Saturday, February 21, 2009

Tea In Thailand

Our trip back home to Thailand had little to do with tea. Thai oolong tea, however, is now being sold just about everywhere one looks. I have read several articles about this tea and how it is competing with the best from Taiwan and Fujian. The tea was planted about twenty years or so ago by members of the Fifth Kuomintang Army that moved out of Yunnan when the communists took over China in 1949. I remember visiting them at MaeSaLong a long, long time ago when the road to their mountain top hideout was first opened. I found the people to be less than friendly and the tea to be terrible. It was reported that these people were heavily into opium crops and the Thai army looked the other way. The King of Thailand did some crop swapping and encouraged them to plant tea. That tea is now coming on the market in a big way and some experts compare it favorably with oolong tea elsewhere.

I tried to get Sunee to buy some for me to taste but it was expensive, very expensive. I did talk my sister-in-law out of about 50 grams to try later on when I get the time.

In the meantime, I was forced to make do with Thai iced tea and Thai iced coffee. Wooo is me! Wooo is me! Who does not love Thai iced coffee and Thai iced tea. The coffee especially reminds me of Bryers Coffee Ice Cream back in the States. It was wonderful.
Tom came to visit so we took him to see some of the local temples. Lunch included some Thai ice tea and Thai ice coffee seen here

Unfortunately about a week after we got back to China, we got a call informing us that Sunee's brother-in-law had suddenly passed away. He was only a year or two older than me and this came as a complete shock. Sunee left to go back to Thailand almost immediately! Makes one realize how tenuous life really is.