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.
This is an extremely overdue tea drinking report. It was conceived for two reasons. (1) I recently reconfigured my storage into a larger setup. (2) I have a yearly tradition of picking some teas out of deep storage to retry and note their progression (or lack thereof). The latter allows me to get a better feel for my storage and pick out anything going wrong with the teas. This year I picked eight teas from my own storage as well as a couple extras from tea friends, all of which have been stored for a significant chunk of their lifespan in Washington state.