When life gives you lemons (2012 YouLe addendum)

Oh yes, I have noticed. It seems that I simply enjoy taking my time.

Today I woke up to one of those winter mornings when you can literally sense the change in the air. Everything is white and covered in light snow as if untouched but there is this strange feeling that one door has closed and another is being opened. We were all coming through that Uranus square Pluto frantic transitioning times in 2017 that made our heads spin and just like when you shake a bottle, the liquid inside needs its time to calm the level down a bit or to separate the clean water from the sh*t  slowly dropping down to the bottom. Just like cleaning the septic tank, it takes time before you can see the water clean again. Purging was the mantra of us all throughout the last year, as most of us were probably trying to let go of old patterns that did not serve us any longer.

Well, I admit this is probably the worst way how to start a post about tea after 2,5 years of silence. Authenticity, however, has somehow become my closest friend. I guess the transformative plutonic energies of metamorphosis have eventually started to bring its fruits. 

So what has happened ever since my last post was published? I carried on drinking tea in a hermit mode that helped me slowly grow my wings in a cocoon, separated from the turmoil of external world where part of my being was present, half-asleep / half-awake. It took more time than expected but what else can you do when life gives you lemons? You can make lemonade and find someone who was given vodka and have a party, true. I, however, preferred no hangovers as the reality felt blurred and unclear already and sometimes made me feel "mal de mer", so keeping my head light instead was more bearable despite the squeezed environment of the cocoon. 

When the cocoon eventually cracked, I moved to a much calmer area of the city. The city I chose to settle down and call home after seven long years. It feels good. It is actually really empowering. I finally have the space to spread my newly-grown wings (that I cannot properly use yet), and what's more, I have this beautiful view from my windows, right into the vineyards which sometimes look rather misty, clouded heavily in fog:

But back to the tea.

It does not happen very often that I have a chance to do some re-tasting of the tea sample I drank nearly six years ago.  In august 2012 I had the opportunity to taste a fresh sample of the Pu-erh.sk 2012 YouLe cake that even at that time I found very tasty, despite its young age (as oxymoronic as it may sound).

As you can read in the old post right here, "YouLe, 游乐,  is short for YouLeShan, which is one of the mountains in Xishuangbanna, also known as Six Famous Tea Mountains, that are a canonical growing area for puerh tea, according to babelcarp.org."

In 2012 I was wondering what the cake could taste in a few months' time. Now that nearly six years have passed, I have a chance to find out for myself.

The sample is from a cake that, according to the information from Pu-erh.sk, was "stored in a warehouse of Douji tea company in Guangzhou since 2012 until 2017." The tea leaves are rather dark in comparison to the fresh sample from the 2012 post. The tea itself, even after more pouring of hot water, keeps its dark honey colour which evokes sweet taste just by looking at it:

In the old post from 2012 I wrote that this tea would "wake up your senses, any time of the day". It could not be more accurate. Just a few sips of this magic potion and you are right there ... summer time in one small cup. This is the typical YouLe with the sweet heavy smell of dry fruit, now with a way more charm and elegance as five summers have passed, leaving their signature in it.

The taste is round, with no astringent edges that are more typical for fresh greenish samples. It is also quite consistent, just milder after refilling your cup for a few more times. There is this acid effect typical for gushu puerh leaves, which makes the taste more interesting and alive. The aftertaste is strong, with the typical returning sweetness on the tongue which does not keep the mouth dry for too long. Lovely tea for Sunday morning.

Best wishes for the new year, which I hope brings good things your way.

Until next time


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Drink your tea
slowly and reverently,
as if it is the axis
on which the world earth revolves.
Slowly, evenly,
without rushing toward the future.
Live the actual moment.
Only this moment is life.

Thich Nhat Hanh

Best to be like water,
Which benefits the ten thousand things
And does not contend.
It pools where humans disdain to dwell,
Close to the Tao.

Live in a good place.
Keep your mind deep.
Treat others well.
Stand by your word.
Keep good order.
Do the right thing.
Work when it's time.

Only do not contend,
And you will not go wrong.

Tao Te Ching, 8 / transl. Addis & Lombardo