When I’m buying cakes of tea I tend to gravitate towards certain price ranges and have a mental ceiling of how much I’m willing to spend on tea. It’s not really based off of anything well reasoned or rationalized and I’ll occasionally break it, but more of an innate psychological barrier. This $/g line ends up being a pretty modest $0.25/g-$0.30/g. Occasionally I’ll spend up but if I look back at the purchases I’ve made in the past few years, the vast majority fall in this range or lower. This to me, seems like natural behavior and I think most folks will have impulses on what they’re willing to spend, especially once they’ve had a couple years of drinking and buying. People’s own price tendencies and intuitions undoubtedly vary person to person. Many have yet to convert to the $/g school so these decisions may manifest itself in $/cake numbers as well. For some, this could be $30 cakes or $100 cakes. For those who think in $/g, this may be $0.50/g or $0.10/g.
If you follow what gets said about prices each year, you would end up with the impression that the average price of tea has gone up. But more specifically the price at the most sought after regions (say Lao Banzhang, Bingdao) have gone completely through the roof. A lot of this narrative is anecdotal. Tales of rich Chinese buying up all the top-end product from X area. Part of it can also be seen when someone in the Sinosphere posts the maocha prices per location. These lists come with all sorts of contextual caveats, but the trend seems real. I don’t see any red flags to really doubt this storyline, but I was curious if it’d show up by looking at some of the data of prices on production by western facing vendors.
Five more things I like & dislike.