Thursday, June 16, 2022

18 years of blogging

Happy Anniversary to my blog! 18 years! It has reached adulthood! Who'd have thought that it would last for such a long time? I'm the first surprised and I wish to thank all of you who made this possible! This blog became much more than just my personal journey in the field of Chinese (and Taiwanese) tea culture under the guidance of my tea master, Teaparker. It became a place of exchange with Western and Asian tea friends. It became a source of reliable information. It inspired hundreds (thousands?) to explore the world of tea, create their own Chaxi, pay attention to quality. It also became a source of tea and tea ware, first via email and 6 years ago via the online boutique

The number of blog posts has diminished over the years, but that's because I'm also posting on FB, Instagram, Twitter, Telegram and even on YouTube! And I'm also busy selecting the teas, photographing the leaves, writing descriptions, packing and shipping all your orders from my home in New Taipei City. 

To celebrate this 18th anniversary with you, I have discounted 18 products by 18% on my boutique until the end of June! I will also upgrade your tea gift during this period. Right now you receive 25 gr of Wenshan Baozhong if you order exceeds 60 USD, 25 gr of Jinxuan Oolong if it exceeds 120 USD and 25 gr of Dong Pian Oolong from Shan Lin Xi over 200 USD. Until the end of June, I will either add or upgrade the tea gift. I'll do it case by case, depending on what teas or ware you've ordered.

I've also celebrated this milestone with this Chaxi today. It features one of my favorite Chabu, tea, teapot... The tea is a top 10 Dong Dong competition winner from spring 2003. This tea is also one of the reasons that motivated me to learn about Oolong in the first place. My wife's boss had gifted us this tea for the birth of our son in June 2003.
For me, it wasn't so obvious why this Oolong was in the top 10 in a competition involving approximately 5000 different teas! How do you tell one Hung Shui Oolong is better than an other? And how do you brew it in order to get all its value out of the leaves and into your cup? Such basic questions were on my mind in the early years. 

In recent years, when I wonder about a tea subject that I have encountered in the past, I often use the search function (located on the top left of the front page of the blog) to refresh my memory. I've turned 50 last year and I'm glad I wrote the blog, not just for you, but also for myself! Tea is such a vast field that it's difficult to remember everything!

With tea and this blog, I've travelled and met so many kind, creative, enthusiastic, sensitive people that it's really been frustrating to be cut from the rest of the world since the virus appeared. I've been at tea fairs in Belgium and in Sichuan. I've taught tea with Teaparker at Penn State. I've organized workshops in New Taipei City, in Alsace, in Prag, in NYC... The live classes I do weekly (in English, German and French!) on my Facebook page are my attempt to keep this link alive while waiting for the great reopening. Soon, I hope!
Look at the transparency and how shiny the brew of this aged Hung Shui Oolong. It's ridiculous how wonderful it tastes! So clean, so pure, so sweet, so soothing! And it does taste much better now than 18 years ago! When I started the blog, few people knew about the benefits of aging tea. Some knew about this property for puerh, but it wasn't known for Oolong. But if you read my blog, you were ahead of the curve!

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