Singapore Tea Tasting: pt 2

Well, after the great day with Wilson and Mrs Chong at D’Art Station, & thanks to the lovely teas I failed to go to sleep then the next morning went north of Changi to meet with Alex Lau, who kindly took me to meet Alex Lim, or Eagle Tea Merchants.

PSX_20171012_213024

We got tea drunk. Seriously tea drunk.  I cant remember the last time I drank that many teas.  How many puerhs did we taste? I dont know but it was quite a lot – jingmais, Yiwus, Lao Ban Zhang, Lincang, Bulangs, the list goes on.

I tried some fantastic Yiwu, Bulang, Lincang (wild tree) & Lao Ban Zhang.  I couldnt afford the Yiwu or LBZ, but bought some of the Lincang and Bulang. I would also go back for the cheaper Yiwu (the yellow label), it was fantastic.  I think Alex lim has got good taste in puerh. Those three all varied in taste from each other and good quality.

PSX_20171012_213034.jpg

Both Alex’s were into their teaware which isn’t something I involve myself in yet, but it was fascinating to hear them talk about specific clays and pots. I cant talk much about them here because I was more interested in the tea tasting.

Alex goes himself to china to select the trees or leaf he uses for processing. Hes a good honest vendor – the lincang wild tree was described as a ‘massive tree’.  No stories about fantastical age magical properties, just first hand knowledge, which you could taste in the tree.  Not a hint of bitterness, just a wonderful ‘wild tree’ fruit taste.

PSX_20171012_212938

Above is a picture of the trees Alex sourced for the Lincang. Wild huh?

Singapore Tea Tasting: pt 1

I was lucky enough to get the chance to go to Singapore, and so the first thing I do is ask on the Steepster forum if anyone knows any good tea shops there. And the answers I got were even better, with me ending up having two days of meeting actual tea friends out there and curating a small group buy!

My first meet was with Wilson, from Adventure in Every Cup/Teapot News

Wilson was a great host, he took me for brunch from a Chinese food market, we also had a coconut juice, which was well deserved in the heat. (the food in Singapore is amazing! They have a michelin starred noodle place, and its about $2 for a main dish there.  The food is very good and very cheap) & then from there to meet a lady called Mrs Chong from D’Art Station, 20 Sago st.  (it is behind the Buddha’s Tooth Relic Temple). Wilson said he took me to see her because she is patient, and will let us taste the tea. Which I needed to be able to do.

PSX_20171012_100258.jpg

It was here I tried some aged sheng & dancong.

PSX_20171012_100502.jpg

I will have to say that tasting tea in a humid environment is hard – Every taste and smell felt slightly diminished compared to my colder drier flat in London. As I was buying with friends in mind (the first time I have curated) I settled for the 2006 Fuhai 7536 as being the nicest. Some of the other teas had a storage taste that I didnt know how people would react to, particularly an aged Yiwu which could have been nice but I rejected it quick due to this.

PSX_20171012_100430.jpg

The 7536 wasn’t the strongest of teas, and later proved to be fussy when over brewed, but when I added a bit more leaf it shone with a wondrous rising cool fruit/floral huigan that isn’t always obvious but when present is really good, it can fill your mouth, nose & head with its flavour. When I tasted it back in the hotel room I couldnt even taste anything in the mouth, then two minutes later the rising taste came again.  Its really good with a bit of care.

Wilson also states on his review that he adds 1g more than normal, and that is what I had done when I had my best session of this so far.

Its mellow & refreshing, sweet & clean for an aged puerh,  inoffensive, which was my aim in trying to please a bunch of critical Steepsterites. There is also a hint of special something that sometimes makes itself known.

PSX_20171012_100517.jpg

This is the 7536 (in red) with another tea, a 2005 Liming tea factory ‘ba jiao ting’, aka ‘8 sided pagoda’ The Liming had a tobacco notes, punchier and sourer, lacking the delicacy of the 7536.

PSX_20171012_100444.jpg

Yes, that is a SG$6000 (£3500/$4500) Lao Ban Zhang!

I very grateful to Wilson for meeting me, and taking the time to show me around, and Mrs chong for letting me sample the teas. I will be back someday.