Not Dead, Only Sleeping

August 3, 2013

Posted by happygaiwan

The title of this post is inspired by the inscription on a headstone in the local cemetery, said cemetery being one of the nicer places to walk in my fair city. The headstone simply reads, after the name and dates of birth and death, “Asleep”. Whether or not you believe in the Rapture, I imagine it would be mighty unpleasant to wake up from a nice rest inside a coffin under the dirt.

Why the weird, morbid anecdote? Because for all intents and purposes I think some of you probably thought I had passed on…no, not literally, just from TeaTrade! Or even Twitter, another social media universe I have been neglecting.

Like my previous absences, this one is due to a combination of factors:

1) Boredom with tea blogging: I’ve never felt confident as a tea blogger; my knowledge base is too narrow, my review skills are sub-par, and I just feel like I’ve run out of things to say about tea. I could turn my blog into more a of public diary, but then what would be the point of having it on TEATrade, a website about…tea?

2) My own personality: Let’s face it, I can be a pretty big ass sometimes. And while we all “love” @TheDevotea and his grouchy rants, I feel like TeaTrade doesn’t need two cantankerous weirdos, even if those weirdos are separated by about seven decades in age. So I’m going to work on softening my persona a little bit before coming back for good.

3) Other projects on the go: Simply put, I have less time than I used to. I have a job (not the pet store one, a new one) that requires a lot of attention, plus I’m preparing for a big move at the end of August to Prince Edward Island. So I’ve been getting things sorted out and trying to decide how much of my life (ie, material possessions…isn’t a consumer society great?) I can fit into two suitcases, planning flights, trying to find a job out there, etc. I’ve also been planning out creative endeavors. I’ve always wanted to practice an art, even if I’m not good at it, on the advice of the writer Kurt Vonnegut. I’ve been thinking of getting into papermaking, and, eventually, ceramics. It would be a great thrill to make my own teaware. That’s going to have to wait, though, but I’ll be sure to blog about it when I get started.

So that’s that. I’ve still be drinking tea, of course, though I only have time for extended sessions on weekends, so my input has mostly been limited to a workhorse Darjeeling on weekday mornings and Korean greens and balhyocha on weekends, the latter being exquisite, the former, enjoyable enough on the go (how’s THAT for a review?).

So I’ll be back, hopefully with more to say and show, in the near future. I’ll still be checking the site, to see what y’all have been up to and what teas you’ve been drinking and all that.


Still sleeping, still dreaming, awaking soon,



-Happy G

Posted by happygaiwan

Oh, hi there! Were you waiting for me to blog all this time? Heavens, I’ve been so busy, and when I’m not busy, I’m tired. All that hampers my blogging ability a bit. Do forgive me?

Anywho, here’s a tea I’ve had for awhile, and, sorry to say, you can’t buy it. It is the ever interesting Wild Orchid Fairy Twig from your friend and mine, Gingko

Here are some pic-a-tures for your gawking pleasure:

You look good, but a little hot water and…

There! Much better!



Worth waking up for


I believe I first had the WOFT (a good acronym!) two springs ago, and it’s stuck with me ever since. Something about its subtle and quiet character and underlined by a rugged toughness ( @gingkoseto says to use boiling water with this (green!) tea, and of course she is right) wormed its way into my brain and settled down to stay.

I’ve noticed in my past reviews that I did the usual tea-blogger thing where I tried to pick out different flavour notes. Over the last few months I’ve kind of realized that a) It doesn’t jive with how I myself experience/think about a tea when I’m drinking it, and b) I really that that sort of review style can get boring and/or out of hand, and lends itself to florid reviews that are unhelpful to anybody who feels intimidated by all “notes of elderberries” bushwa.

