Sunday, May 25, 2014

Morning Tea-bacle

Some people should never be allowed to meddle with hot liquids and fragile ceramic vessels.  Grace has never been my strong point.  Chalk it up to a father who celebrated klutziness.  Some kids seek their fathers' approval by joining the football team or going to med school.  I did it by falling off a diving board and running full speed into a oak tree during a game of "ding dong ditch."  

I've had many klutzy moments, but the sheer physical perfection of today's mishap calls for special recognition.  Yesterday a friend told me she'd gotten up early, made coffee and got back in bed with her cup and a book.  That sounded so cozy and relaxing that I vowed to spend my Sunday morning the same way.  I made a couple pots of dian hong and crawled back in bed with a cup, a pitcher and The New Yorker.  Five minutes into my attempt at leisure I spilled an entire cup of (still quite hot) tea on my chest.  I removed my soaked shirt, scooted away from the puddle on the bed and re-opened the magazine, determined to wring some enjoyment out of the morning.  Then I heard a friend talking to a neighbor in the front yard and leaped out of bed to talk to him.  In the process I managed to kick my re-filled cup, which I'd placed on the floor next to the half-full pitcher of tea.  The cup, which I kicked with my left foot, rammed into the pitcher and shattered and then sailed into the back of my right ankle.  Tea and shards, and soon blood, everywhere.  

Please excuse the gore.  That was the end of my cozy morning.  If you can top that, I want to know about it.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Menghai 7542 and an Old-ish Oolong, Nantou, 1999

What up tea-peeps?  Oooooh.  It's been a year.  Many cups have been consumed.  I do hope your cups have been plentiful.

It takes a little something to get jazzed about the teas.

I've been sitting on a gift from Stephane since November.  It's a wee fragment of Menghai 7542 from 1999.  And you wouldn't believe what a cute little critter turned up, tucked between the gently pressed leaves.

 Awww.  A sweet little rice hull.  Of course it went right into the pot. 

 And this is a good tea.  Clean, well-stored.  A touch of smoke at the outset that dissipates.  With the undiminished potency of the 7542 formula.  Two cups had me feeling a kind of tea-gravitas that I have not sensed in ages.  Qi, or whatever.


A nice huigan, a sweet mint-fruit on the breath.  It's the kind of tea you might drink all the time, were it affordable these days. 

And another tea from Stephane that has captured me, this old oolong from Nantou, that oolong-carpeted county.   Deeply-roasted. 


A pot of this tea lasted days.  I wrung the vanilla and unending medicine mint from these unforgettable leaves.  

Such tastes bring it all back, the potent drink, the slopes of the mountain.  Bury me there, among the betel, in the camelia bushes.

A little trip to Lugu

Dong Ding