Wednesday, May 18, 2011

1993 Menghai 7542

I probably shouldn't be titling this post with the tea I happen to be drinking today since I don't intend to write any tasting notes.  But it was definitely enjoyable :)   My tea sessions have become so full lately and, as a result, harder than ever to describe.  With really good teas like this I seem able to experience such a wide range of aroma, taste and feel.  I've given up (for now) trying to elucidate every last nuance and have taken to just sitting and enjoying what comes.  But I'm looking on this as part of the learning process, and nothing at all to do with having arrived at any sort of mastery (a joke to even think about).  As with anything that takes time to learn and appreciate, one goes through a series of rises and plateaus in the learning curve.  I think I'm just gliding along a plateau at the moment (and an early one, at that).  Its comforting, too, to have a bit of affirmation from tea masters of old -

No need to speak of 
Fragrance
Color
Taste.
Drink and
Your mind becomes bright.
 -- Seo Geo-jeong (1420-1488)

This wonderful quote begins the Forward of a book that Matt of Mattcha's blog is guiding those who are interested in a sort of online tea book club.  Like drinking tea, these old tea texts appear very straight-forward on the surface.  And they are.  But spend a bit of time sitting with them and it's possible for deeper nuances to be revealed.  I'm an eager student :)

Guinomi cup by Japanese ceramic artist, Seigan Yamane

Other tea-news from my table:  after hearing about it for longer than I care to admit, I finally made the trek to a nearby artesian well to gather some top quality water -- the Seattle-area's little mecca of can't-be-beat "living water."  It comes straight from the ground, pouring continuously from two spouts at a couple of gallons per minute, and its free for the taking.  Even better, the local water district routinely performs a full gamut of water quality tests on it, making these available to the public.  I'd heard it could get crowded there with lines of people but when I arrived early this morning there were just a few (me being the only non-Asian face in sight).  One man was filling bucket after bucket (the 5-gallon kind), loading them onto the back of his pick-up truck.  He easily had over 50 gallons!  But he was sweet as could be and made way for me to fill up my couple of one-gallon jugs from the second spout.

Not only have I decided to give this artesian well water a go, but I'm pulling out the yixing more and more, intent on learning it's ways and seasoning it to it's fullest potential.  So between the new water source and the new (-ish, for me) method of tea preparation, my learning curve is back to square one.  Or maybe not the 'absolute' square one, but I've got a lot to learn.
As always  :)

1 comment:

  1. I had to work on PC this morning and it was good thing to do -take a break and read your post. I don't know if my experience is the same kind like yours. When I have mature (aged) tea, it is really hard for me to chop what I feel to individual tastes and fragrances. But maybe I am only too lazy to do that- when it is so great to enjoy it how it is.

    The cup with the teapot makes comforting couple.

    Petr

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