So here’s a simple rundown of how this tea feels to me. It’s vaguely fruity, fairly sweet and fresh, but the star of the show is the mouthfeel. This is a very juicy tea, something you can slurp on endlessly and not get that dry-mouth sensation that “tannic” drinks like coffee, wine, or other teas can bring. It’s like drinking what a watermelon feels like when you bite into it on a hot summer day (no, it doesn’t TASTE like watermelon, it FEELS like watermelon). It makes me salivate for the next infusion like not that many other teas do…heck, I’m salivating just looking at the above pictures. Guess what tea I’m looking forward to waking up and making tomorrow?



Thanks to Gingko for bringing this tea west (although technically it traveled east). I don’t think you can buy it anymore since it was a pre-order special, but maybe she still has some lying around that you can beg off her?



-Happy G


Brief Life Update!

May 3, 2013

Posted by happygaiwan


-Got a job! It’s in a pet store! It’s okay. It’s money.

-Got some tea from @gingkoseto ! It’s…well, wait for the review I’m gonna write!

-It’s looking unlikely that I’ll go to PEI in the fall. Maybe January. I dunno. Probably January?



Hope y’all are doing awesome!



-Happy G

Posted by happygaiwan


The above has doubt been going through your mind pretty much constantly (even while you sleep) for the past 4 weeks or so. All I can say is “Sorry, I haven’t had any tea things happen to blog about.”

And that still holds true. I will have ONE tea coming in from @gingkoseto at some point in the coming months (Wild Orchid Fairy Twig OH YEAH), and even that is a financial risk at a mere 20 bucks. Yeah, it’s dire straights here. I can’t pay for gas, my phone will bankrupt me before too long, I can’t do anything fun and MOST OF ALL I can’t buy any tea, to drink or to review. So all this stress is weighing down on my back and it’s starting to get to me. My formerly sunny disposition is now quite stormy. “Happy” Gaiwan, indeed.

I will admit to not looking that hard or being “too selective” with jobs. But I don’t want to flip burgers and flipping burgers doesn’t pay well enough to get me to where I want to be. I went to school, I want a job that reflects that. Even the crummy jobs I’ve applied to have turned me down. What can you do? It’s getting discouraging.

Some good news, though: I was accepted into the University of Prince Edward Island, possibly to go into radiography, which would be a boring but lucrative career choice. Neither of my parents felt this was good news, though, even though they told me to apply and to “go back to school while we can still pay for it.” Talk about mixed messages.

So I have that to look forward to, but the next weeks and months are going to arduous to say the least. I’m not the worst off person I know by far (one of my best friends is sitting around right now while his father dies of cancer) but man, waking up every day is a chore.

The thing about the future is that it is guessable but never knowable, said the noted philosopher Karl von Obvious. We know the sun will rise tomorrow. But on what kind of day will it shine?


-Happy G

What I’ve Been Drinkin’

February 28, 2013

Posted by happygaiwan

Following a short break from tea drinking for various reasons, I’m back into the game, sort of.

I don’t have anything new to review or talk about, but here’s what I’ve been drinking…


Huanghsan Maofeng from PeonyTS: Really good green (no duh!) tea that evolves over the infusions from titillatingly bitter in the first to juicy sweet in the fourth. A fine example of Maofeng.

Jun Chiyabari Himalayan Spring Evergreen: I’m getting down to my last little bit of this wonderful stuff. If anybody knows where I can score more from this year or last year, drop me a line. Please?

Tieguanyin from PeonyTS: Another good tea, sweet as all get out, and very long lived.

Jaksul Gamnong: Oh Korean green tea, I love you so. But…well, this one isn’t very good. It’s by Hankook, and I bought it from TeaTrekker. Normally TeaTrekker tea is pretty good, but this one is 30 bucks and is probably worth, in terms of quality, half that. It has good qualities, but the leaves are pretty broken up and thus the overall mouthfull is less full and more chalky and it just doesn’t last through as many infusions as I’d like and it’s not that sweet and yadda yadda blah blah, you get it. A big let down, really.


So that’s it, really. Check out PeonyTS run by Derek Chew; he knows what he’s doing and his prices are pretty fair. Tell ‘em Happy Gaiwan sent ya.


-Happy G