Thursday, December 03, 2015

Advent, day #3: Jingua Gongcha, the darkest light

The Advent time leading to Christmas is also a celebration of light around the winter solstice, when days are shortest and nights longest. Every day, I open a door in my Advent calendar and brew a tea to enlighten me during this dark period.

Today, this tea is an aged cooked puerh! The darkest of black teas seems like a paradoxical choice to celebrate the light! Shu puerhs don't have a good reputation. Very often, they are synonym with cheap, tasteless tea with a terrible, dirty basement smell. And sometimes it's even worse!
But there are exceptions to all rules and the 1989 Jingua Gongcha is one of them. The name means 'golden melon tribute tea'. While names are like stories, easy to make up, this one indicates a goal of making something shining like gold that would be suitable as a gift to an important person. And this shu puerh does live up to its name and expectations!
The brew is beautifully black. The taste is a paradox: very light and sweet, and yet it develops a fine, rich and persisting aftertaste. It's almost alive, like very old sheng puerh. The scents are not dirt, but rich soil and incense. The whole experience feels pure and natural. (I don't even rinse this puerh!)
In the dark universe of shu puerh, this Jingua shines with its darkest light and sweet pleasure.

1 comment:

Jan Manarang said...

I found this very interesting. Thanks for sharing this Tea Masters