Saturday, April 25, 2015

Saturday Tea Talk: 2005 Fengqing Zhuan Cha Raw Pu'erh from Teavivre

Each cup of tea represents an imaginary voyage. 
- Catherine Douzel

Good morning from my neck of the Canadian woods!  I hope you're enjoying this fine Saturday morning as much as I am.  I got to sleep in today and that simply makes my day every time.

Outside today we supposed to get back into double Celsius digits which will be a welcome development.  With the sun shining and almost no clouds in the sky, we should have a beautiful day. The last three days have been ridiculously cold with rain, snow, hail and gale winds.  Everyone around here needs a break and see the spring come back.  I'm hoping to do some work in the garden today. 

For now though, it's still pretty chilly out there and I will be having my tea inside.  This morning I'm not having anything I haven't tried before but rather I've decided to cut into the brick of aged sheng (raw) pu'erh which arrived few weeks ago from Teavivre.  I did a review of the sample of this tea back in February and loved it enough to order a whole brick.  Today I'm breaking into that brick.

My memories from drinking of that sample are so good that I'm really excited to try it again.  The brick is so small, well compacted and so perfect that my heart squeezes a little at the thought of breaking it but what has to be done, has to be done.  I want my tea.

Some people have special tools to get into these bricks but I use my old mathematical instrument, the divider which does the job just as good.

I just insert the sharp end of the divider into the brick and lift the leaves lightly, trying to make sure that as many leaves as possible are left intact.  For today's tea I lifted an 9-10 gram piece.

I rinsed the leaves first in the water just below boiling and left them to sit for about a minute to loosen up.  The wet leaves smelled wonderful.  Sweet and vegetal with a hint of smokiness.  Afterwards, I steeped the leaves for just 30 seconds.  

The resulting liquid was of warm golden brown colour and wonderful aroma.  The tea taste did not disappoint and was just as I remembered it from two months ago: sweet and woodsy with hint of flowers and smoke.  It had a wonderful depth to it and an ever so subtle astringency that tickled the sides of my tongue, reminding me that it is tea I'm drinking.  This is really, really good tea and I highly recommend it.  I'm so glad I got the whole brick and I'm sure in no time it will be gone.

Now I think I have to go and steep myself another cup.



  1. Nice to find a new use for an old instrument!

  2. Most enjoyable to read and interesting.

  3. The simple sensuality of a good cup of tea; you express it beautifully.

    1. Thank you very much Jacqueline. Nice to meet you. :)