Sunday, April 11, 2010

Trafficking Tea In B.C.: A Suspicious Puerh Sample From A Friend

One is walking down the hall when out of the blue a friend approaches. She slips a small carefully paper wrapped and taped package into ones hand and says "this is it". Then hurried, she walks away. Passers by give one suspect glances.

Here in British Columbia most little packages handed off in this way are usually filled with marijuana- not tea. To each addict, their own...

Later this friend said that this sample is from a king bing that is about 4-5 years old- producer and region unknown. It came from an anniversary cake that was purchased by her aunt in Hong Kong to commemorate the birth of her nephew- a common practice in Hong Kong. It turns out that she managed to get a good chunk of the cake last time the family got together.

The dry leaves are pungent, sour with a lingering mellow sweetness to them. The whole sample is dumped into the pot. Rinsed and the first drinkable pot steeped up.

The first infusion is buttery and spicy with under defined tobacco tones. This tea is very smooth with very little bitter left in it. The aftertaste is a touch malty- a sign of its age. The mouthfeel is mainly on the front of the tongue. This tea is smooth.
The second infusion reiterates sweet, smooth malty tobacco. The mouthfeel still mainly waits in the front of the mouth. The liquid is a clear bright yellow with peachy tones.

More smooth sweetness follows the third infusion. This tea is quite slick- nothing offends. It's smooth character creates an air of kind simplicity.
In the fourth infusion the leaves are pushed with a slightly longer infusion time. The tea now shows some light bitter tastes but is not that much more complicated. Subtle metallic tones emerge with the other tastes under such pressure.
The chaqi exerts a cumulative affect on the mind and body. It builds up slowly to mid-session, around the fifth infusion- where it clears ones mind. The fifth infusion brings more of the same.
During the sixth, seventh and eighth infusions the flavour weakens a bit. Faint sweet notes start, leaving dry metallic notes behind in the mouth. This tea still retains a soft feel.
The tea is left overnight and a few more infusions are enjoyed the next morning.

In the morning the tea is velvet, creamy, malty, and sweet. One tries to squeeze the last out of these leaves like a pothead puffing a joint down to their fingertips.


Hobbes said...

Dear Matt,

A fine article as ever - thanks for the continued fine reading-matter (and photography!).

Have I mentioned before how much I adore that white cup of yours? Do please remind me where you bought it!



Matt said...


That cup is from the hands of Sel Young Jin- a micro-masterpiece by a truly wise potter. Afraid its only available in Korea.

As always, thanks for your ongoing support. It sure is nice to see that you finally have some peace within your newly renovated home for which you can drink tea.

Looking forward to sitting across from your tea table, thousands of miles away, sharing some of that tea- some of that serenity in a pot.


Hobbes said...

I'll drink to that!