Thursday, October 23, 2008
Kind Simplicity: A Tasting Of 2008 Red Box Ddok Cha
One received this tea as a gift from a friend who received it from another as a gift. He knew absolutely nothing about this tea except that it was traditional style ddok cha. He said that it probably came from the Jiri mountain area but even that was just mere speculation. The only thing that one knows for sure is that it came with kindness in a red box.
Opening the red box and removing the thin white rice paper which veils its contents below reveals a strong smell of slightly medicinal spicy cinnamon and two long quaint rows of tiny coin-shaped ddok cha cakes all individually rapped in rice paper. The scent of anything resembling tea is lost in the spicy blanket of odours. One takes up a single coin, unwraps it, breaks it into smaller chunks, and drops it into the bottom of the tea pot. Soon near boiling water embraces these pieces and the resulting infusion is poured into a serving pot then from a serving pot into small ceramic cups.
This tea fills ones mouth with a simple, very watery, flat, sweet, clear cinnamon taste. This tea is probably the very opposite of complex and doesn't hardly change at all from infusion to infusion other than conjuring a bit more astringency. The faint aftertaste mirrors the initial taste- a testament to its simplicity.
When two cakes are added as opposed to just one this tea is much more enjoyable as a bit more astringency pushes this tea to a more complete, yet incomprehensibly simple, feeling and taste in one's mouth.
One basks in and gives thanks to this tea's uncut, transparency.