The Zhu Rong has been a wonderful companion. It came to us almost by surprise. We had gone back and forth with Weiwei and Wang Yanxin about different Dian Hong samples, and then suddenly, 15 pounds of this arrived at our doorstep with our last shipment. We were so glad to have it.

The stock has been dwindling each day, now slightly less than a pound. At first I was not going to attempt reordering this one. Some things are best left to chance, and trying to reproduce the serendipity of happenstance is not always best. But people have loved this so thoroughly, and Geoffrey has been concernedly been asking me how we would replace this when it ran out. I gave in and talked with Weiwei about finding more.

When our last shipment came yesterday, I thought this would be a simple restock. Alas, it is not the case. There is no more of the current Zhu Rong. One pound, and then it’s done. But do not despair, an equally serendipitous treasure arrived in our shipment in the Zhu Rong’s place. It is another Dian Hong with more golden buds, but very similar savory spicy flavors. It is like a cross between the Zhu Rong and the Golden Fleece or Jin Jun Mei. I love it. The tea is so exciting to have.

On Friday August 24th, at 12 noon CST, the current Zhu Rong will be discontinued and replaced by the incredible new tea, which will be named in honor of the first edition Zhu Rong. There are 12 pounds total on this edition.

The drawback of working with such small scale farmers and businesses in China is how little the editions I can bring in are. They sell out so fast! The beautiful thing is being exposed to so many nuanced complexities from so many different angles. Here’s to all the wonderful things that tea can be, and to many more wonderful harvests.

Jim Marks

We in the West need to re-learn that the fruits of the earth are not a manufactured good which can be turned out indefinitely. This year’s lemons are not last year’s lemons. Tomatoes in June are good, tomatoes in December are scary.

I’ve actually begun to grow skeptical of tea that is sold under the same name for years on end and manages to taste basically the same for years on end.

While it is sad to say goodbye to the great tea we’ve known, let’s learn to live in hope of the great tea we’ve yet to meet!

David Duckler

Beautifully put Jim. Tea has certainly taught me this mentality. The best thing for me is how each harvest tends to really taste like the time it was picked. A summer tea seems to really capture the feeling of summer.

As for produce, it can be tough to go seasonal here in Minnesota, but it makes the corn all the sweeter as it is harvested (right now!) when you can’t have it in the winter.

Jim Marks

I nearly ended up in Minneapolis, myself, but Liz chose Rice over the big U so I ended up in Houston. But even here when we have genuine “in season” items 12 months of the year people still eat tomatoes in December and dark, leafy greens in June. I don’t get it.

Meanwhile, I am looking forward to trying the new dian hong! I’m whittling down the cabinet right now, so I should have “room” for new teas just in time.

Rellybob

I was about to put in an order last night that included some of this! But then the hubby caught me before I could click complete order. Sniff. He says I can order next week but by then you will probably be out. Sniff sniff

David Duckler

Aww, don’t worry Rellybob. The new Zhu Rong is a show stopper. I love it. Tasting notes of mine include: Spicy cayenne, roasted yams, velvet, cinnamon, caco, sunlight, molasses ginger snaps and fresh cream. PLenty to be excited about for sure.

Of course, you can always show him the open letter in defense of the tea budget that I wrote to answer just such opposition. My family thinks I am crazy with all the tea that I drink, but I just make the arguments put forth in the article: http://verdanttea.com/an-open-letter-in-defense-of-the-tea-budget/

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Comments

Jim Marks

We in the West need to re-learn that the fruits of the earth are not a manufactured good which can be turned out indefinitely. This year’s lemons are not last year’s lemons. Tomatoes in June are good, tomatoes in December are scary.

I’ve actually begun to grow skeptical of tea that is sold under the same name for years on end and manages to taste basically the same for years on end.

While it is sad to say goodbye to the great tea we’ve known, let’s learn to live in hope of the great tea we’ve yet to meet!

David Duckler

Beautifully put Jim. Tea has certainly taught me this mentality. The best thing for me is how each harvest tends to really taste like the time it was picked. A summer tea seems to really capture the feeling of summer.

As for produce, it can be tough to go seasonal here in Minnesota, but it makes the corn all the sweeter as it is harvested (right now!) when you can’t have it in the winter.

Jim Marks

I nearly ended up in Minneapolis, myself, but Liz chose Rice over the big U so I ended up in Houston. But even here when we have genuine “in season” items 12 months of the year people still eat tomatoes in December and dark, leafy greens in June. I don’t get it.

Meanwhile, I am looking forward to trying the new dian hong! I’m whittling down the cabinet right now, so I should have “room” for new teas just in time.

Rellybob

I was about to put in an order last night that included some of this! But then the hubby caught me before I could click complete order. Sniff. He says I can order next week but by then you will probably be out. Sniff sniff

David Duckler

Aww, don’t worry Rellybob. The new Zhu Rong is a show stopper. I love it. Tasting notes of mine include: Spicy cayenne, roasted yams, velvet, cinnamon, caco, sunlight, molasses ginger snaps and fresh cream. PLenty to be excited about for sure.

Of course, you can always show him the open letter in defense of the tea budget that I wrote to answer just such opposition. My family thinks I am crazy with all the tea that I drink, but I just make the arguments put forth in the article: http://verdanttea.com/an-open-letter-in-defense-of-the-tea-budget/

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Bio

I fell in love with tea while doing work on classical Chinese language in China. I loved it so much that I went back for a year to research tea instead! Over a year and several summers in China I have had the chance to train in gongfu tea ceremony, and test the limits of my palate in tasting competitions. I was privileged to spend large chunks of time with farmers on their tea gardens, and was exposed to some of the smallest and most honest operations out there. It only made sense to go into business and deepen my relationship with tea and the farmers who make it with such care and humility. Now I own a small, but unique tea business importing the best teas that my farmer friends in China have to offer. Some of these teas are from regions that have never exported before. All of them have a story.

I will review teas on Steepster, because I think this is an awesome site, and a great community, but I won’t give them a numerical rating, as I don’t want to skew the system. I am having a great time here, and look forward to meeting more tea folk.

Location

Minneapolis, MN

Website

http://www.verdanttea.com

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