I was at Celadon Saturday and asked about the tea plums. It turns out that Celadon has those specially made for them at a tea plantation. You can buy a largish jar at Celadon for about $30.
Did a Pu-erh tasting of five types. The winners were the white pu-erh and the 35 year old pu-erh. Dry, the white smells like the ground in a forest after a slight rain. It has a subtle smokiness to it. Ive been drinking the 25 year pu-erh the past few weeks. The 35 year is even better developing more character. The 40 year old was either losing its potency or too subtle for me to appreciate at this time. There was also a mushroom pu-erh. It was really interesting as it was shaped into a huge mushroom. The tea is broken off and brewed. Taste-wise I dont remember what it was like. I think is was the least pu-ehr-ish.
As always I learned volumes about tea. It seems the second brewing of pu-erh is considered the best. Id have to agree. You can get up to 10 brewing from one cup. There was a question on the general board a while back about storing the brewed leaves. You supposedly can leave your brewed tea leaves out on the counter for up to two days (depends on the type of tea. The more delicate teas only are good for a day).
Getting to which, in May Celadon is having a series of tea talks on Tuesdays. $20 each/ $60 for the series. They are from 7 - 8:15 pm.
5/6 - Introduction to Chinese and Taiwanese. The tea service at home.
Learn to serve tea Celadon style at home. Topics will include:
Gaiwans: Direct drinking vs. Serving Guests
Gung fu tea service: Choosing Yixing teapots. Serving guests
Tea etiquette for host and guests and Selecting tea wares that best suit your individual needs
5/13 - Introduction to Green and White Teas
In-depth introduction with tasting of different varieties of China greens, including Taiping Hou Kui, White Peony longevity Brews, Gold Thread Silver Hook, and more with insights into production. history, geography and proper brewing techniques.
5/20 - Introduction to Oolong Teas
Discover the diverse nature of oolongs. Distinct from green and black teas, these semi-oxidized teas have been rolled, roasted and served gungfu style in China for over 500 years. Explore three styles of oolong teas in an extensive tasting of teas from Canton, Fujian Province and Taiwan. With tastes ranging from exquisitely floral to rich and nutty, oolongs offer unparallel variety.
5/27 - Introduction to Red and Black Teas
In the Western World, black teas have enjoyed tremendous popularity over the past two centuries. Black teas as we enjoy it today is less tan 200 years old, and originally from China. Learn how the discover of the tea plant in India in the nineteenth century, and an English smuggler ended the Chinese monopoly on the tea trade. We will taste Keemun, the original English breakfast, Yunnan Gold, a savory tea from the Silk Road, Indian Darjeelings, assams and more.
The above was from a flyer in the shop. Celadon is working on their web site and doesnt have this type of info posted yet.
I went to a history of tea talk at Imperial Tea in February. It was about 2 hours and informative. However at $35 I thought it was a little pricey. You only tasted two teas. It was a lot of info to cram into two hours. I also dont have much success at Imperial. My questions never get answered and I am guessing I am currently banned from returning. I got into an argument trying to return a ten dollar tea music cd that skipped. First they wouldnt take it back because it was opened. My , I thought, logic of how do you know you have a bad CD unless you open it was lost on the folks there. We went through a number of rounds on this. Then no one had the authority to take back the CD. I had to wait for the owner. I would have to call for an appointment to see the owner. By this time I was quite annoyed. It was ten dollars. I just wanted to exchange it for a good CD. Offers to leave my name and phone number and charge card if there were problems with the owner were refused. I was told there was no need to get so LOUD (toward the end of this 15 minute exchange). Yeah, I behaved badly, but I am also so put off by the bad customer service that I dont want to go back there. To top it off , it was a day that my knee went out, so Im standing there leaning on a cane, barely able to stand and these people are giving me a hard time. It was a TEN DOLLAR CD. Ive spent over $100 there in the past two months. Do these people have NO common sense. Ill probably stick with Celadon or Ten Ren.