A deep and abiding love of Oriental Beauty

A deep and abiding love of Oriental Beauty

 

  • DaYuLing oolong tea is one of the rarest and most sought after teas.  Grown at elevations higher than 2,000 meters above sea level, DaYuLing tea is exceptionally aromatic and sweet.  Our offering is no exception. We’ve found that the aftertaste lingers as long as two minutes, and that each batch of leaves holds flavor up to six steeps.

    DaYuLing Spring 2020 was crafted as a low oxidization oolong.  There are exceptions to every rule of course, but this indicates that our teamaster had enough faith in the quality and complexity of raw leaf to let it be for the most part. DaYuLing 2020 has a heavy body from start to finish.  The middle notes have a hint of orange blossom floral notes.  The finish leaves a slight tingling in the mouth, something akin to mintiness but without the dry, herbal aftertaste of real mint.

    Every order of DaYuLing is triple checked for quality and consistency, and ships in a quick-seal canister to maximize shelf life.  This is because our DaYuLing is simply our finest green oolong offered, and the pride of our company. We love this tea and are confident that you will too!

    Steeping Instructions:

    Prepare 3 grams of tea leaf (slightly less than a teaspoon) per 100ml of water(about half a cup).

    For the first two steeps, 90°c water for no longer than 60 seconds will provide plenty of flavor.  From the third steep onward it is fine to add up to thirty additional seconds per steep. This should provide between four and six re-steeps depending on the quality of the tea.  For larger vessels (teapots of over 500ml) re-steep potential is usually lower.




  • The Nonpareil Taiwan DaYuLing High Mountain Cha Wang Oolong Tea is grown in Dayuling tea area at the altitude above 2500 meters, in which the climate is cold and forests grow well. This cold and moisture condition is suitable for tea trees’ growth.

Thoughts on first saying hello to this tea for the first time:

tightly rolled

verdant

fresh and crisp

unfurls beautifully

taste low acidity, floral high, light and brisk, energizing for sure!

sample size 5 grams, heated water to 190f

normal sized gaiwan, used. full of flavor at second steep.

steep time, minimal, under 30 seconds.



I interview myself.

 Q: What’s hard for you?

A. Math is hard. Reading a map. Following orders. Carpentry. Electronics. Plumbing. Remembering things correctly. Straight lines. Sheet rock. Finding a safety pin. Patience with others. Ordering in Chinese. Instructions from Ikea.

Q: What do you want on your gravestone?

A: “Pardon me for not getting up.”

Q: What do you wonder about?

1. Is there a plug in the bottom of the ocean? 2. How does it feel to be a tree by a freeway? 3. Sometimes a violin sounds like a Siamese cat; the first violin strings were made from cat gut- any connection? 4. When is the world going to rear up and scrape us off its back? 5. Is a diamond just a piece of coal with patience? 16. Did Ella Fitzgerald really break that wine glass with her voice? 

Q: What are some sounds you like?

1. Steady rain 

2. Children when school’s out 

3. Hungry crows 

4. Orchestra tuning up 

5. Ice melting 

6. Piano lessons coming from an open window 

7. Old cash registers/Ca Ching 

8. Tap dancers 

9. Fog horns 

10. A busy restaurant kitchen 

11. Elephants stampeding 

12. Bacon frying 

13. Marching bands 

14. Clarinet lessons 

15. Chinese arguments 

16. Pinball machines 

17. Tubas 

18.Musical Saw 

19. Pigeons 

20. Seagulls 

21. Owls 

22. Mockingbirds 

23. Doves 

(The world is making music all the time.)

Q: What’s scary to you?

1. A dead man in the backseat of my car with a fly crawling on his eyeball. 

2. Turbulence on any airline. 

3. Sirens and search lights combined. 

4. Gunfire at night in bad neighborhoods. 

5. Leftover fish from two nights before.

Thoughts on Vonnegut, writing and old sofas.

 Kurt Vonnegut once told us that there are two kinds of writers: those who write too much, and those who write too little. Between the two, he said, the former is the luckier category. Those who write too much must go through the painful process of sacrificing unessential words, sentences, and paragraphs over which they have labored. The advantage, however, is that enough material still remains even after the verbiage and wanderings are subtracted. Those who write too little must add to their compositions. That usually means writing additional material that has to fit into the already existing work. The rule of arithmetic for writers is that it is easier to subtract than to add. When I write, I often write too much. I get wordy, repeat the same ideas in different ways, and complicate my sentences with awkward construction. But it is difficult not to become attached to my own creations. The written word seems tangible, like a possession. There is satisfaction in ownership. Removing phrases is like taking my comfortable, living-room sofa and tossing it into the street. The process feels both heavy and empty. The result, however, is clarity and organization within the new spaces of the old form. Although I am not a prolific writer I nonetheless produce an abundance of ideas and constantly accumulate visions of things I might one day create on ‘paper’. I keep a ‘To Do File’, which always expands beyond the confines of a normal file. In paper form, I jot down ideas and notes in spiral notebooks. My definition of exhilaration is to fill a tattered notebook and start a fresh one. Some of the ideas in my notebooks will be fully developed, some saved for later, and some used piecemeal in other stories, poems, essays for which they had not been destined originally. My problem is with the ideas and notes, which I save for later development. For example, this morning I cleaned out a bookshelf and found a forgotten To Do list. It consisted of three, partially intact, spiral notebooks held together by rubber bands. I had to sift through the pages and decide if I could rekindle the inspiration to transform my notes into actual works, or if I should toss everything into the street with my living-room sofa. I courageously decided to pursue a new vista of creativity. I tossed everything. Next, I sorted my beloved computer files. There were 10 projects with titles and with starter research and ideas for characters. When would I find the time to write about 10 topics which had seemed important months ago, but which would require much more research and effort? Why had I never finished those essays? That was when I remembered Vonnegut’s wisdom: it is easier for a writer to subtract than to add. It would require tremendous exertion to complete the research and writing for 10 essays. I deleted everything. This is how I do things. Strangely, I felt a sense of calm when my To Do File became my new and invisible Trash File. The unfinished writing had become a burden, a self-imposed duty with no joy! The topics had gone stale in my mind and I could not bring them back to a workable condition. It would be more invigorating to discover new ideas and to write new essays from scratch. By doing less, I could do more. Sometimes the only way to move forward is to lighten the load.

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!