Saturday, August 23, 2014

Honoring life with a great tea

These leaves are a Bai Ji Guan Yan Cha from spring 2012. This type of cultivar produces one of the lightest and finest tea in Wuyi. Its roasting level is lower than that of Shuixian or Rouguei. And it's so pure and good that I feel comfortable not using an Yixing teapot, but a gold plated silver teapot.

Another reason for using this small teapot is its great 'fuel efficiency'! Real Yan Cha is much more expensive than Taiwan's high mountain Oolong. The high heat conductivity of silver translates into a greater flavor extraction capability. This means that fewer leaves suffice for a good brew.
Wuyi Yan Cha is a tea for special moments. It's not because the accessories are special that the tea is. It's because the leaves are great that they call for special accessories like on this Chaxi. Getting the most out of them. Making the most out of time. Pushing the limits of what's possible.
We can't always have what's best. Often, what's simply good is already a wonderful blessing. But special occasions call for the extraordinary.
Wuyi YanCha questions preconceived truths and experience about what tea brewing. That's one of the reasons that makes it fascinating. Normally, when we brew tea leaves, we first obtain scents and, as we prolong the brew, we then obtain a taste that grows stronger. Finding the right moment to stop the brew before the taste gets too concentrated is the goal of our brewing technique. Stop too early and you can smell the tea, but you can't feel it's taste. Stop too late and everything is too saturated, like the noise of music pushed beyond what the speakers can handle.
But with Yan Cha like this Bai Ji Guan, there's something incomprehensible that can happen if the tea is brewed well: the scent is there, but the taste seems absent at first before it hits you in the chest and then gives you a wonderfully relaxing feeling in your whole body. The mouth is clean and light. All you feel is a sweet salivation as if a spring fountain had been unlocked!
A vibrant fragrance, a pure taste, a comfortable feeling, fresh and bright colors: this Chaxi appeals to all senses! A gift of life on a special occasion...

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