The start of the autumn season means it's time to light the charcoal fire in the Nilu again and let its sweet scents mingle with the fragrances of the mountain. But before going any further, let me dedicate this article to Christopher. I had invited him to join this San Hsia fall Chaxi, but he didn't feel well that morning and had to cancel. His misfortune reminds me how fragile and fleeting tea, life, happiness can be. This is one more reason to cherish these moments when we have the chance of getting everything right: the location, the equipment, the tea and friends from distant places.
And that's why I'm writing a second post about this fall Chaxi with Pat, the Tea Institute alumni from Penn State and Samantha from Canada. After the Baozhong, we brewed the winter 2014 Da Yu Ling High mountain Oolong. We had to patiently wait for the water to come to a boil.
Here is Sam's first time with a silver kettle and zhuni teapot!
I instruct her to pour some water on the teapot on the full teapot in order to increase the temperature a notch and get even more flavors out of these excellent leaves.
I always feel there's something playful and almost naughty in pouring water on a teapot. It's literally a way to blow off some steam!
There's a range of emotions that happen during a tea preparation. Handling the energy of the boiling water from the kettle to the teapot. Calming down during the actual brewing. Focusing on the pouring in the cups with grace.
Being quiet and attentive as a guest helps the brewer pour more accurately.
Sam has nicely balanced the tea between the 3 cups.
The color and clarity of the brew are the first indicator of its success.
Then comes the scent coming from the cup.
And when it's good, the highest pleasure comes from sharing it.
Dayuling transports us to a cooler, windy place. Its freshness in the mouth is almost like mint. It coats the palate and creates a buzz, a fizz feeling like very small Champagne bubbles. This energy tickles, comes and goes like waves that are building and then disappear as they have reached the shores. The scents are very fine, fresh and evanescent. The mellow taste endures and resonates in the body for several minutes.
A special tea for a special occasion.
And with the Mid autumn Lunar Festival approaching, we're also enjoying some moon cakes between our tea tastings.
I live in Taiwan since 1996 and have been studying tea with Teaparker. He's a worldwide tea expert and author of over 30 tea books. The study of tea isn't just theoretical, but it's also rooted in daily practice. It's a path of continuous improvement. As my brewing technique improves I get access to better teas and better accessories. These things go hand in hand. My blog documents my learning since 2004. And I have set up an online tea boutique with my selection of top quality teas, accessories and tea culture.