First, my apologies - this is going to be a very long blog post, as there are quite a few items, a bunch of photos, and I am rather talkative...
These items are of limited amount and not available in the store (or not yet). Most of them are not found else where in the country. The prices are made low for blog sale and do not reflect future store prices of the items.
Please contact me through email (admin at lifeinteacup doc com) for purchase. Feel free to pick up some free samples from our web store. For North American buyers, shipping can be combined for blog sale and any web store purchase.
Shipping is $4 flat for US and Canada, $10 for Europe.
Items will be shipped in 1 week but sooner if possible.
1. Hand-painted Tea Shirt. $22
These are hand painted with eco-friendly paint. Custom design for Life in Teacup. Please ignore the size tag on the tea shirt. I normally wear S to M size T shirt, but couldn't fit myself into the female size XL from China :-p There are two sizes (both bearing XL label though):
Smaller size: 15.5" from shoulder to shoulder, and this width can be stretched to above 21". Length is 23". This is similar to female T shirt size M or slightly smaller.
Larger size: 19.5" from shoulder to shoulder, and this width can be stretched to above 28". Length is 27.5". This size is similar to male T shirt size M .
Since these are hand painted, they require more carefulness in washing. Hand washing is preferred, or at least for the first time. Ideally the shirt shouldn't be soaked in water for more than 30 minutes. When washing it for the first time, it helps to use salt water for the first rinse. If using machine washing, gentle cycle is required and the shirt should be turned inside out.
The first order of these tea shirts are mainly for family and friends. So currently there are only 2 yellow ones and several white ones available. I would love to hear what people think of the design and whether hand-painted design is preferred to ink printed design.
Front: The line says "There is a world in the teapot."
Back: lotus flower.
Yellow color (small size only)
Hand sculpted ceramic teacup.
This is one of my recent favorite :-D
Height: 1.9"; Diameter: approximately 3.3"
It can hold about 50-70ml
Since it's hand sculpted, the shape is slightly irregular and ceramic color pattern variation exists from cup to cup.
3. Pair teacups of lotus flower and lotus seed pod. Thin porcelain. Made in Jing De Zhen. Hand-painted under the glaze. Since the patterns are hand-painted, small variation exists from cup to cup. $28 per pair. There are 3 pairs available.
Each pair has a cup with lotus flower and another up with lotus seed pods. These are my recent favorite :-D
Height: 1"; Diameter: 3"; each cup holds about 50-60ml.
Chinese traditional aesthetics put great value on theme variations that reflect natural patterns, especially seasonal transforms. In the old days, it was a fashion trend to make two gowns that were almost exactly the same, but one with flower buds of plum flower or lotus flower, and the other gown with the same plum tree or lotus stems but the flowers were at their blooming peak. The first gown was meant to be used for the morning and the second gown for the afternoon. I don't think I can ever afford this kind of things (or afford the time handling this kind of things). But I like the idea very much!
I also have a pair of hand painted shoes that reflect such fashion (the shoes are not for sale :-D) Now probably you can tell I love lotus flowers very much :-D
Porcelain gongfu teapot.
Height: 2.5"; Length: 4"; Width: 2.5"; Volume: about 120ml (4oz.).
It has a 7-hole strainer.
The teapot is made for Taiwan market. Due to the design of the spout, it takes about 20 sec. to pour all the water in it (when it's tea, it will take slightly shorter time). So it's probably suitable for Taiwan greener style oolong, green tea and/or red tea. The pouring time could be too long for Yan Cha, Dan Cong or puerh.
It's not artistically made, but very well made and handy. It can pass the block-the-hole-of-lid water test, which is quite outstanding for a porcelain teapot.
5. Porcelain tea jar. Hand painted plum flowers. There are 2.
Height: 2.5". Wdith: 2.5" at the widest.
Although it's not up to artistic level, I've found the painting on the jar quite lovely and unique. The jar is made for Taiwan market. It seems a market trend in Taiwan that the lid has filling material and foil to make the jar better sealed. So it can be used for green tea or greener style oolong.
6. Lapsang Souchong sample set, including 5 samples, 5g each. Purchase is limited to 1 for each buyer at this time. $5 each set. (They will be labeled as 6a - 6e.)
6a. Traditional smokey style - leaves were intentionally chopped. Plum sour and slightly smoky. Although it's a smokey style, it's not as smokey as lower grade Lapsang Souchong. If interested, please let me know and I will also include a sample of Grade II Lapsang Souchong (the one from web store) for your comparison. The Grade II is smokier, yet it's not the smokiest Lapsang Souchong compared with many others in the market. If there is no particular request, Grade II will not be included as it's not at the same grade level as other samples in this set.
6b. Superior Grade Lapsang Souchong (this is the same one from the web store) - relatively heavy flavor, slightly smoked, but doesn't taste very smokey.
6c. Lapsang Souchong - relatively heavy flavor, slightly smoked, but doesn't taste very smokey. It's a little hard for me to decide if I like 6b or 6c better.
6d. Lapsang Souchong - unsmoked, relatively light flavor.
6e. Lapsang Souchong - unsmoked, relatively light flavor. 6d and 6e are more similar to each other than to the rest of samples.
7. Tea samples. $1 each. These are for tasting purpose only. I will prepare 10 samples of each. Purchase is limited to 1 sample of each tea at this time.
(1) Jing Mei Tang 2007 Bao Zhuo shu puerh. 8g sample. Here is what it looks like from Jing Mei Tang official site. But ignore the price on the webpage. They put a high price tag on this tea just because they barely have any of this tea in stock.
(2) Jing Mei Tang 2007 Bao Zhuo Red Iron Cake sheng puerh. Made by Chang Tai. 8g sample. This tea was made to mimic Xia Guan style. It doesn't have the highest level of leaves, but focuses on untamed flavor, smokiness and powerful aftertaste. Worth mentioning is that although it's a 2007 tea, it uses significant amount of 2002 leaf materials. Purely dry storage and is already quite drinkable now.
Here is what it looks like from Jing Mei Tang official site. But ignore the price on the webpage. They put a high price tag on this tea just because they barely have any of this tea in stock.
(3) Yi Ru Chang Flowing Water 8g sample
It was discussed here
in the blog and here
I eventually got more of this tea and probably can't help getting even more soon :-D
(4) Old tree Tong Cheng Small Orchid green tea 8g sample. This is of the same cultivar but different version (from older trees) from the Tong Cheng Small Orchid in the web store.
Buyers are welcome to claim some free items:
(a) I've got some more samples of modern green style Tie Guan Yin. They are of various grades, but most range from decent to outstanding. I can't have too much modern green style oolong, so please take them away!
(b) Nan Jian Tu Lin 5g mini sheng, made in 2009, with leaf materials from 2005. If you have tried mini sheng before, probably 80% of the chance it's a bad memory. If that's the case, take this. The leaves are very choppy. But the taste is decent.
(c) Da Dian 5g mini sheng, made in 2009, with 2009 leaf materials. Decent leaves and decent taste. This tea completely changed my view on mini sheng.
(d) Wild oolong 2011. 2010 version was discussed here
in the blog. 2011 version is made from the same tea but with slightly different style.
Question and comments are all welcome! Learning about what you think is my best gain!