Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Brothers in tea

Antonio and Anton come from 2 very different countries: Spain and Finland! Today, these 2 young tea enthusiasts have met thanks to a little tea event I organized for them. Serious loose leaf brewing is done by very few people in their 2 countries, both told me. They rarely meet fellow tea lovers back home, but it's a very different story in Taiwan! And I'm glad that my blog has helped me and them to connect with so many other tea fellows in sharing the appreciation of everything tea!
I took these 2 brothers in tea to one of my favorite spot in Tucheng, near Taipei. On this day of Assumption, I tried my best to give them a glimpse of Heaven! We started with a light, refreshing green tea harvested less than 10 km away from this place: SanHsia Biluochun. I brewed it very simply in this black glazed porcelain bowl by Michel François. The thick and dark glaze retains the heat well and is well suited to brew loose green in this relaxed way. And, with the other teas, I used it as a beautiful waste water bowl (Jianshui).
Today's heat was so high that Taipei experienced power shortages! So, next, we used a high mountain Oolong to freshen our body and mind. 
I let Anton brew the second and third brews with my silver kettle and a round Yixing zhuni teapot.
He was a little bit nervous and his pour in the teapot wasn't that smooth. However, he did a good job pouring from the teapot in the cups. 
What impressed me most was that he could taste the tiny differences between my brew and his. He could taste that my brew's taste was more clear, pure than his. This made him realize that the difference didn't come from the tea, the water or the kettle. It had to come from the pouring skill. I told him what to improve and to practice often!
These pictures show him in his Nordic cool, but at other times he showed us a face of complete and utter satisfaction. What a fantastic place so near to the city!
Our third tea was more oxidized: this spring 2017 unroasted Hung Shui Oolong from Dong Ding.
For this fruitier and warmer tea, I asked Antonio to brew it with spanish gusto!
For this second session with me, Antonio has been learning quickly. He also shows what a machine will never be able to reproduce: a happy smile during the brewing!
The higher oxidation level combined with the Dong Ding terroir produces very different aromas than the high mountain Oolong. The feeling was warmer and more summer like.
Despite no to very little roasting, the brew's color is close to gold with a bright shine under the sun! The taste also felt long and clean.
We finished our Taiwan Oolong tasting with this top Alishan Hung Shui Oolong. Comparing it the previous one, we could taste what the charcoal roast had added in flavors to the tea.
For the tasting's happy end, I chose my top wild puerh from wild old arbor trees from this spring. The dry leaves smell so sweet on a sunny day! 
I brewed it in my silver teapot with my silver kettle with boiling water! This means the leaves were pushed to the max in terms of heat. Antonio doesn't know puerh well as he drinks mostly Oolong, but he liked this one and could feel its chaqi!
Anton, a regular puerh drinker, was impressed with the purity and power of the aftertaste. He hasn't met many puerhs that can be enjoyed young, but this is definitely one that is excellent right now already, he said!
Top quality tea never ceases to amaze and inspire me. This puerh tastes so flawless that it's a lesson in perfection. The doors of heaven have opened: Hallelujah!

1 comment:

Catrina Armendariz said...

incredible. love the connection here. thanks for sharing this post!