All of the teas that we share in Global Tea Hut are partially or completely donated. Over the years, we have shared simple, clean teas that remind us to celebrate all the simple moments of our lives, as well as bright and transcendent examples of rare and unique teas that epitomize their genres. Due to the generosity of Chajin who understand our mission, we've been able to drink rare aged puerhs and uniquely crafted or roasted oolongs that were way beyond the budget of this project. But there will always be a much greater variety of tea than we could ever send you, both in kind and quality. Some teas are too rare to get in the amounts we would need to send with our magazine and others are just too expensive for our friends to donate, no matter how strongly they support our message. And yet, a large part of the motivation for including tea with this magazine is that the education in tea we are providing isn't just intellectual, but experiential. Drinking twelve unique teas together every year is more than half of what Global Tea Hut is about! And now, it will be about more.
Many of you have been emailing us over the years asking for a way to go deeper into the rarer genres we cover, how to get more of a particular Global Tea Hut tea and other questions concerning furthering your tea education by drinking more and different examples of the many kinds of tea we talk about in these magazines. The difficulty is that we aren't tea merchants, we are a tea school. And we don't have a lot of experience buying tea online, so we don't know where to send you. Also, in our commitment to stay ad-free and not endorse any one tea brand, merchant or shop, we prefer to abstain from recommending any given tea merchant, even if they are a friend or supporter of our Center. We have consequently been thinking of ways to expand your experience in tea in a clean and upright way that will help you to get to know various genres better. The Light Meets Life fundraisers we have done, creating very small batches of puerh and dian hong as well as a small amount of cool teaware, have not only raised a nice amount of money towards the construction of our future Center, but have also helped many of you taste unique teas you wouldn't have otherwise discovered. However, we wanted a way to grow your tea experience and wisdom that would be more topic-focused and allow those of you who rarely (if ever) visit Asia to feel more included in the subjects that we are discussing here by tasting a greater array of examples than just the one or two pots of tea we're sending you each month. Well, now we've come up with an idea worth trying.
Introducing the Global Tea Hut Expansion Packs. Every few months, we plan to offer a limited number of expansions to the topic we are covering in detail any given month. If this works, and you enjoy having these expansions, we may offer them three or maybe four times a year depending on time and availability. The idea is that when we can, we'll release a limited edition expansion to the topic covered in that month's magazine, affording you the chance to drink at least a couple more examples of the type of tea we are discussing. Often, these extras will be rarer and/or important to your journey exploring that kind of tea. This will be our first, trial run of this idea to see whether or not you enjoy it and feel that it really does improve your tea education, helping us explore and grow together month to month. If it does, we will do three or four such expansions next year as well.
Each expansion pack will be exclusively for Global Tea Hut members and only available by contacting us. We will keep the expansions transparent, letting you know our cost for the tea, shipping and how much we think is a fair minimum donation. As with all our work, you will be able to choose the amount you donate based on the cost of the tea and the minimum suggested donation, which will not be much more than what we have paid. The expansion packs will be limited, and distributed on a first-come-firstserve basis. If we find that demand for them is high, and that they are really helping you to explore different teas and learn more, then we will try to make more next time.
Liu Bao is a very rich genre of tea, with a lot for one to learn. One of the reasons we have included so many articles on the history of this magical tea is that Liu Bao is an aged tea, like puerh, so its history has much more bearing on the genre, since we often find ourselves drinking teas that were processed very differently than farmers do today. In other words, a trip to Liu Bao is not necessarily going to help you understand how the aged Liu Bao you are drinking was made. For that, you will have to research historical records, talk to old-timers and drink the different vintages yourself. Some of you who have been around here for a while will remember the other two Liu Bao teas we have sent out (a year 2000 Liu Bao and Old Grove, which was from 2008), but for some of you this will be your first exposure to Liu Bao (and maybe even black tea as a genre). For our first expansion pack, we wanted to offer you the opportunity to try two older, rarer vintages of Liu Bao, in the hopes that they would help you further understand the articles in this issue, as well as develop a greater appreciation for this wonderful genre of tea. So, here's this month's expansion pack:
These two teas are wonderful examples of vintage Liu Bao and amongst the best you can find without getting into the older and much more expensive baskets. They also will allow you to taste the changes in processing over time that we have discussed in these pages, since the piling methods changed in the 1980s. Both were stored in Malaysia until now.
Our cost for these two teas, including shipping to Taiwan and packaging, is just under $40. For this first experimental foray into offering expansion packs, we only produced fifty sets and we are going to ask for a suggested minimum donation of $50 plus shipping, which Shen thinks will be $15 or less to most places in the world. You can donate anything you want above that. All proceeds will support our free Center.
Register for yours by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
We will also have a page on our site with information on how many expansion packs are left and a discussion board so that those who do choose to participate can discuss what they have learned together.