Old Cwyn jumped off the wagon briefly one day this week for a puerh quickie in Madison, Wisconsin at Macha Tea Company. I had to travel there to the sheriff’s department to serve my ex-husband, so I planned ahead and went off my aspirin therapy the day before. Macha Tea Company provided some incentive via their Instagram posting of new puerh orders in from Yunnan Sourcing. They also sell white2tea, so basically this lone Wisconsin tea house has the good stuff, tea drugs for the chronically theanine addicted like myself. Luckily, my sheriff’s visit went quickly so I could get over there and into my cups without much to-do, my car helped along by the school spring break week reducing the amount of traffic downtown.
Macha’s posting of a shipment of Yunnan Sourcing’s 2016 Red Monkey puerh cake was the goal at hand. This tea is a small 50g cake which sells for $4.50 at YS China website only, or at Macha Tea Company in Wisconsin. Click the blue link if you are having trouble navigating the new YS website. I know I had a moment of panic at the new, unhelpful side categories when I briefly couldn’t find the Yunnan Sourcing brand labels easily. Along with that we have lost all our past doom cart invoices on there, but I am certain with time passing I will have new ones and forget my old ones.
Macha is charging $11 for the 50g cake to recoup their
shipping costs and also a small premium toward the tea shop. As of this
writing, tea economics makes ordering this single cake from China too expensive
by itself, because of the shipping costs. On the other hand, if you plan a big
tea order already from Yunnan Sourcing, adding one or two of these cakes won’t
add much if anything to the shipping you already will pay for your order as a
whole. So, the opportunity to buy just
this one tea for $11 is actually a decent deal, since I can’t get it for that from China reasonably without buying anything else. Anthony confirmed that after posting an Instagram
photo, five cakes “flew” out of the shop over the weekend. So I arrived just in
time to score one, and enjoy some tea chat with him.
|2016 Red Monkey, photo by Yunnan Sourcing|
|Behind the bar at Macha Tea Company.|
Never expected to chat about my friend Allan who probably has the largest tea collection of anyone I know. He is now one famous tea character on tea social media from his efforts, which inspired some of the cartoons I have drawn for my blog here. We talked about how puerh tea draws some very smart people into the hobby. I sipped a session of an autumn 2014 Yunnan Sourcing tea, and I didn’t write down which tea it was because my real reason for stopping in was the Red Monkey cake. Anthony served me a gaiwan to try, and I drank both at once. Why not, right?
Red Monkey is a retail cake which tea shops can purchase from Yunnan Sourcing and re-label if they choose, but the wrapper is cute on its own. The tea is a combination of autumn and spring Lincang teas. I much prefer this tea over the other one I sampled, because the Red Monkey opens up quickly to one punchy and astringent brew. Autumn leaves tend to taste smooth and mellow, however the addition of spring tea adds serious aging potential. The tea leaves used are Bang Dong, Xiao Hu Sai and Da Xue Shan plantation material, and cleared testing for 191 pesticides, according to Yunnan Sourcing.
|Red Monkey brew.|
|Double fisted gaiwans, Red Monkey at bottom.|
“It tastes like white tea, doesn’t it?” he said.
“Well, a bit of barnyard, yes. Would make a good iced drink, maybe.”
Err…not for me. Tastes a bit like white tea with Splenda, a gold/orange brew that looks something like what you would get if you run water through an empty Mr. Coffee basket. Here is a tip for you. Don’t mix puerh with roasted coffee leaves, ever.
|Tilt. Tea drunk view from the floor.|
Macha Tea Company
823 E Johnson St, Madison. (Shenk’s Corners area)
Small batch baked goods, full dinner menu Friday p.m. and brunch Sundays.
Teas and accessories.
Online or phone orders accepted, will ship.