Monday, November 10, 2008

A Purr-fect cup of tea

As the days have become shorter, and the air ,frost filled I have taken more time in the making of a cup of tea. Learning to stay focused in the moment, appreciating the sound the kettle makes, listening for the boiling point, watching the leaves unfurl in the gaiwan, noting the differences in the fragrances, these have all brought me to a new level of awareness. I am always so surprised and yet know I should not be , at how much I have learned about myself, my surroundings and others, by paying attention to the making of a pot of tea.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

.99 cent tea pots from E-bay 3rd arrival

Beautiful celadron tea pot and 4 cups, These really hold the heat, compared to some of those thin gaiwans that I have been using. Nice set, How can a person go wrong for less than a buck and under 8 bucks for shipping. I hope to get a lot of use out of these.

.99 cent tea pots from E-bay 2nd arrival

Another beautiful set, Pot has a wire strainer inside . I will probably use this for some of those yellow teas, delicate cup ,delicate taste ?

.99 cent tea pots from E-bay 1st arrival

This little beauty came from Australia for .99 cents and under 5 bucks shipping. A couple of weeks ago I bid on a number of tea wares on e-bay . I won a number of them and am posting as they arrive.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Trouble in the Henhouse (Bai Ji Guan) 2008

This tea has now been sitting on my shelf for 48 hours and it is time to give it a try. I have purchased Bai Ji Guan from three different sources and am hoping to do a comparison between all three. This one if from Tea Dragon, the other two are from Aaron and from Seven Cups.

Dry Leaf Appearance Lighter than most of the wuyi teas that I have tasted, the fragrance faintly sweet and a slight bit floral
Wet Leaf Appearance Nice golden toasted edges, beautiful full leaves, medium size in nature with good veining showing in the leaves. Warm summer rain almost mossy fragrance.

Leaf Weight and Vessels 3 grams and brewed in a 125ml porcelain gaiwan

Brewing Parameters Water was brought to a boil, two nice long deep breaths and water poured over upturned lid, not directly on leaves, fast rinse, 15s 15s, 20s, 30s, 40s, 1min, 2min.

Aroma Warm honey, slightly nutty like toasted almonds, with a bit of a woodsy foundation. I find that there is a commonality of base fragrances in all of the wuyi teas, ever so slight was this foundation fragrance there.

Liquor Light faded lemon, clear

Progressions As each steeping took place I was surprised how similar and consistent they remained. The last infusion left for 2 minutes, and allowed to get cold, was very consistent with all of the previous infusions. Not fulfilling enough to become an iced tea, but very drinkable cold

Taste The taste through each of the infusions was soft a bit sweet and very well rounded. I kept thinking that there should be more of a complex taste or a greater progression of flavors, neither of these things happened. Kind of like eating ice cream in the rain, It was good, but there seemed to be something missing or I was not able to get the full effect. There seemed to be a wavering of fruit flavors in the background, but I was not sure I was tasting this or was just hopeful, Whatever it was it was very fleeting.
Huigan radiates a soft sweetness that remains for some time
Yunxiang a bit of the woodsy underlying wuyi taste
qi not very evident for me
Conclusions I am glad that I purchased this white cockscomb , and look forward to comparing the other two. I think that maybe left to age a bit, it could become more fulfilling, and complex, I would like to try some aged, and at least some different years. I have read so much about this tea, and found it enjoyable but simple. Possibly my expectations were a little ambitious for this tea.


What, more restrictions in our municipality !

Saturday, October 25, 2008

That First Cup of Tea

Not to long ago I met my lawyer on the street, He has taken classes from me in the past and I have know him for a couple of decades. After speaking with him for a several minutes on several subjects I broached the question to him, Pardon me but I am lost to who you are should I know you? Yes was his emphatic reply we have been friends for years and I'm your lawyer!

I do not remember faces, and continue to have to apologize for this but a taste I will never forget. In this blog I hope to record systematically the teas I have encountered. To record where I have purchased them, the parameters that I used to brew them , and the results that I obtained. I believe this will help me sort out how to come to better replicate these experiences or in some cases how to avoid certain pitfalls.

Walking home from school one fall day at the age of 4 I was chased by a dog, Fearing for my life I ran into the first household that I could get to. A middle aged First Nations lady answered the door and listening to my story had an immediate recommendation for me. I was to come in have a cookie, she would make me a cup of tea and then she would walk me home. Tea was not an experience I had yet. Watching her put in some snooze like substance in a brown unwashed pot and pour hot water into it was a very foreign encounter. Soon she poured this cup of tea into a fancy teacup for me, and added a couple lumps of sugar, I remember stirring them up with some of this substance now in the bottom of my cup. I had never had anything like this before. The feeling it left me .....from warming me up from the centre of my body and finding its way to my extremities was like being plugged into high voltage.

I remember her reading my fortunate from the tea leaves left in the pot and her walking me home, meeting my mother, and them becoming life long friends. Although I do not remember what my fortune was I remember this tea, I think of the many afternoons spent there having cup after cup of this nectar, as I went through grade school.

She has passed away some years ago, but it was with delight I met here daughter on my travels. In asking how it was that her mom made such a good cup of tea, her reply was simple, "she put a lot of love into it" that and the fact that "she had her tea mailed to her from all over the world and she blended it herself to her taste" The attention to detail. May I be so lucky that
someone will remember me for a good spot of tea.