Exciting New Wu Yi Yan Cha

I returned to Beijing for another visit with my ailing friend Yang Wu. I feel like each visit with him may be the last. Mr. Yang somehow fights off every prediction from the doctors and continues to soldier on for another day, each and every day. Despite having lots of tumors inside him, he always receives me in good spirits. I stayed with him for three days, chit-chatting whenever he was able. As I prepared to leave for Hong Kong, Mr. Yang insisted on making dinner and, with a little help from his housekeeper, he did a fine job! We toasted each other for health and prosperity and talked about old times, recalling the time he insisted on traveling with me to Wu Yi Shan to "protect" me from the "tea vultures." His fondness for me keeps him from thinking about me as one of the "vultures!”

I brought out all the samples of Wu Yi oolongs that I collected in Fuzhou. My friend Mr. Wang drove all the way from Wu Yi Shan to deliver them because I didn’t have time on this trip to run up to see him. The list includes this year's Da Hong Pao, Bai Ji Guan, Yan Ru, Old Bush Shui Xian, and several others that I am not too keen about. I set up and cupped each one while Mr. Yang watched. He finally got tired and went to bed, but I kept going.

Although severe spring frost damaged Wu Yi Shan's tea (along with most of the spring 2010 tea crop from the East to the South), there are still good teas around if you look hard enough. This year's Bai Ji Guan will be up to our standard and the Yan Ru is simply amazing. The Da Hong Pao continues to impress and the Old Bush is delicious. After carefully cupping them several different ways, I called Mr. Wang with the final firing instructions and called it a day.

My body is telling me that moving towards home is probably a good idea now, however, I still have to go to Taiwan to attempt yet again to make frozen tea.