A deep and abiding love of Oriental Beauty

A deep and abiding love of Oriental Beauty

Revisiting the sweet, rainy pavement flavors of Liu Bao

It is time to try something totally new, and after discovering Camellia Sinensis Tea House the same day I learn about Liu Bao, I decide to take them up on a sweet and generous offer!

What I am told about Liu Bao teas helps me make the decision to try them next, and it is simply thus: It is a fermented loose black tea, and if I like Oolongs and am working on getting used to and opening up myself to Puerhs this is a natural progression of that interest.

That's good enough for me and so when asked to choose any three teas by one of the owners, Kevin, I choose three Liu Baos.

From the company's website I learn that Liu Boa are teas originating in Gaungxi and that this tea is said to illustrate the effect of time on the appearance of leaves and the flavor profile of the liquor. They tell me it is aged in bamboo baskets, and although it is post-fermented it cannot be called Puerh as that name is reserved for the teas that comes from Yunnan Province.The website describes the tea as you see below. I am off to try it for myself and will share my thoughts!

The lustrous black infusion contains warm mineral nuances of undergrowth and root vegetable (beet). Its silky smooth liquor is easily enjoyed offering subtle notes of pepper and dairy. The feeling of a forest walk in the autumn rain.

Four steeps in and I am not yet  ready to describe it, the leaves are waking up very slowly and only at the fifth steep am I beginning to taste  some subtle nuances coming through the earthy and soil-like taste just in the back of my throat.

Camphor? Eucalyptus?Menthol? Something that leaves my breath slightly cleaner than before the session began. There is a mild and steady earthiness, a taste of peat-moss, no bitterness and no stringency. It reminds me of a old trunk, cedar-lined that's been in an attic for a long time. Opening it up one feels the contents waiting to be unfurled, the dust shaken off, and for the ghosts to be allowed room to move their formless limbs. It tastes old and more than a wee bit haunting is what I am saying! An acquired taste undoubtedly and one I am not yet sure I will be given the gift of acquiring. Moving on to my next Liu Bao tomorrow, which will be quite a bit younger and perhaps a little more kind to my newbie senses which have a slight fear of decay and age. But that is about me, and turning fifty five years old, I recognize my 'own stuff'! Best in tea and teas yet to be...

Need to get out of your head? Drink some tea!

Fragrant Dong Ding.

A fantastic and visually fun tea to watch unfurl with a floral and sweet, crisp taste!

Floating Leaves Tea in Seattle's Fragrant Dong Ding is lightly oxidized and rolled in the style of high mountain oolong. It is grown with the Qingxin cultivar, and grown in the Dong Ding region of Nantou. 

Notes of flowers and young fruit in the flavor. Broth is light leaning towards medium bodied, very solid and feels like a high mountain oolong with just a touch less complexity. This is the value high mountain oolong. The price is good and the broth is very solid.

  • Harvest Location : Zhushan (near Dong Ding plateau), Nantou, Taiwan
  • Harvest Date : November, 2019
  • Cultivar : Qing Xin
  • Farming Method : Conventional

Let us speak of lovely things in time of plague. Tea and mental reconstruction of the spirit. AKA I'm back, tea-bitches.

I don't know where to start, its been so godamn long. Oh reader! Are you glad I am back? All thanks to Andrew Goodman, The Happy Tea-Man for his inspiration to start drinking again! I am SO tea-drunk on Moacha right now!
Also in the new beginning we shall discuss mental health, which seems a safe subject in this much saddened universe we now live in. Well, my angst after leaving California and moving to Kentucky 18 months ago did indeed effect my ability to enjoy tea, or much of anything really. I even considered going back to day-drinking, readers! And I am a mean red wine afternoon drinking fool so I couldn't do that.
But now I am back, thanks to getting some help. Hey, out there! Feel mentally like total shite? Get help. Online Zoom visits with a psychiatrist are doing wonders for me, and I have learned I've been on the wrong medication for many, and I mean MANY years. So, say hello to your still manic, but working-on-it Zen Buddha-Mom, back in the tea drinking saddle. Maybe I should drop the 'mom' and make myself just  Ol' Hani. I used to think I was the greatest mom in the land, my home a place of creative opportunities, things to touch and explore, a mellow vibe, a uniquely sweet and happy home. Now I have a teenager so I dont know what kind of home I have.
Disjointed? Frightening? Sometimes achingly sentimental for the easier past, and I don't mean Covid, but my child's childhood.
Learning to lean into the fifty plus age group is another challenge. What do I do NOW when I get squirrely, and don't have the ability to seduce postmen and gardeners and handymen who are supposed to be Jehovah's Witnesses (HA!) with my charm and deadly wit? Turns out that's the time to find a psychiatrist because getting squirrely sans sexual charm is dangerous play at best, and sophmorically embarrassing at its zenith. AND, the kicker? I never had "charm and deadly wit," I was just in a mania of delusion. No wonder I never got into any real trouble. Thank GOD.
Now that I am getting right with Jesus, and by 'Jesus' I mean anyone other than Jesus, I find I can sit on my meditation mat, measure the tea by the gram, watch the kettle get to the hopefully correct temperatures, smell the smells, breathe the air inside the gaiwan, and explore once again, the highly intense yet meditative time that is Gong Fu Cha!
Soon I will be sharing with you my first experiences with a Sheng that made me crazy, but the good kind of crazy. Made me play my theramin while listening to Stanley Turrentine. Theramin and TURRENTINE? Is she NUTS? 
Thank goodness for headphones or I am certain I would be forever evicted from my little family's affections.
More on that Moacha soon!

Reviews of meditation helpmates coming soon!

You asked, and I will be publishing a series of reviews next month! Deepening my practice for forty years and still going strong!