28 November, 2009

House Blend

Here's something that you might like to try at home.

Many years ago, I remember reading (I think at the ever-excellent site of MarshalN) that the "Best Teahouse" in Hong Kong used to keep a tray for their left-over pu'er, into which all the loose leaves would fall from their braeking of bingcha, repackaging tea, etc.  Since then, I've been doing the same, and keeping my own left-overs in a big, green tea-tube.



Fear not - it hasn't had longjing in it for about five years


Every time I open a cake, there are some left-over leaves rattling around in the wrapper; every time I cut a cake, there are some left-over leaves in my cutting tray.  Every time I pack samples for teachums, there are some leaves left over.

You'd be surprised how quickly they accumulate...






The result is rather appealing.  It contains old tea, new tea, good tea, bad tea (thankfully, I'm not getting too much bad tea these days), from all mountains, from all factories.  It's a complex tapestry of characteristics that changes from session to session.  In the words of Forrest Gump, "you never know what you're gonna get." 

Somehow, the results are usually very enjoyable - a surprise, I know!

So, if you're receiving samples from me in future, don't be surprised if you see an innocuous package labelled "House Blend"...

8 comments:

Bret said...

Ive been doing the same for a long time now. It does seem to pile up very quickly, at some point I,ll have more "house blend" than any other. Mine seems to be comprised mostly of Xiaguan teas as the seem to leave the most rubble after breaking into a cake. I keep mine in an old wooden chawan box, smells delicious in there already. When the box fills up I empty it into a small paper bag and date it by year and throw it into the box and forget about it. In time, watch them turn out to be some of the more enjoyable teas in my collection.

小 約翰 said...

David, interesting, I just keep a dedicated tea-pot handy and drop in surplus Pu-erh. When I have sufficient, I brew a pot of: “Heinz 五十七”
Seasonal felicitations to all, john

sp1key said...

Adds a new edge to the meaning of 'House wine' "Thumbs up"

Jason said...

Dear Hobbes,

I have been doing the same for some time now, although excesses Oolongs, greens, and whites also go into mine.
It makes for an interesting session from time to time.

All the Best,
Jason

sjschen said...

Hmmm... never thought about doing this with the loose flakes. That being said, I do dry and mix the spent leaves I have in this manner for a pillow, though that probably doesn't count.

Edward said...

After reading you post, I started doing this. I have a nice Bizen style canister that was waiting for a use to come along. This is a great idea. I may post a picture of it on my blog soon, but it has been too overcast for photography for a long while.
Thanks,
Edward

Hobbes said...

Thanks for the comments - perhaps we can trade samples of House Blends in the future!


Toodlepip,

Hobbes

Jamus said...

I did this for a short while last year. Referred to it as Pu-pourri. ^__^ I've got so many unmarked and forgotten about samples, I may just have to toss them all into a jar and see what develops.

jamus~