A deep and abiding love of Oriental Beauty

A deep and abiding love of Oriental Beauty

Floating Leaves 'Farmer's Choice Bao Zhong Spring 2016' Really ties the room together.

Oh, what a beautiful morning! Oh, what a beautiful day! I have a beautiful feeling, Bao Zhong is coming my way! Damn, man, tea so good it's got me singing songs from Oklahoma at 8 am in the morning.
Seriously though, leaving nasty old musicals behind and moving right into my Lebowski-groove, this amazing Bao Zhong from Spring 2016 really ties the whole room together. This dude will be abiding with this tea until at least noon, then I am going to move on to a new teacake recomended by James at www.teadb.org where I expect to get even higher. Who needs pot and White Russians, dudes? A little tea, a little improvisational musical theatre and I'm ready to start the week!

How a Tea-Side HTCH/0801 2006 Sheng brought out the goofy Jew in me and a little Salt-N-Pepa too.

Well, I pulled myself away from the after-wedding festivities long enough to write about this. How this small sample of Tea-Side from Thailand's Sheng HTHC 0801 2006 somehow turned into me giving my best tea-pet-buddy, Orson, the gift of a bride and then marrying them, with me presiding of course and instead of breaking a glass, I doused them liberally with tea, no kidding, see video below. What an adorable couple!
The tea itself did not lend itself to this foray into silliness, but rather I blame the bagel. The Costco//Einstein Brother's 'Everything' bagel I finished eating just as I was setting up for this session in my usual gong-ringing, focused and mindful way. Suddenly I belched a little caraway seed and was inspired to put on the late, great Irving Field's album, 'Bagels and Bongo's and thus changed the um, 'vibe' in the room. And that's where the goddamn magic happens, isn't it? when you change things up?
video


In any case and moving on this Sheng from Tea-Side is a mild and sweet delight and perfect for toasting( and drenching) the happy couple. This is a great Thai tea with strong qi. Tastes of 'raisins, tea-bark and spices' says the written description on their site and I totally agree on those flavor notes. The brews are immediately a lovely dark amber with a super nice clarity of the broth and a balanced and mild, yet long-lingering aftertaste.

Six grams in a small gaiwan at 210f, after four steeps took a break to write this up and now going to go push it, push it good. Uh Oh, I feel a change of music venue coming on.
And now back to the steeping party!



Let's talk about Pu.

No, not this Pooh.


And no, not this poo either.
Pu. Puerh.
It's a tea.
And not a pinkies-in-the-air-Earl-Grey-kind-of-tea, not a mix-it-with-milk-and-sugar-kind-of-tea, but a tea that if it had an equivalent would be mezcal maybe? If it's really good, heroin? (OK, maybe not heroin. I don't know from heroin,) but Pu, for me, can BE a 'heroine' by which I mean a goddess-like mythical feminine experience who lifts me up, gives me great pleasure, shows me a hint of the sublime and gets me high as a kite.
You know what? I don't feel like talking about it anymore.
It's like verbally dissecting great sex after you're done. It's a ridiculous exercise, (so is the sex) in self-indulgence. Let us just say that I become one with the universe for a few moments when a truly great Pu is sipped after being mindfully and ritually prepared in a meditative state, including, YES, including the use of my Tibetan bowls deep reverberating chime as I wait the ten or fifteen seconds for that steep to create the elixir.
Talking about it cheapens it somehow.
More soon on the actual Pu I had today that brought me to this point. For now, I'm just going to stop thinking, writing, talking and go chill and feel the residual tingles as the sweat cools my body and the tea-drunk buzz leaves me, head- pounding in search of an Advil. Hell, intense pleasures have a price to pay, right?
Here at least is a picture of the tea in question before I took my (sharp goddess-like ritual) tools to break the cake...
For your edification... find the tea that inspired this mini rant here.


Smacha 2016 Jing Mai Maocha.


This amazing, long stick-like tower of leaves is a Jing Mai Sheng, Moacha. As you probably know, Moacha is unpressed Pu Erh and so every leaf is intact. Jing Mai borders Myanmar on the south and west and is the home to several tea-making and tea-loving ethnic minorities. 
My big fat nose smelling the still dry leaves in the pre-warmed gaiwan.


Collectively, the ancient tea plantations of Jingmai Mountain in Yunnan form the largest cultivated tea plantation in the world. More than a million ancient tea trees, some more than a thousand years old, and most between ten and 30 feet tall, grow in the understory of the rain forest.  Jing Mai Mountain was part of the Yunnan trunk of the ancient Tea Horse Road, the legendary network of China-to-Tibet commercial routes. There were multiple pathways in the “road,” which gets its name from its primary use in the 11th century as a way for China to trade tea for Tibetan horses. At the time, the going rate (set by the Sichuan Tea and Horse Agency) was 130 pounds of tea for one horse.
(Borrowed liberally for Nat Geo)

For my first adventure with this tea I used five grams in my Jian Shui gaiwan at 200f, First two steeps were good but a little mouth-weak. Kicked up the water temp to 209f and ZOWIE. Awesome. Full back of throat Sheng flavor, no astringency, sweet and tight and with a strong Qi which is waking my ass UP!
(Remember that scene in 'American Beauty' after Kevin Spacey gets high with that kid with the amazing eyebrows? And later he goes to the kid to buy some weed and he asks the kid if the weed the kid is selling him is the weed they had smoked the previous night together? And the kid says, 'This is the only one I ever smoke.' Well, that's how I feel right now. Like if I had to choose one tea, ok, make that one SHENG, this would be IT.)
Damn. Who knew? 2016 Jing Mai Maocha from Smacha Tea. Not even on their website yet. Get some when you can. Keep an eye out, dudes!