Thursday, March 14, 2013

When 1 tea isn't enough


Even a hardcore tea fan living in Taiwan like me doesn't have so many opportunities to brew tea in the hills of the Wenshan area. The weather is perfect: sunny, dry, and comfortably warm. So, after brewing a 2007 semi-wild Baozhong, I didn't want the pleasure to stop. 1 tea wasn't enough.

So, I changed the set-up of my Cha Xi a little bit to match a darker feeling for a tea with a darker, stronger roast.
That tea is my September 28th, 2012 'high roast' Hung Shui Oolong from Shan Lin Shi (1500 meters elevation). These leaves were roasted over charcoal fire with great skill, without burning the leaves.

The aromas from this still recent roasting are so powerful that it's best to use very few leaves in the pot. The bottom isn't filled completely, as you can see below.
A slow first pour and a long brew are the best way to start the session. The added benefit of this slow pour and brew is a very calm and peaceful mood.
What a joy! The spring water is boiling in the silver kettle over charcoal fire. It takes more time to boil than with gas, but this longer wait is just like waiting Christmas when you're a kid. This prelude adds significance and meaning to the tea. If something is too easy to achieve, it looses some of its appeal.
Brewed in the zhuni Shuiping, this Oolong releases its smooth, velvet aromas with depth and power.

The tea gives me a warm and powerful energy. It's a good fit with this still very fresh early spring morning.

Air, wood, earth, metal, water. The 5 elements truly combine in the most natural manner to give me this most pleasant and refined tea experience.

3 comments:

Fabien said...

Voilà un petit avant-goût de printemps...

Ces moments de thé en extérieur que tu partages avec nous me font toujours penser à ces très belles peintures chinoises où l'on voit des lettrés partager un thé en pleine nature, on y retrouve d'ailleurs les mêmes accessoires de thé.

Les époques changent, le plaisir des choses simples restent.

Merci Stéphane ;)

Stephane said...

Bonjour Fabien,

Merci pour cette belle comparaison. Le thé est en lui-même ce voyage vers la nature. C'était vrai pour les lettrés d'autrefois qui passaient leur journée à lire, calligraphier et penser à l'intérieur. En cela, ils sont les précurseurs des étudiants et tous les professionnels sédentaires devant leur ordinateur. Le simple fait de déguster un thé est une promenade (gustative) dans la nature.

Steve said...

A beautiful setting for tea!