Friday, November 30, 2012

1999 Fuhai Yiwu Yesheng

Sometimes you drink a tea with a tear in your eye, 
this is almost the case of my session today. 
The one traditional stored sheng that I really enjoyed a sample of, 
but when I finally went to order a cake, it had vanished.
This is the last little chunk of 99' Fuhai Yiwu I had tucked away in my cabinet airing out for about a year now. 
As I remember the initial sent and flavor it was a bit wet tasting, as it came from EOT.  But this was the one sample that I did really enjoy from them as after the initial steeps it became a very good tatsing tea with some complexity and good chi, and decent price, and so I wanted at least a cake.
The wetness has mostly subsided now, leaving a very enticing leather and spice aroma to the dry leaf.
The chunk is very dark and aging well.
After a quick rinse the leaf still emanates a slight humid sent but quite subsided.
The first infusions are actually very good now, bringing a full leathery, mushroom, and grain flavor, with a very spicy and lively mouthfeel. I sit in meditation, close my eyes and breath deep, collecting the chi and just letting go of the stress. 
As I open my eyes I feel renewed and calm, after only two infusions.
The infusions continue on, building a very serene sense of being. I am not sad that this was my last little chunk of this very good tea, I am quite happy as it is just what I needed at this precise moment, at least had the chance to enjoy it. 
It gave me a very good session today that was very needed.
I bow to you, good tea.

Here is another bonsai that I ahve been training for quite some time now.
It is a siberian elm, which is an air layer from a large branch from a big tree.
This one will be ready for show maybe this next year, and I have just the right pot for it now.
Sorry bad lighting on the pic.
Siberian Elm informal upright

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving day, I am very thankful for having a great family.
The day went well as we all gathered at my parents house for the big dinner.
My two brothers and I all made a small turkey each, a little turkey competition.
Mine turned out quite good,  I made it as I have been doing for the last few years in my fathers old wood burning heater out in his barn.  It was made with an orange-honey-butter sauce and a homemade stuffing. 
After the big meal when we returned home I washed it down with a few infusions of 
2010 Guafengzhai from PuerhShop.
It brews up a very nice strong tea, and settled the heavy meal well. This tea is one of my favorites, as it is very savory with just the right amount of bitterness and a bit smoky in the first brews. Better than many of the extra expensive new cakes from the same area.
Thanks to all of you for reading.
I will try to get back on the blog more often.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Just a Cup

As the fall season is well underway and winter approaches, my work gets very busy. as I work two seasonal jobs that overlap a few months. I am still drinking tea every day but with a much more everyday manner. Only getting a chance for Gungfucha on the weekends.
First thing in the morning is go turn on the kettle.
And before going out the door throw some sheng, either samples or moacha usually in the thermos mug, before I was using a glass infuser but two weeks ago it broke, fell out the door at a gas station. It did not shatter but the inside layer had multiple cracks. Oh well.
So back to the mug, I reinfuse the tea in the mug a few times during the day 
as I pretty much drink tea and  water all day. 
At the end of the day just a small chunk of sheng in a handmade large cup/bowl and reinfuse a few times.
It is a simple method but very relaxing, and I have been getting to use all my cups.
Every cup does give a different flavor.
handmade cup collection
favorite glazing

I have also been noticing that I have been prefering the younger shengs in these types of brewing methods.
The trick is to use a very small amount so you dont get an overly bitter brew.
Then on the weekends I go for the older teas and have been dipping into some dark roasted oolongs also.
I am still trying to make a small list of teas that I would maybe want for Christmas as my wife usually lets me pick my gift. So maybe I will pay for half to get something really good. 
Any recomendations, I am looking for some good over 10 year old blended sheng that is still available.

Friday, November 2, 2012

2011 Gu supervised Handmade Xi-Gui Tuo

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.