your tea from in Singapore? Can have tea session.

ronin9494 on January 14th, 2007 09:40 pm (UTC)
Hi, I'm Martin. A 32 year old male, living in Sweden. Currently working as a UNIX administrator. I've got a lot of interests and hobbies. So I guess this will be yet another to add to the list. =)

I was introduced to Puer last summer when I got married in Malaysia. One of our local friends gave us a tea-set and some different teas. He also gave us a quick workshop on how to brew it. But I realise I've got a long way to go to be able to get it a 100% correct.

The sample teas we recieved was of different types but mostly Puer. My friend and his wife had started to drink puer mostly because it's friendlier to the body than drinking coffe and beer. As good as any reason. I'll try to get off the habit of drinking coffe as well.

I've been searching the net for good info on puer in english. Since all the books I've been recommended have been written in Chinese...(Can't read Chinese.) So I guess this is the place to be! =)

I'm also interested in finding a good source for puer tea since it's very hard to find in Sweden. I've found several places where I can get hold of good quality Oolong and other green teas. But not found any good source for puer yet. (Not well known/popular here.) So at the moment I rely on my friend as the sole source.

Btw I would appreciate a little help with id/background/recommendations on some of the teas I recieved this time. I've uploaded pictures of the cakes and numbered them. (My supplier is away on a buissness trip and hard to get a hold of... So no help there.)