The spring has arrived and my hay fever mercifully isn't too bad today, so it's back to the blog I go.
I've been waiting a while for a new tea and upon my door came two examples of Xiaguan raw pu erhs, the first I'll tackle today. Certainly 'Exquisite Elegance' is a grand name but can the tea come up with the goods?
I haven't drunk much Xiaguan in the past but from what I have read the compression is tight and this tea doesn't do anything to disprove that myth. The majority of the sample came out of the foil bag in one large chunk! I wimped out of trying to prize a five gram lump and stuck to brewing up the loose leaf left over which came in handsomely to 5.1 grams.
Fitting with the volcanic activity that has brought the skies to a halt over the last week I am brewing this tea with Volvic water that filters through volcanic soil. The pot's aroma has tobacco, legume and dark winter berries coming up from the noticeably small leaf. The soup itself comes across not as potent as the aroma might of suggested but has a slight sweetness to it that grabs the sides of the tongue and builds up.
You know, it's just so nice to concentrate on tea again. My life has been a hubbub of activity recently and doesn't seem like it's going to slow down. It's my fault really with work, fatherhood, my degree and a diploma in Chinese herbal medicine too for good measure. Tea gives me a chance to slow down though and focus on a single aspect for just a moment though. What a joyous and useful hobby drinking tea is in modern life.
The second infusion hasn't changed much, no bitterness and a smooth quality, it coats the tongue nicely, a little bit numbing. The huigan builds slowly and I notice myself rolling my tongue around in the mouth a lot, God knows what I look like to any passers by my window. Along comes the third infusion, more bitter now but still lacking a bit of oomph, oh dear. It seems like like this tea just doesn't have enough in it to captivate my senses and the brief break from the outside world starts to fade in tandem.
On with the study and the pot becomes a side show.