Friday, October 7, 2011

2006 Shuangjiang Mengku Rongshi Qizi Bing

This is an interesting inexpensive 145 g 2006 "Te Ji" cake I bought a month ago at Royal Puer. 

They say it is organic and if it is true, even better. It smells first rather heavy, after rubber and some unpleasant fresh sheng wrappers. However, when you unwrap it, it gets much lighter, richer and rounder.

The first magic happens when you pour hot water, rinse ... and smell again. Wet tobacco and a very special smell appears which cannot be described easily, it reminds me of something very ancient.. Smelling the wet leaves, I had a vivid visualisation from my childhood when I was visiting the picture gallery in the castle of Kromeriz, I could perfectly see everything around me, even myself being very little... it was exactly this kind of smell which takes you back in time. 

The second magic comes when you make the first infusion. I was careful first and used colder water (cca 80ºC  for 5g / 80 ml). Given the smell, I expected heavy smoky tones and astringency. To my surprise none of them were really present in the first cup. The cake is pressed rather tight but according to the wrapper it happened 5 years and 5 months ago and you can really feel it.

The tea broth is beautifully dark golden, it tastes mellow and somewhat tobacco-ish. In the second and third infusions I was able to identify dry cherries which was really nice surprise as I really like the smell of cherry pipe tobacco. This tea has a nice huigan, too, which can be experienced more in the third and later infusions. It is not intensively sweet but it is definitely pleasant. 

I am still experimenting with the right temperature and time but I can feel that with this cake I will get along well. 

Good tea, good life.


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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