Friday, March 9, 2012

2011 BaDa (Pu-erh.sk)


35 Jing: Proceeding Forward
Things cannot remain forever in great strength.
Thus, after Great Strength, Proceeding Forward follows.
[The complete I Ching by A. Huang, 2010: 293]

Today I Ching tells me to realize that the Sun is rising over the Earth. A simple truth we tend to forget whenever we experience something as present without a chance to see the end. The truth is that everything changes and proceeds forward, after a dark night a new day follows and that's how it is.

Proceeding should be stable, gradual and steady. Without experience we want to proceed but are held back. I see many patterns in my life that correspond with this simple principle. Without experience it is difficult to respond. The advise is to be calm and unhurried. Things cannot remain forever in Great Strength but neither in its weakest position as the change is unstoppable.

Aging puerh is a nice way to discover this simple truth: tastes develop and transform depending on the way it is stored. I wrote about the experience I had when tasting 2011 Chawangpu Yiwu GaoShanZhai and the impact it has had on me considering my new perspective on very young sheng cakes. As I am quite an avid drinker, I am now fully enjoying new interest in 2011 cakes and it seems that these will be on my tasting note list for a while.

I had a chance to taste a sample of 2011 BaDa cake from pu-erh.sk five or six months ago. At that time the leaf was rather young, vegetal in flavour and aroma, freshly bitterish but overall I found it quite promising. The time has come and here I am tasting this lovely piece of BaDaShan old tree leaf again, with optimistic anticipation as at first sight and smell this tea is developing nicely.

BaDaShan, 巴達山, is a mountain in northern Menghai county and this particular cake is made of leaves from a village which is situated in a wonderful nature. The producer himself put some picture of the trees and surroundings on their web and I think they are worth seeing.

The tea broth is darker than it was six months ago, it is less green, and more yellow, deeper and thicker in both aroma and flavour. The infusion is sweeter, rounder and more complex. The flavour still keeps its fresh green vegetal tone which is covered in light astringent bitter-sweet coat. Immediately after the first sip there is a nice dynamic harmony of forces dancing on the tongue.

The first infusion brought another nice surprise for me: I detected a sweetish buttery trace that was easy to track again in further infusions.

Later, flowery and fruity tones develop significantly, still coated in bitter-sweet undertone that in fact never disappears fully from the flavour in the cup. It is probably this bitter-sweet dance and the buttery tone that I keep in mind and imagine again when trying to recall today's impression, as well as the aftertaste that is very refreshing and beautifully extends the stage for the concert of tastes. 

If I am lucky, I might have a chance to re-taste this tea again in a few-months time. In the meantime I am going to enjoy this lovely piece of cake and dream of its future treasures hidden in its leaf.


Take care & enjoy spring,

-ER-

~ 4 comments: ~

discipleofthetealeaf says:
at: March 10, 2012 at 2:21 AM said...

Esteban, I always greatly enjoy your posts; and this one is no exception. I particularly love the last photo, inside the pot, the leaves look glorious.

All the best,

Eric

esteban rivas says:
at: March 10, 2012 at 8:42 PM said...

Thank you, Eric, for such a nice comment, I really appreciate it. I enjoy watching the leaves inside the pot when they look so lively and fresh, as if they were literally posing for a pic (so it's them in fact who makes me take one! .)

Best wishes,

E.

Tea Urchin says:
at: March 10, 2012 at 9:52 PM said...

I've also noticed my 2011 Luo Shui Dong developing a stronger huigan recently. Must be a natural transition in first year aging. I do love that buttery & vegetal freshness of young sheng. Maocha is even more bright & refreshing... transports me back to Yunnan everytime. I would love to share some samples with you. Drop my a note, let me know where to send them.

esteban rivas says:
at: March 12, 2012 at 1:07 PM said...

Thanks Eugene for such a kind offer, I'll be delighted! .)

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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