I’d like to share my Yelp review for By the Pound I wrote back in 2011, when I knew very little about tea beyond my own experiences (actually, even before I began my transition so take it with a grain of salt). Also it was potentially posted at time when Yelp was still a place people visited?
Incredible, austere collection of teas from small remote privately owned Asian growers. Five out of seven of the teas I sampled (pretty much one out of every category) lie solidly in the great-to-magnificent category. There were two drawbacks I noticed to BTP: One, that they’re sold quite literally by the pound–most any tea will go bad before a person can drink a pound of it. Thus, one has to convert from pounds to ounces or grams as that’s how tea is generally sold. Unfortunately they do not have a scale that accommodates less than a quarter pound. In other words, it’s more than a little difficult to guess how much you’re spending until they ring it up. Two, tea bags are non-sealing plastic, though they do have twist ties that can be written on.
I have never yet been able to discern By the Pound’s tea sources, but the mystery is tantalizing nevertheless. I really wish to thank him for offering me the chance to sample some of the world’s finest and rarest teas, but since By the Pound doesn’t have a website and i don’t know his email, it’s a foregone conclusion that he doesn’t know this blog exists. ;p
Today I’m drinking his Bamboo Temple Yunnan. As with most Blacks from By the Pound, it’s tippy golden content is high, as is its quality. One whiff and I have the aroma of magnolia, and the sense of medium-high tip, possibly a 2nd flush or a Mao Feng pluck–warm and inviting. Bamboo Temple’s flavor is equally delightful, although it tastes nothing like bamboo. Mostly it tastes of slightly burnt french-bread dipped in olive oil. The texture is mouth-satisfying full-bodied Yunnan grit, fluffy and tingly.
- Aroma – 89
- Taste – 86
- Texture – 90
- Spunk – 91
- Price – 91
- Availability – 94
- Appearance – 92
Mean score – 90%! Easily worth $17/lb.