Sunday, December 14, 2008

Simple Pleasures

I haven't had any tea today, so this afternoon I was itching for something hot and wet (that's what she said), and decided that I didn't want any sheng pu'er, or the two bricks of shu that I have. I have two tuochas of sheng that I haven't cracked open yet, and Lord knows what I'm waiting for, but I'll get around to opening them once I make a dent in Xiaguan Bao Yan. So pu'er was definitely ruled out, and I selected Teavana's lung ching in my unglazed yixing cup.

I keep expecting the taste of the tea to change. And it did. Whether it was the yixing absorbing some of the flavors or the tea getting old and stale, I didn't find the harsh vegetal taste that I'd noted before. The tea was by no means great, and I still feel I paid $10 too much for it, but it was drinkable. Certainly a nice change of pace from the pu'er.

Tonight when my tea-tooth was flaring up with a serious case of Immediaticus satisfactionus requiredum, I reached for my tin of Twining's Darjeeling Broken Orange Pekoe, and thought to myself, "When it comes down to it, I wouldn't mind drinking this everyday." With this tea I really think the yixing cup took off. With the cup swollen from broken tea leaves of a mottled green, black, and rust red, I was unable to get a bitter tea even though I didn't pay attention to steeping times. And though the tea wasn't fresh or complex, it was simple and satisfying.

Currently I've got clean water in my yixing teapot to get rid of the lingering clay smell and taste. It's tapered off since I first got it and began using it, but it's very noticeable in the later infusions, marring the delicate tastes of the sheng pu'er.

Tomorrow I'll try uploading some more of my tasting notes for sheng pu'ers since I've had time to sit and taste them, and since my bags of sheng are airing out, I think tomorrow will be a Chawang 2006 Yunnan Silver day.
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