Strange Encounters / 2011 YS "Ban Po Lao Zhai"
Trying to control the world?
I see you won't succeed.
The world is a spiritual vessel
And cannot be controlled.
Those who control, fail.
Those who grasp, lose.
Tao Te Ching, 29 (transl. Addis & Lombardo)
Time flies so fast but somehow this winter seems to be too long. And I am tired. I know, it is not the best way to start a tasting note. This extreme exhaustion is not something to be easily taken away with a few cups of puerh. Saturn has been transiting my 8th house and I can feel his omnipresence wherever I look. It seems that somehow I was pushed by my own subconscious mind to open Pandora's box and now I try hard to have a chance to observe the effect it has got on me. Most of the time I am affected without even knowing it and then I just end up realizing how uncontrollable life is. This winter has been really demanding and I have been counting days to welcome spring.
This all is not the best state of mind for writing clearly but it might be a good opportunity to learn how to become the master of my own mind. This new transformational period blurs my own perception of all I encounter, everything feels different from my previous experience. Everything feels so new. It is a state of permanent flux where everything changes rapidly. My life has become a stream and all I can do is to go with the flow. I try hard to understand the complex situation where things that are going apart are coming together at the same time, creating new shapes of reality, new feelings and experience.
I have been drinking too much tea lately. Perhaps it has an effect on me too. I am aware more than ever before of the energy leaving the cup and then circulating in my body, looking for its place to exist within me. I can observe it in a time loop, a period of silence when everything stops for a while. It is a new dimension of tea drinking for me and I am grateful for having this opportunity to experience the non-existence of everything, once I disconnect from the everyday stress, insecurity, pain and chaos which slowly disappear and appear again, when I refocus my mind and pay my attention to them. I look for solace in tea and try to implement my newly shaped awareness in looking at things from new point of view..
2011 Yunnan Sourcing Nannuo "Ban Po Lao Zhai"
My new cake from Yunnan Sourcing has become a good friend of mine very quickly, despite the fact that "to have a friend takes time". Ban Po Lao Zhai, 半坡老寨, is according to babelcarp the older, higher elevation part of Ban Po Zhai, which is a Nannuoshan village where taidicha is grown. According to Scott's information, this production is entirely first flush of Spring 2011 material from tea trees between 60 and 200 years old and in total just 50 kilograms were produced.
here last year, you would probably find her 2011 sister more complex, more aromatic, thicker and also sweeter. Surprisingly, when I tasted NanNuo YaKou, I was not very impressed by the sample as its fresh characteristic was not what I was looking for in raw puerh at that time. However, my taste has developed or changed and now I am looking for the exact opposite. And all this makes me think that the more I taste tea as a simple ordinary consumer, the more I realize how much I do not enjoy comparing anything. I do not like saying what is better and what is worse as I somehow do not believe in these categories, at least they do not work for me. I agree, of course, that the quality of leaf, environment as well as processing is definitely an enormous part of the final outcome and it is something to be taken into account, especially when one is a vendor or a producer.
As a consumer I believe that I can choose intuitively what I like, or what speaks to me. I can therefore say that for me this cake is great which is absolutely subjective statement and again, I am not sure how different it can be after a few years of aging. I really like its fresh flavour as this is something I value the most at the moment but again, all of this is changeable and impermanent.
T'ien hsia shen ch'i.