Pu’er Tea Bubble Bursts
The New York Times has a funny (but ultimately sad) article about the bursting of the pu’er tea (보이차) bubble in China. Those of you who live in Korea are likely to have been told about this tea but an 아저씨 who probably told you how it gets rid of hangovers. Chinese friends have uniformly told me that pu’er tea is the diet drink of choice in China these days. I quite like its strong yet somehow mild, hay-like flavor and have some that a Chinese friend of mine brought over here for me. At 16,000 won a disk (a fermented block about the size of a small dish and as thick as a pack of cigarettes) the price is just right, but at the peak price of $150 a pound, which is just ridiculous, I’m pretty sure that the burgundy liquid would leave a bitter taste in my mouth (modern internet etiquette requires that I hang a lampshade on this bad pun in some way . . . zing!).
I love bubbles. There’s something so great about the way people talk up some dumb thing (real estate comes to mind, but I hear we are also in the middle of a luxury bag bubble, a sea salt bubble and a blog bubble, the last of which is least likely to make anyone poor that doesn’t otherwise have it coming) and make you feel like you can’t live without it, and then when the bubble bursts everyone shares a good laugh over how dumb they were. It was all in good fun. Except some people’s lives and hopes for their children’s future are ruined as a result.
It’s all in the game, as they say on the mix CD that my local Starbucks plays on Saturdays.
But actually this particular bubble is the best one, because the product in question is (a) something I can afford, (b) something I like, and (c) something that is probably worth a try. Not because of any hangover-relieving or fat-fighting properties. Regular readers of this blog should know that I pretty much discount all health claims morea elaborate than ‘it’s nutritious’. Nonetheless, when all those ruined Chinese farmers start to unload their pu’er tea, make sure and snap some up.