Friday, February 22, 2013
The time that has passed hasn't been lost in vain. On the contrary, and this alone would be reason for celebration, I can feel with every cup I make the positive changes that have happened to my tea life during these 10 years.
That's why I chose to brew this raw puerh today. I want to taste this decade of improvement and refinement and express it with a meaningful Chaxi.
second version and first version?) This time the colour is more blue-green and the walls are quite thick. The glazing is very smooth and soft thanks to the mixing of some marble in his clay. David was able to push the firing up to 1320 degrees Celcius. The cups are very stable on their stand and more harmonious than the previous versions.
Using David Louveau's new teaware (see also the teaboat and jar below) is a way to express this decade of improvement. What is especially gratifying is to see that my tea education hasn't been a one way street, but that I could also pass my knowledge to other people (thanks to this blog) and see them improve.
first teapot (purchased before I started taking tea classes), but works so much better thanks to its top quality clay! There are some improvements that are not easily seen. They can be almost hidden, like the patterns on this old orange Japanese kimono belt. But these hidden improvements are often the most meaningful.
The beauty of the Cha Xi, the matching colors of wares and fabric, is what all can see. Here, I have also made progress (thanks also to a better camera!). But it's more what you can't see so directly that causes greatest pleasure: my calmer state of mind, that I better know how to pour water from the kettle in the teapot, the smooth and deep aftertaste of the tea...
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
De retour chez moi, j'en profite pour célébrer le Nouvel An du Serpent avec ce puerh cru de vieux arbres d'Yiwu de 1990. Aux grandes occasions, les grands crus ; pour les amoureux de thé, il en est de même. De plus, le vieux puerh cru est parfait pour revigorer l'organisme après de longues fêtes hivernales!
L'odeur m'est très familière. C'est celle de l'atelier de potier de David Louveau à la Borne. Je m'y croirais presque! Elle combine l'odeur des riches glaises cherchées dans la forêt et celle du feu de bois des cuissons passées. Etonnant comment un thé des montagnes du Yunnan me rappelle un atelier en France. En même temps, ce n'est pas un atelier comme les autres, car David Louveau utilise des méthodes traditionnelles héritées de la céramique asiatique. Et c'est un endroit que j'associe dans ma mémoire à d'excellents moments de découverte. Quelle joie de m'y trouver transporter en esprit par ces infusions!
La surface de la glaise zhuni n'est jamais vraiment lisse. Elle peut être fine (comme ici) ou plus épaisse, mais elle est toujours très dure. Elle n'absorbe pas les arômes, mais les restitue avec plus d'intensité que la porcelaine.
Thursday, February 07, 2013
The history of this relationship dates back to the Tang and Sung dynasties. Later, silver also became an important tea accessory in the West. This book gives life to this forgotten history with wonderful pictures.
Water boiled in a silver kettle is different than boiled in a tetsubin. Last week, in tea class, I experienced that High Mountain Hung Shui Oolong tastes better (clean and pure) with water from a silver kettle. The water from the tetsubin was adding too much complexity.
Silver opens new ways to experience tea. It brings out the wonderful fragrances of the leaves.
Friday, February 01, 2013
Ali Shan qingxin Oolong from April 5, 2012.
The latest comment on that article reminded me how good this tea is. I don't drink unroasted high mountain oolong so often in winter... Right now, my leaves are stored in this qinghua jar below. It's half empty, now, but it was almost full when I filled it this fall. The cover is just sitting loosely on it, but I haven't noticed any storage problems.
Michel François, the artist potter, who creates very well balanced and unique wares.