Sunday, February 19, 2012

2011 Baozhong Top Grade


This is probably the only oolong I am going to write about here unless I drastically change my tea selection, which is however absolutely possible since change is a characteristic sign of my contemporary living.

If we ask babelcarp what Baozhong means, it will tell us that it is "very lightly oxidized tea (formerly?) wrapped in paper during drying, literally the Wrapped Kind (包种 or 包種)." It also gives the information that in Taiwan this word is often applied to any oolong. This sample comes from pu-erh.sk and has been at my humble place quite for a long time. I have tasted it once already and really enjoyed it, it brought me a few deeply hidden memories from my previous oolong drinking period, long time ago...

The colour of wet leaf is truly adorable. It is green, but the kind of green that is perfect, with a trace of blue and the leaf is very very gentle. It has a slightly waxy cover, something to be often found on oolong leaves. This one is probably the softiest I have ever touched. 

Each time I see a perfect shape of a tea leaf like this one, I wonder how could we people ever think we can beat Nature. Look around, She is perfect and it is her who beats anything human-made. Tea is perfect as it is. We can only help it or not when processing it but the essence, which stays in each leaf, is perfect. And each time you pour water on it, with no expectation at all, you can feel it or you can't but it is there, waiting to be discovered.

The first few infusions are the best as this tea has an ability to paralyze my tongue when drinking it. But the trace of peach / apricot essence, which stays at the back of the mouth after the very first sip is clearly recognizable. It has sparkling yellow green colour, bright and shining.

If only I could take a piece of sunshine with me. It's minus twelve outside right now and having a hot cup in my hand feels comforting. This tea does not need any review, it speaks for itself like many others. Today it is speaking to me through her aroma and flavour which I can try to catch and put in words but the real essence of it is untouchable. So this time I give up. 

Keep warm.


-ER-

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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