So I had bought this 250gram Xi- Gui Tuo from Ebay a few months back.
It is actually a compressed ball of raw spring pick leaf, made on 4/8/2011. It reminds me of a softball and is quite nice looking. Looks to be made of small leaf and buds just judging by the compressed leaf.
Very enticing color also.
I almost didn't even want to break in to it, as it is so perfectly shaped, but my pick wont take pity on it. It breaks apart pretty easy with the pick as I pry some leaf from it.
It has a very mellow straw and fruit sent to it, just enough to be tempting. The liquor is quite clear with just a tinge of yellow. It is a very light smooth tea with very soft aroma and flavor. It has the straw and sweet sugar cane flavor, with a bit of bitterness and astringency. I push the infusions much longer than my usual timing but it stays very soft, just getting a little more bitter with the extra time.
It does last very well holding its sweet flavors but never opening up into something special. Has to be all plantation material as there is not really any chi feeling, and the mouthfeel is a bit drying. Very relaxing though. I think this would be a very good tea for maybe someone barely getting into sheng, as it is very smooth and sweet, and forgiving if infused long. Its another example of something that looks so very nice, but does not have the strength and character of the not so nice looking. So I will let it sit and look pretty for another year or two and try it again, maybe it will wake up in a few years.
And yet another bonsai.
This is a Norway Maple I dug up about 8 or 9 years ago from my parents house just before they moved.
It has more of a sentimental value to me as it was from the home where I grew up,
surrounded by very old norway maples.
This has been styled in the literati or bunjin style, evoking a feeling more than a real tree image.
It has very big leaves as you can see the last leaf to fall sitting on the pot. The pot was made by my friend Fred who also made a few of my tea cups.