A deep and abiding love of Oriental Beauty

A deep and abiding love of Oriental Beauty

Qi Lai Shan, tea from a snowy mountain.

Located in a remote, pristine high elevation garden on the edge of a national forest Qi Lai Shan is close to Li Shan. Even in Taiwan, Qi Lai Shan is a still largely unknown growing region. This is because this area is relatively new to tea cultivation. Only locals who know where the best tea in Taiwan is know about Qi Lai Shan. This tea is grown at 2050m. The dry leaves have a clean fragrance of high mountains. The taste is pure and buttery with a long smooth aftertaste. This year it snowed in Qi Lai Shan during the winter, making this spring's tea "snow tea." Because of its rarity, snow tea is renowned for its excellence.
That is a bit of copy and paste for you from the website run by the honorable and lovely young man, Emilio who is a fabulous potter as well as a purveyor of some rare teas! The Jade Leaf. Tell him Hannah sent ya!

Time to feed the hippo.

I really like this guy. I mean, he is everything I ever wanted in a teapet; chunky in my hand, big black soulful eyes, a body I can run my finger over, and pour tea upon from his fat little head all the way down his hide. He and I shared a little Tie Guan Yin last night and really bonded so I wanted to accomplish a couple things this morning. One, get as high as I could to get myself up and moving after the election results and two, bless and welcome this chunky little bastid in the finest possible fashion. For these two objectives my choice was actually really easy. Yunnan Sourcing's Guan-Dong stored wild arbor raw 2005 Mengu Zheng Shan Daye.
I used seven grams in a Jian Shui gaiwan and with a Jian Shui sipping cup as well. Everything looks so swell together. Since I've written about this tea already I won't repeat myself but will direct you to the original post here, to read my notes on this amazing cake. I was literally moved to order soon after watching Denny and James discuss it on teadb.org and I bought two cakes, one to indulge in and one to store. Happy to share it with my new tea buddy while all the other teapets, especially the spoiled fat frogs look on from the window ledge. It is a bit pricey cake for me at $58 but well worth it for a 400 gram cake. Like camphor, chinese medicine shop weirdness and an intense head-buzz? Check it out.

From Mountain Tea out of California, a Silver Needle Puerh. I love it. He hates it. So what else is new?

( My inner vision of me forcing tea upon my less than enthusiastic spouse.)

I haven't revisited this tea in at least eight months until just a few minutes ago, was surprised, in fact, to find it in my Puerh closet. I think I may have been more surprised to see it now than I was back then when all things Puerh were new to me. So a loose leaf Pu was just another weird tea. Now that I have a closet full of Pu teas, both cakes and sample and bricks, shengs and shous, raw and cooked, so on and so forth...now this crispy loose leaf tea makes me really wonder. Also after first steep I am high as a kite kinda happy.
I brewed up 5 grams in a 160 ml celadon pot at 210f and the flash rinse yielded so much color and viscosity I had to drink it and it was good. The rinse. Was. GOOD.
The second steep I allowed the tea to sit for maybe 15 seconds and the ruby red color and thickness of the broth was amazing. So amazing I stopped after this first real steep, and made my husband try it. Yes, yes, he hates Pu and never says anything nice and this time was no different. But he's a half-crazed visigoth with no tongue for the stuff, and what he said was not surprising but almost poetic and certainly worth repeating. It is the sort of description that had I heard it would make me buy the tea. He said, "This is like a smoldering cigarette in an ashtray was put out with warm, flat RC Cola. And then at some point you dropped some Honey-Nut Cheerios in it and let it sit for awhile longer and then you put it through a strainer and made me drink it."
Yeah, it's that good.

I am on Mountain Tea's website now and see no sign of it so I cannot pass more information onto you at this point but rest assured, dear readers, I have emailed them already for an explanation because, really? What IS THIS? I love it, I didn't know what I had in my hot little newbie hands when I got it and now I do and I want MORE of the same please! At least and education on what I am drinking because this is amazing, dark as coffee, warm, earthy and lovely stuff right here.

My favorite Tie Guan Yin ever. Find me its match and win my best tea-pet!

I had my first Tie Guan Yin a little over a year ago, at the start of my tea journey. Loved it. Floral, light, gorgeous aroma, I was hooked. Since then I have had many other Tie Guan Yins created in many other ways but this one remains my favorite. So it is sad that today I say goodbye to the last of my Zheng Wei Tie Guan Yin from Teavivre. And, of course, it is gone now but I know I will find its match soon. Light, insanely floral, high mountain-grown, very lightly fermented.
I love Shan teas and this one was one of the best!
I pose a quest for myself and my friends. Try to steer me towards a Tie Guan Yin that closely matches this one as much as possible. Convince me to buy some and whoever suggests the perfect match will be gifted with my beloved Tea-pet, rabbit in tea leaf canoe!
To enter your  suggestion and to 'win' this buddy as my thank you, write to me directly at buddhamom@outlook.com