Continually under construction.
I see that many new peoples are making their way to 'The Cafe' and have been asking questions about what to buy etc, so I put this very quick and easy buying guide for you. Everyone, please feel free to share information, this is the internet of course :P
In another thread, I hope to post a Puerh information thread, but that'll have to wait until I have a bit more time. (But in the meantime, here's a link http://www.jas-etea.com/pages/All-Ab...2derh-Tea.html )
Everything will be based out of Steve's job because he is our nearly official puerh supplier. Steve did group buys for B&B way back when and now he has been able to set up a website for everyone with cheap prices. When you order, make sure to tell him in a note or email that I sent you over there. Full disclosure: I get a 10% off coupon.
Generally, all you need is a teapot, cups, and some teas. But personally, I found a "fairness pitcher", a gram scale, and a tea kettle all NECESSARY .
Introduction Part II
Steve, just added a few starter kits to his site, it may be worth checking them out.
I would recommend getting a gaiwan versus a yixing for starters. The "White Elegrance" is very cheap and very functional. If you can afford to, go ahead and pick up two because you'll eventually drop it and break it and we wouldn't want to go a week without tea! haha
While that is my recommendation, here is a link to more gaiwan's http://www.jas-etea.com/categories/T...rt=bestselling (sorted by bestselling.) I don't have any experience with any of the other ones besdies the "White Elegance" but please, if you have a question post, and someone can answer it for you!
I'm not too sure about this area.
So here's a link to the bestselling cups on Steve's site. Pick a set you like :)
I use two main types: a ~125ml teacup that I uhh "borrowed" from dim sum restaurant I frequent as I have fond memories of using these size/style cups growing up and a glencarin class (yeah I know it's not tea related... lmao, but it works well!)
Not much to say, but to get this one. Steve throws in a strainer with it too.
As for the pitcher, I don't use the pitcher myself, then again, I pour straight from my 100ml gaiwan through a strainer into a 200ml cup all for myself. If I were to be having a tea party err session with someone else, I would use the 40 ml cups and would pour the tea from the gaiwan into the pitcher. The pitcher is used not only as a pouring device but as a distribution device. The soup on the top of the gaiwan is a bit weaker then the soup on the bottom. When you pour into the "fairness" pitcher, it kinda equalizes everything out.
Basic Tea Introduction:
Two main types, read the wiki article or the article I linked to earlier on this post.
Link to all raw sampler packs
Menghai Sampler Pack
This is a pretty goodstart that I know alot of people have gotten. It has 3 25g samples of classic Menghai recipes. A recipe could be thought of as a blend or a flavour even. This sample comes with the 2007/8 '8582', 2008 '7542' and the 2008 '7532'.
If you have a few more bucks, check out this sampler comes with 2 Xiaguan factory recipes also!
I'm not a huge fan of shu so someone else might be better suited to make a recommendation. But... go ahead and check out:
Also, the best seller list.
Lots of neato accessories here.
Tea Knives, you can either buy one, or use something similar laying around the house. NEED TO EXPAND ARTICLE
Good thread here on knives.
Gram Scale: I use one to measure how much tea I'm using :) I just grabbed a cheapo one off of Amazon. Make sure it can measure in at least 1/10th of a gram.
Good thread here about scales.
Tea Kettle: I use an electric tea kettle too boil water while I'm sitting at my desk all day so I can work and drink! My personal favorite is the sub ~$30 Aroma one that you can find on Amazon or at Target.
Good thread here on kettles.
Ambrose says I need one but uhh.... too broke right now :P http://www.jas-etea.com/products/Bam...-tea-cake.html Check it out though, you might find it useful.
I'll uhh... do this section eventually. I'll just throw a quick line.
PLEASE CONTRIBUTE AND ASK QUESTIONS! I KNOW I MISSED ALOT OF INFO!