|A little Cake in my hand is worth.....|
When I opened the box from Mountain Tea last month and saw, among some exciting samples my first 'cake' of tea ever, I was almost rendered speechless. I wasn't ready to own a Puerh cake yet, but was enchanted by the idea of a cake of tea. And Oriental Beauty is my favorite tea by far. And now I discover I can have my Oriental Beauty, in a cake form? Perfect.
When Mountain Tea asked me which of their teas I might be interested in trying, I told them to choose for me, I didn't even look at their options. I want new experiences to be truly new, and not come with preconceived ideas I might get by reading descriptions or reviews. As long as I can make that happen, that is how I will choose to introduce my palate and brain to all these different teas. Such a rare opportunity at my age to experience new things so frequently, I am really cherishing it.
Speaking of 'cherishment', this Oriental Beauty is wonderful. It has fabulous colors, and even though I know my untrained hands are rending and ripping the compressed leaves of the cake, it is still trying its hardest to brew up pretty for me, and succeeding!
To me it is pure smooth cocoa.
At this point I am not picking up other flavors but it is exactly what I want it to be. My first brew was 4 grams in a 110ml gaiwan at 185f, I enjoyed four steeps before I realized it was 11pm and I was sabotaging any chance I had at a good nights sleep. I returned to it in the morning, but it had pooped-out overnight, so I started afresh. Again, chocolate cocoa perfection. Five steeps until I moved on to a different sort of tea, yes, Puerh.
Tonight I brewed fresh again, but hitting the leaves with water too hot at almost 200, it lost its subtle flavor so I turned it into a great iced tea with a little maple syrup and some almond milk. I am looking at purchasing at least six cakes of this even though I swore to myself I would make no more tea acquisitions for awhile. However I find I can't stop this horrible yet novel inner monologue from running through my head, and it's a new one, not some old tape and it says, "Oh, my god. What if they run out? What if I never get to have this again and I squandered this OB cake with all my ripping and experimenting?" I have loved a bunch of teas but so far this is the first time I have panicked a little even during the sipping session.
And that is not being in the NOW, is it? The NOW is just sipping the tea, enjoying the tea, (or not enjoying the tea, depending on the tea,) but in either case, being ONE with the experience. It is not about inner monologues and fears of deprivation and loss of opportunity! Jeez! So I had to decide; either never drink this tea again for it has the potential to create unhealthy cravings and desires or forget my small oath and buy some CAKE! Guess which way I went? Down the Middle Path as always. Two cakes, not six. And now I can steep my cake and eat it too, without worry.