Wednesday, August 8, 2018
Tea Encounter, Mr. Zheng, and Zheng Si Long: Introducing New Western Puerh Vendor
Before you read any further watch this video if you haven’t already….
I find this video super interesting. It is simple enough. A local Yiwu man, Mr. Zheng, in search of the best tea in Yiwu to press in his modest home for his own private label, Zheng Si Long. There is a few things I find super interesting about this video.
One is how you can really sense that Mr. Zheng is actually searching for the best mao cha for the price. Many local people near and far come to him to sell their tea leaves. But he also does drop in visits of local residences in search of good tea to buy from nearby families. He is very straightforward and choosy about the raw material he is looking to purchase. This leaves me with the impression that his product has honesty, integrity, and is, through his own hard work, good puerh.
I think what proprietor, Tiago (aka Curigane), of Tea Encounter is offering to the Western puerh drinking audience is very unique. He is basing his business model/ brand of Tea Encounter on the man who is meticulously sourcing and pressing the material, Mr. Zheng. I don’t think I’ve seen this model for Western puerh vendors before and I find it unique.
I wonder to myself, Why we have never been told this narrative before by Western puerh vendors? A plausible answer: fear of competition. I think we sometimes forget about this as puerh drinkers. Rarely do vendors reveal the full personal identities of those who source their materials and press their cakes or the exact families who pick their tea. But here we have some of this direct connection to these people with the help of Tea Encounter.
In the end, despite magnificent story lines and marketing, it’s all about the tea. Over the next few months I hope to be reviewing these teas heavily here on this blog. Exploring Zheng Si Long for the first time and taking you along for the ride.
As a matter of discloser, almost the whole line of Tea Encounter was offered to me. It is actually a matter of coincidence, in that I had reached out to blogger Curigane to offer him some free samples of some puerh that he was curious about on my blog. Following a successful recipe of Western puerh vendors before him, Tiago has maintained a sustained tea blog presence over the last little while before opening shop online. As I reached out to send him some samples, he informed me that he had just weeks ago opened an online puerh outfit called Tea Encounter. As we do, I googled it and there is literally nothing written about Tea Encounter or Zheng Si Long puerh in English. It’s that new!
Please join me in our first encounter with Tea Encounter…