Reading Between the Lines

I probably shouldn’t say this but very often I shake my head in bewilderment when I read some of the vendor’s descriptions of teas, not ours of course.

Overtime you learn to be immune to bizarre romanization and colorful (mistranslated) names so that is not the case.

Geographical Guffaws

Can’t pretend to know what goes through the mind of others but I reckon there are 2 reasons that it happens- ignorance or preying on the ignorance of others.

This is not about singling out inability to identify specific cliffs in Wuyishan like Matouyan for example.

Rather it baffles me why are certain teas labeled as being from Wuyishan when

i) They are obviously not from Wuyishan such as Tieguanyin (true story, kid you not)

ii) Even more obviously from Wuyishan because they bear the place of origin- e.g. Quanzhou XX Oolong “grown in Wuyishan” according to that vendor.

Here is the thing, Quanzhou is a place in Minnan, Southern Fujian, about 500km from Wuyishan.

History Remade

I love it that a particular vendor’s Longjing has been made in the same manner as it has been for a thousand years. I love authenticity and traditional ways, especially if wok-roasting has only been existence for 800 years.

Or Oolongs that have been true to the traditional processing that were unchanged for 5,000 years. No kidding, processing of oolong tea is dated for less than 600-700, depending on which version.

Those are truly historic teas, predating history!


Every other tea is a tribute tea, reserved for emperors.

Naturally, who wouldn’t love the stuff reserved for royalty.

There are some that were never really tribute teas and then there are some hilarious stuff.

For example Yunnan Black aka Dian Hong has been billed as a tribute tea, reserved for the royal family, notwithstanding the fact that when it was first produced, the last Emperor of the Qing dynasty has been deposed.

It is indeed rare that anyone would remain loyal to rulers of overthrown regimes, truly a tribute unlike any other!

Wild thing, you make my heart sing

Wild grown.

I presume it means untended right?

It might be possible in large ancient forests in Yunnan. When it is the reserve area of Wuyishan spanning 72 square kilometers of extraordinary economic potential, I have my reservations.


Back to my earlier statement- only 2 reasons why anyone would do this- ignorance or preying on the ignorance of others.

Those that I mentioned are statements that accentuate the perceived value of teas. Wow- long historical heritage or Wuyishan- one of the best known tea harvest area in the world.

Perhaps it was a genuine mistake made in good faith who knows.

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