Kam, as it is attested by the welcome brainteaser of his web teashop, is a cheerful and meticulous person. The parcel sent by him from Hong Kong with not exactly two and half kilos of tea is covered, to all intents and purposes as a second protective layer, by a mosaic carpet carefully composed of seventy-five stamps of a total value of three hundred nine Hong Kong dollars equalling to some twenty-five euros. Fifty-one stamps of five dollars, twenty of two dollars and sixty cents, and he has even taken care to stick four pieces of fifty cents on the bottom of the parcel, to bind the carpet as it were.
However, the quality of the teas is no laughing matter for Kam. He personally travels about all the tea-districts of China for his ware, following the harvest calendar that he also publishes on his site, including detailed description on the quality of each harvest and on the best way of preparation of each tea, for example like this:
2007 is a hot year, weather-wise. We are getting 30C temperature even in Oct. So Kam wasn't expecting good Autumn tea at all. First batch of 2007 Autumn TGY came out around mid Oct. but Kam found it very unimpressive. Then came the 2nd harvest. Kam test drank, and jumped out of joy through the roof!
This Tie Guan Yin Oolong – that is, half-fermented – tea is one of the standard brands we have been ordering for years in large quantities from Kam. It has a definite, elegant taste with a fine shade of orchid – or, according to others, orange-peel. Another fix item is Jasmine tea. This does not belong to the favorites of tea’s fools, but whoever is fond of it (for example us, boldly confronting the taste terror of Gyuri) is warmly recommended to order it from Kam, because his one is a thousand times more fragrant than anything you can get in Europe. The third brand that we have tried now for the first time is Qi Men Red, the only red tea that figures in the list of the ten most famous Chinese teas. It has a wonderful taste, like fine warm milk, perhaps with a little bit of chocolate. It is very similar to that Caspian tea we have brought from Iran (and about which I will write later).
Our fourth favorite is Dragon Well Before Rain. This is an easy, nevertheless very fragrant green tea. It reminds me of the scent of tender corn cooked together with its fresh leaves that I liked so much in my childhood. We have not ordered of it now only because green tea is the better the more fresh it is, and the new harvest is almost here. And as in Kam’s shop the price of the tea also includes shipping, it means no extra cost if we do not order everything at the same time.
All the four kinds of tea – as it is minimally expected of any good tea – lasts at least three or four boiling, the Qi Men even more. Therefore these teas are in the reality much less expensive than any tea sold in Europe for an apparently lower price. Or even less expensive than the cheaper teas of Kam himself.
It is always a festive day when the yearly tea delivery arrives from Kam. In this year the feast is further enhanced by the fact that two days later a new parcel arrives from the web teashop of Mrs. Jing Lu in Guangzhou. This is the first time we order of her. We do not know yet how it would taste. We will report on it. The package is promising anyway.