Thursday, December 17, 2009

Free Dan Cong oolong tea if you can proof me wrong

What is truth and what does it take to make believe of such truth?

I have been selling single bush teas for almost 3 years. From what I gathered online, most tea drinkers find them better in quality regardless of price. However, there are still speculation on whether I am misinforming tea lovers about the true single tree batch. Or rather the concept/practice of single tree process simply does not exist.

It's one thing to be skeptical, it's another thing to mislead others without knowing first hand information (the truth) but claim they are right. I would like to know the malicious intention of such people for telling lies. What could benefit them from denying the truth?!

I make it clear here: on my website, I separate the single processed teas from commercial mass produced teas in 2 different categories. The prices reflect the quality difference as well. I do not claim the commercial Dan Cong are single tree processed, they are NOT.

What bothers me the most is that some long time tea drinkers are misinforming others simply they have a group of blog followers whom will take their words as facts while they have never been to Chao Zhou, never been up on the Phoenix mountain, never have seen such tea made, never learn to brew them properly, never even tasted enough of such teas to make their own judgment. What backs up such judgment???? Some speculated reasons without proof? SHOW ME PROOF! That's all I am asking, not some made up "this is what I think" out of thin air because you have drank lotsa tea for a long time. Hearing something, searching online does not give you accurate information compare to historical documentations and real practice by the local professionals. See it with your own eyes can only be the truth. Until then, we should all be modest and learn from good source before we say something. Then again, the pity part is good sources are hard to find.

There are plenty of documents on historical single tree process practice off line. If you want to go further, go to Chao Zhou city hall, you'll find a "CHAO ZHOU ZHI" documenting all varietals and history up today since Qing Dynasty. While you are there, go up to the mountain and see it for yourself. I am not telling you what I say is right, I am telling you to find the truth yourself in reality (not from cyberland), at least proof me wrong with real evidence. I am sick and tired of such meaningless speculation, quoting misinformation from the internet back and forth time after time with the same bs from the same sources.

Here is my proposal, take your phoenix oolong teas to Tea Habitat, I'll match you with a tea, if you can proof my tea isn't high mountain single tree processed, I'll send you home with a pound of my single bush oolong. I can show you the difference between single processed old bush teas and commercial mass produced dan cong oolong teas while you are here. People can lie, but teas don't.

This is why we have to learn to identify good teas and not fooled by sellers or whoever tells you BS. As Xun Zi (author of The Art of War 3000 years ago) said, arm yourself with knowledge, know your own army (tea in this case), know your enemy (tea sellers/bloggers in this case), you win half the battle already.

It's unfortunate that some sellers do tell lies to make a sale, or simply don't know enough and had to make up stories. However, my question is does an iphone user know how the iphone is made? Using the device daily since day one, mastering all the buttons and functions does not make you an engineer that knows how to design and put together an iphone. Does a long time tea drinker know everything about how tea is made from every region??? I don't even think Yao Guo Qun would claim that. I have vented enough.


LACheesemonger said...

Still ranting on this topic I see :p jet lag + too much tea got you feisty again?

Here's a thought, mentioned b4, organize a TH tour to the area, pre-pay for an entire bush's production for the group or pre-sell a single bush on your site b4 the trip. Video record the harvesting, early processing. Post up the video on your site. End of story.

You standing next to a tree doesn't prove anything, btw.

That old tree has what weight in dried tea?

How much is plucked per season, how many times per season?

I don't know anything about tea production in that area, various varietals/clones and how much can be taken from the tree without damaging it's health?

1/10th of what you see or 1/2 or all of the leaves (and of course, not all of the tea leaf material is selected for making tea, correct?).

Marlena said...

Good for you!

Soïwatter said...

Hi there,

I understand that it is annoying to see people put a question mark over its competence, honesty and writings.

Your proposition is interesting, as you put your own goods in the balance, even if I'm sure you risk nothing... it's a sign of honesty! But there will always be detractors. Whatever you will do, even with a TH tour... The fools!

Indeed, Dan Cong story may seem like a "Chinese fairy tale" for some, a Hóng Lóu Mèng: centenary trees, single tree harvests, single (or few) yearly harvest...
And there are so many crooked seller, even in well-established shops...

But at the end, all this worth nothing. The only question if whether the tea worth its price. If you are a better man after drinking it, wiser or happier, you haven't wasted your money.

Many of top quality teas doesn't come from single bushes, say yan cha, gao shan cha, Guan Yin Wang... Care and skills of teamakers is also important.

Dan Cong story only enhance the magic of the teas... But there is in the best true Dan Cong I've drunk something of unity and purety, saying there's something behind...

At the end, don't bother with them.
The quality is your best visit card: the quality of your writings that I like very much, proof of your wisdom, and the quality of your teas that I'd like to discover one day, maybe in a close future...

And I had very good feed backs from friends which have ordered tea from you.

Bret said...

Interesting! I had just recently touched on this subject on my blog. And mentioned that I had read online where you and Roy were going at it over this same subject. I admit that at first I was skeptical about the idea that One tree could make enough tea to make it worth processing but have also seen on Seven Cups site a video where Zhuping mentions the same thing. That some trees are individually picked and processed and offered as a single tree tea. To me it doesnt really matter very much, good tea is good tea no matter how it came about.

Soïwatter said...

Brett, I don't totally agree with you.

Indeed the quality of the tea is one of the most important thing.

But with single bush Dan Cong (pleonasm!), there is something unique with the leaves you are steeping, like a soul, that you don't find with commercial Feng Huang Oolongs, even high quality ones. The history of the leaves shall have something to do with that (linked with the care of the farmer for the plant and the transformation).

And finally, there are another well known single bush oolong, and nobody would dare disagreeing with its authenticity: the real Da hong Pao, less than two pounds collected per years on the three remaining trees, and reserved for the Chinese government.

Bret said...

Hi Soiwatter, Yeah, I am aware of the Da Hong Po Oolong and it,s history. But the tea gathered from those three original bushes you will never see for sale anywhere, let alone from an online tea vendor. I,m not sure what there is in my comment that you dissagree with, I did not say that these Dan Congs "are not" individually processed. What I meant was that when I first thought about the idea of this single tree tea as a concept, I was skeptical. But here and there I have found further info out there that supports the fact that there are indeed single tea tree Dan Congs out there. I can not prove one way or the other, nobody can except the people who pick and prcess the tea. So the end conclusion for me is that in the long run it doesnt really matter, good tea is good tea.

Soïwatter said...

Hi Brett,

Sorry not having been so clear. Sometimes my english may be confused.

What I wanted to say is that tea leaves history matters (somehow), as a part of the state of mind during the tea time. And there is something special with Dan Cong vs. commercial Feng Huang Oolongs, more than farmer care...

I've read your article: interesting description.

Bret said...

Soiwatter, We are on the same side of the fence. I agree with you.

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