Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A basic Pu'er 보이차

I feel like this is going to read like a WWII D-day briefing. It's been a rough day. "Sicily" teashop across from Pukyong National University is now a real-estate office. And the teahouse behind the Century building there actually does exist. (I thought I was going on outdated information). I'll do a review on Kyungsungdae's "나비춤"Nabichoom later.
Earlier this morning I noted the weather was warm, the sky was clear and I started the day with a fresh cake of Pu'er tea, one I had bought earlier in the week (shopping info. @thebottom of this post).
The cake was from the Haiwan Tea Factory in China. This one's number was 8878. Reading like a military serial number it actually contains very pertinent information. The 1st 2 numbers denote that  it was produced in the factory in 1988 using 7th grade tea leaves (hence the decent quality) and 8 showing that it came from the Haiwan Factory. (See the Wikipedia article for further details on factory numbers). I paid 30,000 won for it and as you will see it goes a long ways. You needn't all those tea pots and cups for this at home as this tea will work fine with any equipment you may have handy. Again, a fine start to the day, no sign even of choppy seas before storming the beach-head. And then....I prepared the tea.
The problem here was the tiny teapot. If you decide to get into any such things, do ensure that you don't get one with a sharp, upwardly pointing spout that upwardly exceeds the rim and lid. Suffice to say, tea was spilled. Next time I'm in Nampo I shall go to "GoMulDulE's Meeting" and test pour a few teapots scientific-like. (I'm a Lit.major. And if I was an engineer I'd most certainly get an F on teapot selection. Suffice, today was a lesson well learned and now taught to you dear reader. Thus it was from this point that I switched to my more reliable Korean style teapot pictured much farther below.                                                      
Here you can see that I broke off only a small portion, (about the size of 1 1/2 of a 500won piece) to use and as in the picture above you can see that at first steeping, it came out rather dark. It is recommended that you let it steep for 2 minutes. The picture above is what you get for 2minutes of steeping. After this I let it steep only for a short time. However now, later in the evening, I'm using the same leaves still but am letting it steep for a long long time (5min or so). The beauty of Pu'er tea is that you can get alot of mileage outta your leaves. Well worth the won indeed.
Pictured above you can see as evidence, the broken cake all set to store ziplocked away. Using only tiny chunks at a time, this tea'll last me for about 3-4 months at least. Now for shopping information. I bought this particular Pu'er in Nampodong below you can see Art Street with Kukje market on the left, the lighting
district on the right. I sometimes call this street stationery street with all the 문방구s along the way.

On the right side, the lighting district with all the lamp stores etc. The next street, running  paralell to art street is the one you want.

Here you can see it pictured below with its unique patterned street. Just go up this street walking away from the lighting district and towards the street with the busses but no subway. You'll pass a few umbrella stores etc. The tea shop is near the end of this street on your right. I'm afraid I don't have a picture of the store but I will when I do a review on it and another tour of Nampodong. They have all kinds of teas and chinese style cups there. I bought a teapot and cup set for 10,000 won there. Seriously, this place has the deals. Tis why its been in business for so long. Its also a place where I bought a 홓화차 or red flower tea. Turns out those little red flowers are the same kind the Egyptians used to color the cloth they wrapped their mummies in. But, I'm getting ahead of myself here. Till next time, stay steeped. MT.

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