Aaron Fisher's The Way Of Tea
Aaron Fisher sent a few samples along with his latest book, The Way of Tea. Let's draw some water, put it to boil, and sit down cross-legged with this tea.
These auburn-redbrown leaves smell of age. Deep, light, musty shu puerh scent. They have a certain deep freshness about them, the smell of forest, a very mineral odour.
The first infusion presents mellow mineral earthy tones that ground ones mind. These earthy notes linger on the breath with some sweetness. The mouthfeel is full but not sharp and harsh. Ones body slowly heats like a wood stove that is patiently burning.
The second infusion is more mellow earthiness, this one is dirtier than the first. The mouthfeel is thick, viscous velvet. The chaqi comes on strong and pushes one into a sweat.
The third infusion is lighter and plumby with a woody fruit finish. The mineral fruit stays on the breath with leafy green freshness that lingers somewhere in the mouth. The feel smoothens out and becomes more silky. Excessive salivation is encouraged despite a subtle dry quality that emerges.
The fourth and fifth smooth out even more as the mouthfeel really fills out. Woody, leafy, smooth- it stays in the mouth for a long time, plumb notes mingle with slick wood notes. The qi is deep and warms the lower jiao as it steams upward, traversing the spine.
The sixth and seventh are fruitier as this characteristic starts to slowly dominate the infusion.
This tea is enjoyed through many infusions over a period of a few days. It remains durable throughout- sharing some aspect of the flavour profile described above. In some of these late sessions gritty brown sugar notes come out and play with the plumb flavour.
The wet leaves are examined and show evidence of a blend of at least two different teas. There are dark shrivelled shu leaves that seem to be mixed with lighter aged shang leaves.