Sketch and Tea
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
2008 EoT "Bulang Ancient Tree"
Dry leaves smell old and leather something, a bit smoke. Very promising. After the rinse I smell the wet leaves and I get a very teaish aroma with a touch of mint. This I like! First brew. Very savoury tasty tea with a big body, clean yet a bit powdery texture. Malt, cocoa, camphor. Bottom of cup smells amazing. Smelling the empty bottom of the cup is a big part of my enjoyment of tea, and in the best cases I can sit with my nose in the cup a good 10 minutes, remembering old memories which the tea reminds me of. A really cool thing about puerh is its ability to evoke something familiar. Often when I make tea for my friends and let them smell the leaves in the pot they exclaim: "I know this smell! But from where? I feel that I should know..." But they seldom do.
The tea is getting more powerful with each brew and I can feel that bulang bitterness I've been about and I'm really enjoying it. This was my first time trying a bulang and I will be coming back for more.
Monday, October 28, 2013
2006 EoT "Da Xue Shan"
First sample of my first order on Essence of Tea. Wet leaves smells a bit anonymous. The first cups have a lovely texture and instantly numbs the tip of my tongue in that pleasant good-quality-pu kind of way. Tastes of biscuits and linseed. Very comforting and feels "sunny". In later brews it gets a lot deeper and more in the wood spectra. This is a new kind of puerh for me. Interesting.
Thursday, October 10, 2013
2011 "Mu Shu Cha"
Wet leaves are on the flowery side of puerh. Orchid aroma with a kind of clean and fresh quality to it. Straight-forward and open. The cake has been in my possession since last summer and has balanced out some, losing a bit of that immediate grassy greenness it had when I got it while leaving a clean solid orchid taste. This taste accompanied by a bit of sweetness stays in the mouth for quite some time. Tingling coolness and more sweetness as the session progresses. Some ku [pleasant bitterness] and astringency makes things interesting. Salivation promotion is above average. Bottom of my empty cup smells like fresh sweet nuts. Calming qi. Gentle and pleasant tea.
Monday, September 16, 2013
2013 "Wu Liang Ye Sheng"
Purple puerh from Wuliang mountain. I've only had purple tea from Yiwu before so it was interesting to try one from another region. It tastes and feels much like the ones from Yiwu with it's purple flavours of grapes and blue fruit/berries but with a Wuliang base instead of Yiwu. It is also a fair bit lighter in its body. In later brews I find something which reminds me of olive soap, but not in a bad way. It is very mild and easy to drink kind of tea. These purple teas lacks the pungent taste and bitterness that ordinary fresh sheng often have. It is not a bad tea, but maybe a bit too boring.
Friday, August 23, 2013
2009 "You Le Zhi Chun"
Another sample. Dry leaves is looking good. After the rinse I smell the wet leaves. Hmm, I feel that I know this smell. Though I'm not sure if I ever tried a Youle tea before. Maybe. Sipping the first sip my first thought is "YES!". There is a form of low herby/vegetal taste that seems to expand the mouth somehow which I really enjoy. Returning sweetness coats my mouth.
As I continue with the brews I get some fresh nuts/seeds together with a nice cooling effect. Later on, that herby taste slowly transforms to something more fruity. Lychee-like. I also find a sweet strawy taste that remind me of Yiwu tea. There is some good bitterness and a little astringency which I don't mind. A light sparkly feeling. Like a very light rain on a bright sunlit forest road.
Saturday, August 17, 2013
Introduction and first tea.
Welcome. This is where I will post notes about tea I drink. There will not be any photos of tea on this blog (probably), instead, each tea will be accompanied by a sketch I made while drinking the tea. The idea is simple. I want the sketch to somewhat represent the experience of drinking that tea. An addition to the notes. Because writing about tea is hard. And I don't have a fancy camera to take beautiful photos of tea :)
The first tea and sketch is a 2013 "Wa Long Village" Yiwu from Yunnan Sourcing. This is a sample that I got together with a whole bag of samples to taste over the summer. So far, this has been one of the best. The wet leaves are very pretty and have a complex and almost hypnotizing aroma. Buttery fruits and flowers, yiwu grass. The first cup is mild in taste but has a good body and is very "juicy". Honey, butter, hints of flowers and fruit. After the second steeping I'm having a hard time separating my nose from the gaiwan. I want to live among those leaves. Forever.
The taste is still mild but the mouth-feel and texture of this tea is like a intricate dance. Swirling and playing around in the mouth long after the last sip. As I'm sitting and enjoying the sweet aftertaste I start to notice some qi. Emptying my head of thoughts, putting me in a meditative state.
The more I drink the less I want to write and my notes starts to get a bit silly. Short sentences like:
"Mouth is tea."
"The tea looks magical in the sun."
The qi is really kicking my butt and it's hard to drink this tea fast. Each sip is like taking a big bite of some kind of unknown exotic fruit. The tea is really cooling and thick, has a good kuwei that transforms to something like sugarcane sweetness.
The session was like a journey. Each brew was a bit different than the one before. Varying between honey, fresh fruit, cooked fruit, sugarcane, grass and grains. Always tasty. Very powerful.
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