Sunday, June 21, 2009
Pinglin Trip, Part Two
Mr. Tsai took me and Konghai to Farmer Chen's place. He was not back yet, so we sat down with his wife to have tea. She prepared at least seven different Baozhongs for me to try. Some tea came from half-jin packages, and she took some other teas out from those huge plastic bags. I didn't notice any marks on any of the bags. I have to say all the farmers and tea business people have incredible memories (perhaps they all drink tea every day?). Before I had a chance to tell her, she told me what those Baozhongs were. It was fun to try so many Baozhongs all at once. After I went through them twice, I was surprised at how light some of the competition winning teas were. My two favorite ones were one that didn't enter any competitions at all and one that was in the competition but didn't win any prize.
Later, Farmer Chen came back with some fresh tea leaves. He saw Konghai and gave him those leaves to play with. He sat down with us to try all the Baozhongs. Then he was distracted by Konghai. I think he likes Konghai a lot and he took a lot of pictures of him. For the whole tea tasting, they didn't make a single comment on what they thought of each tea. I knew that once again, I had to decide on which tea I considered to be the best for me to bring back to sell.
After all the Baozhongs, I asked if they had any aged teas. She came with two. I tasted them and liked the Buddha's Hand one better. When asked about the age, Farmer Chen said," ten, twenty years". I bursted out laughing and said,"there are 10 years of difference between what you just said". He smiled and looked at his wife for confirmation," I don't remember how old it is". I like that, at least it's very honest. I went to the jar where they stored the aged Buddha's Hand and smelled the tea. I saw the lid with the date! I showed them the lid and said," it's 18 years old!" Farmer Chen laughed and said," see? I was right!"
It was always nice to see Mr. and Mrs Chen. They were very easy going. Especially with him, he always had a smile on his face. Too bad I didn't have a chance to see him make tea this time. Most of the tea was already done for the season. I like the dedicated look on his face when he is making tea. There's always next year!