Sunday, June 17, 2012

Green Things

I don't know if it's the cold spring or whether there are changes afoot with my body's preferences, but I'm having trouble downing the rawer teas of the 2012 spring season.

It happened first with the fabulous range of fresh lu cha from Gingko.  Great teas, beany longjings and ethereal mao fengs.  Lovely teas.  I just don't find myself stuffing them in the gaiwan.  

Now the same is the case with the spring EoT puerh cakes.  What I have tried has been very fine indeed (how about that Bulang this year?  Butterball.  well done!)  I'm just not in the mood.  

And this 1500 m Alishan:

It is everything a fresh, high mountain oolong should be.  Fragrant beyond measure.  Neon green and crystalline in the cup.

I just find myself craving the dark, heavy, old, fired, meaty, musky stuff.  I can't get enough of it.  I've had my first encounter with the Heng Li Chang Bulang cake and basically melted into a puddle of ecstatic goo.  The thick, greasy, bitter-sweet brew stuck to the ribs and swaddled the throat in such a satisfying way.  The energy low and focused.  Chewy and rooted.  

I don't know what's up.  Perhaps my heart has finally become a dark and withered mandrake-- a poison soothed only by similarly concentrated poisons.  (Hee Hee)

Maybe I'm just....cold?

All I know is I'm craving thickness.  I want a tea that drives me like a coal-black Mack truck.  A pile of old oolong, a jin of last year's yancha or an oily bing from the nether-basement.

Nothing against the wonderful greenery of spring time.  It all just feels too sharp and frigid.



  1. If you ever have more great green tea than you can drink I'd be happy to take some off your hands. (A trade perhaps?) I crave high quality green tea quite often.

    1. Thanks, Brett. A trade sounds lovely. I'll send you an email.

  2. How bout looking down below for the wild stuff?? Or does that miss the point entirely? If it's wise to diversify and harvest where you live... this might be a good time to dig in and steep up some never-seen-the-sun roots from the good earth. Devils Club Root sure fits the bill of what your talking about. You didn't quite say bitter, but there is something of that in what you describe. ooooh.... chaga tea baby.

    1. Brian,

      Some amount of bitter sounds nice. Thick and black as motor oil, sweat inducing. Maybe burdock? Too wimpy? I'm up for Devils Club for sure. I'd have to take a trip up to glacier to get ahold of some. I have my doubts about the wild local plants hitting the spot in the same way as an old sheng pu, but that's probably just an indication of how tightly the camellia sinensis varietals have me in their grasp.

      --Mr. Clean