February 20, 2010

1996 Menghai 8582

This tea session was brought to you by "Terje" proud sponsor of the Tea Goober blog. Once again, Thanks!
This is the first aged 8582 that Ive had. I always wondered what they would grow up to be. Acquired from Nada (I think) this is a pretty tasty treat. I was at first worried with five grams of tea to work with but I realized with this tea five grams is plenty. Just a trace of wet storage in the first few infusions but residing behind the wet storage flavor is a very autumnal and woodsy, crisp and clean cup of tea. Brews up a beautiful amber cup with superb clarity. Slightly sweet yet still a tad of bitterness in the cup. The bitterness sits very firmly in the hollow of the cheeks. Weird? Yes, but that's where it likes to hang out. This tea doesn't have a lot of complexity but it's simply good. Very rich and satisfying. Incredibly durable, eight infusions and it's just beginning to fade.
That does it! Ive got to invest in some aged sheng. I always buy in sample size quantity but that has got to stop. Terje's got some great teas and I am grateful for his generosity.

February 16, 2010

Mao Zedong "Snow" poem written in 1936

Thanks everyone for helping, I now have the translation. I found this "book" in a local Chinese shop and just had to have it.
The poems title is "Snow" written by Mao Zedong in 1936
North country scene:
A hundred leagues locked in ice,
A thousand leagues of whirling snow.
Both sides of the Great Wall One single white immensity.
The Yellow River's swift current Is stilled from end to end.
The mountains dance like silver snakes
And the highlands* charge like wax-hued elephants, Vying with heaven in stature.
On a fine day, the land, Clad in white, adorned in red, Grows more enchanting.
This land so rich in beauty Has made countless heroes bow in homage.
But alas! Chin Shih-huang and Han Wu-ti Were lacking in literary grace,
And Tang Tai-tsung and Sung Tai-tsu Had little poetry in their souls;
And Genghis Khan, Proud Son of Heaven for a day, Knew only shooting eagles, bow outstretched
All are past and gone!
For truly great men Look to this age alone.

February 8, 2010

2009 Guan Zi Zai "Zao Chun Yiwu Shan"

The stage has been set for a much needed day of tea and solitude. Yet another cold and rainy day, will these clouds ever part and let some happiness in? Radio's set to my "go-to" station, National Public Radio (NPR) Radioheads O.K. Computer is in heavy rotation today and it's fine by me, suits the day. As they contributed greatly to today's tea session (Rain, Radiohead, Terje) I owe all three a big thank you.
Guan Zi Zai in my humble opinion produces teas that fit into my "good value" category, never seeming to muster anything truly superb but always enjoyable. This cake weighs in at a hefty 400 gm's and made from 100% spring harvested tea. Available from Yunnan Sourcing.
The dry leaf doesn't have much to offer in the way of aroma, but that could be because it's been sitting on my desk for so long. The leaf is of the chunky and thick type, browns and greens are the colors to be found with a few sticks thrown into the mix as a reminder that it's a handmade tea.
Those tea producers know what appeals to us, they've got us pegged, in our (the consumers) mind the more rustic and artisanal they can make the tea appear to be, the more we are attracted to it. Take wrapper art for example. There are quite a few producers that have started using wrappers that have nothing but plain white paper with Chinese characters on them for tea and the producers info. Aesthetically I find them appealing. Do we really need pictures of elephants or big screaming logo's splattered on the wrapper? As if we need a day-glo reminder of what it is we are drinking.

Just as I reckoned, Guan Zi Zai's teas sit squarely in the "drink now" category. This tea is one that's fresh, delicate and light. The aroma has a good dose of Oolong like vegetal and floral aromas. Very lightly sweet and a very light body to match. Usually these kinds of teas can be a little acidic, but that's not the case with this one. Nothing complex going on here, nor is there much to say about it. Not that there is any fault to be found in this tea, it's what I though it would be, a nice, enjoyable, moderately priced sheng. But lacking enough content to provide much to blather on about. This tea really does smack of Oolong in both the aroma and flavors, thins out pretty quickly. Brilliant? No, and it ain't never going to be. But it's a pretty good "drink now" tea.
Ah! The sun just broke through and the birds are tweeting. And almost simultaneously the radio switches gears and the Beach Boys are "Getting Around" See Ya!