onjinone said

Do you ever want to know more about tea but can never find answers easily?

Curious if this is the case for more people because I’ve always found it harder to find in depth information about tea online, things beyond what are tea types, since there is so much untapped tea knowledge, on the internet at least. What are topics you always want to learn more about?

15 Replies
AJ said

I just collect a lot of tea books, personally. The problem with online sources is they’re not centralized; you have to know where to look, and trust it to be reliable (also a problem with books, since anyone can publish a book these days).

My current ‘Research Hells’ (subjects that have me in an endless loop of trying and failing to find an answer or being lead in a circle with no conclusion) includes:

-‘Phalap’ Singpho tea and its connection to Nepal if there is one (longish story)
-Geology of yixing clay; the exact area zisha is mined from (Lake Tai general area), the names of the geological formations the clay comes from, and any masters dissertations on the area geology and likely the sedimentational environment under which the clay/sand was laid down (in English is the tricky part)
-all information on camellia taliensis, including /actual photos of the plant/, its use in cultivation/yue guan bai, characteristic differences etc…

And a series of other things that are just “remember to google this at some point”.

AllanK said

I had heard some information about the mining of Yixing clay from an employee of Puerh Brooklyn. Which is that the mines in Yixing were closed in 1988 and any more recent Yixing have clay from other than Yixing. I cannot confirm this it true.

onjinone said

It is actually true that genuine yixing clay is much more rare, so a lot of teaware that’s advertised to be made of yixing isn’t always true. It is or contains other clay

Real yixing is very expensive

AJ said

@Allan I’ve heard a lot of the same; the majority of the clay comes from a massive stockpile held by the Number One Factory, as I understand it. That said, the other day I was able to hold a few pieces of what I was told were genuine yixing ore. Apparently it was common enough to pass off to friends. Lots of conflicting information.

I know there is talk that zhuni is completely extinct, though.

there are still a fair amount of that clay. Before 2006, clay was of better quality. But now it is getting worse, and many teapot craftsman are mediocre thus mediore works. Now the average price is around 1600RMB

and that area was not closed but limited amount of clay was allowed to be dug out. We have some stores.

lots of people store clay like people store puer tea.

Login or sign up to post a message.

onjinone said

The geology of yixing clay in English is especially hard. Have you looked through academic databases for the research?

AJ said

That’s where I do the majority of my readings; unfortunately without things like formation names, you don’t get very far.

Login or sign up to post a message.

I tend to head off in random directions with research. The latest one is almost not relevant to this subject due to being so far off center. I just typed what it was and deleted it; I’ll just mention it again here in another month once that set of posts is ready, and say something about a subject that actually makes sense instead.

I’ve researched tea types a good bit at the level of reviewing cultivar background. It seems simple, that what the vendor says is the tea type is the cultivar, and that wiki sites and such cover what those are. But not really, not in all cases. Sometimes a very standard name for a tea, what it is typically sold as, can be wrong, for example relating to TRES / TTES # 17 being sold as Ruan Zhi instead of Bai Lu. A rose by any other name would still smell as sweet, right? I see it as a case of overlapping interests, that even when knowing more background really wouldn’t change the tea experience it can still be interesting.

onjinone said

So you mean the variarions in name as one thing? That is definitely harder to navigate sometimes

Right, different names can be used to describe the same tea, and vendors don’t always get the names right. Information about cultivars and plant types (the same thing; a cultivar is just an intentionally controlled tea plant type) can also be confusing, not clearly described in lots of places. It’s bad enough that it takes a lot of experience to get a feel for the range of characteristics in different quality levels of one tea type but then it’s not always easy to know what you’re trying. People tend to say they try to only use “trusted vendors” that clearly describe products but how much information vendors pass on varies quite a bit. Some better vendors don’t add much background detail, and some do.

Login or sign up to post a message.

Totally agree with that.
I can’t find any information about different kinds of tea online.
And quite infiuenced by the factor of language.
Sometimes I will visits tea shop online to learn more information and refers to comments.

onjinone said

I feel your pain and think we all tend to resort to that. You mean just more about general tea types or specific facts about different teas?

Interested to know what type of information you are struggling to find.

May be readers of this post could list some more topics they would like to know more about.

Login or sign up to post a message.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.