Monday, July 13, 2020
2020 Tea Encounter Puerh Release: Mind(ful of) the Gap!
Tiago the owner and proprietor of Tea Encounter, residing in England, no doubt knows what the famous phrase means. “Mind the gap”. That being said, I think he also has a good understanding of certain gaps in the Western facing puerh market. Over the last few years he has done well in making easily accessible to us a mid-priced Yiwu option in Zheng Si Long brand. I feel that Tea Encounter has identified a gap in the Western puerh market for seemingly accurate single mountain Yiwu puerh that is of decent medium-high-to-higher quality in Zheng Si Long.
Then late last year he did it again! Last year Tiago launched his Tea Encounter brand puerh with four very nice offerings that seem to fill gaps in what other Western facing puerh vendors were not currently on offer. There is, “Mind the Gap” and then there is “Mindful of the Gap”! hahaha Tiago, sitting from this pad in England, know doubt understands them both well!
Last year I prognosticated the following regarding the 2020 direction of Tea Encounter brand puerh:
I think Tiago of Tea Encounter might be positioning the brand to focus more on the further Eastern Border of Yiwu and even the border tea beyond. Of course, it’s a complete guess but wouldn’t be surprised to see more from Gua Feng Zhai, Xiang Chun Lin, and even Laos, and other border teas in the years to come.
His response in the comments was that I was 95% accurate… hahahha.. But what was the 5%???
Then came the answer in his initial 2020 Tea Encounter puerh drop last month!
First thing that must be said is you really have to watch the quantities and calculate the price per gram on them. The 2019 Tea Encounter brand had 3 of the 4 offerings at standard cake size 357g and one 200g. This year the first 5 cakes released are either 200g or 250g cakes. An interesting thing that just might turn into a puerh trend is the pressing of 2020 Zhang Si Long into both 200g and 400g options. I think Tea urchin did this before too. Anyways, better get the calculator out people… hahahha
There is a 2020 Tea Encounter Gua Feng Zhai which is simply a new pressing of the 2019 Tea Encounter Gua Feng Zhai maocha which was aged a year in Kunming. They work out to the same price per gram. Tiago hoped to follow the success of their Gua Feng Zhai small bush/ young trees by offering another very famous area in small bush/young tree material by dropping this 2020 Tea Encounter Cha Wang Shu. Then they dropped another Bang dong with their release of this 2020 Tea Encounter Bangdong which is even a few cents cheaper per gram than their easy drinking 2019.
But to me their most exciting offerings are their two Guoyoulin (state protected forest) offerings. They dropped both a 2020 Tea Encounter Wan Gong Guoyoulin and a 2020 Tea Encounter Wa Long Guoyoulin. These should be two high level offerings that those who buy exclusively from Western puerh vendors would not have much exposure to.
And then of course there was also the release of the 2020 Zheng Si Long brand at the same time…
Oh look… a package has arrived at my door…