One thought about the possibility of hitting some famous tea areas in the south as well as some in Nepal. But after being infected with a bad case of amoebic dysentery and spending a few days in an unhygienic hospital in Agra, it was time to end ones travels.
Recovery was undoubtedly assisted by the consumption of lots of fresh fruit, vegetables, yogurt, old puerh, and quality hwang cha (Korean semi-oxidized tea). Ones oldish stash of peurh took a big hit last time one stomach got a bit shaky in November of last year. Digging through some boxes one unearthed a sample sent by Toki, an 88 shang puerh from the Tea Gallery- the perfect thing to rehabilitate a recovering digestive system.
Upon opening the esthetically pleasing white sample pack, dark leaves showing age revealed an odour of oak, deep dry cherries, and healthy nitrogen rich top soil. These leaves are dropped into ones new large yixing pot (more on that one later) and hot water follows. Rinse.
Early in the session comes deep rich soil flavoring with undercurrents of honey in watery liquid. Soft tobacco occasionally nudges its way into the profile before quickly dropping off. After a number of potfulls are consumed the depth of the tea really expands resulting in a dance between rich soil and subtle sweetness. This dance of nuances plays out in the theater of a mouthfeel that is full and coating. The lips are sometimes left numb, the tongue gently hairy by waves of astringency that evolves into sweetness left on the breath.
The energy of this tea first stimulates ones stomach warming it. Later infusions ease off and surrender, the transfer of energy is wonderful.
This session is strung out for days over great conversations with family and friends and lazy dogs that would surely make Toki proud. Its mouthfeel hardly wavers allowing it to feel complete even into late infusions. Overall, it is quite a solid puerh and in the end, along with doses of Korea yellow tea and lots of yogurt, ones stomach is nurtured back to health.