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I woke up with a stomach ache. Too much food for Easter last night, and I don’t eat meat very often. So I turned to puerh to help out. As I was getting things ready, the doorbell rang. Jack, the son of a dearest friend, was at the door. We’ve known him forever and he’s family to us. Says he was in the neighbourhood and wanted to say hi. He’s a troubled 18 year old kid but he has a good heart and I love him. I have my ways with teenagers, they trust me and confide in me. I help in ways I know how. As a true teenager, he usually drops by for two things:

1- Load his ipod with awesome music for free (never a problem!)
2- Money (and I’m hoping he doesn’t ask today)

I ask how he’s doing.

«Fine.»

That’s all I’m gonna get.

«Come, I’m about to have some puerh tuocha, want some?»

«????» then a big smirk on his face.

Oh, I get it! It’s in a wrapper half opened… from his perspective, it «kind of» looks like some other substance… He thinks I’m about to roll something??

«No silly, it’s just tea!»

I go through the process. As I’m pouring, I explain what a Yixing is and why I have to rinse the tea first. That part makes him question my sanity.

«as I understand it, you rinse it cause it’s old and dirty?Now why would I want to drink some old and dirty bad smelling tea?»

I know he doesn’t have the patience to listen to the lecture I could give him on the subject so I spare him.

«Oh Just sip it! If you’re man enough that is».

I’ve had this puerh only once, over a year ago, at a time when I could not appreciate it much. Things have changed, though I have only scratched the surface of puerh knowledge, at least I’m past the stage of being scared of it.

This tuocha is big. The first very short steep after the rinse is a dark brown purplish color. It’s so fragrant of leather, I can’t help thinking of horse stables, the smell of heavy duty leather that worn saddles are made of. It’s rich and bold. I get a faint sweetness, reminiscent of ripe figs or dates. Also very woodsy. It’s accessible I would say, a good quality everyday tea.

A much better experience than the first time I had it! I knew nothing about puerh and had done no homework. As I remember, I over steeped and the taste was revolting! Took me a while after that to start experimenting with any puerh. But I now find myself liking it more and more. There’s just so much to explore!

As for Jack, well, he just spitted his in the kitchen sink. Not his thing apparently!

The only word that came out with the tea was «Gross!». We laughed!

After the fun puerh tasting, he asked for the usual iPod refill. I was so relieved that the money issue was left alone.

Means he’s doing well this time. Sober for the last 45 days. Longest time since he was 16.

He’s not giving up. Happy fun little moments like this morning have been rare between us in the last two years and I will cherish that. Happy tea day…
__________________________________________________

ETA: This afternoon, Jack and I had this tea again. We’ve had a few tea sessions since that day, and to my disbelief, he asked if he could try the «gross spitting tea» again! (his words, not mine!) I said yes, but only if he’d promise to keep at least one sip in this time.

Not only did he drink many Gongfu shots, he actually liked the last ones as they were getting weaker. I think tea is becoming a project to him and that’s what I had hoped for…it keeps him away from other stuff that’s bad for him. Thanks to this little tuocha, we had once again a terrific time together! For that alone, I am grateful…

K S

Love your description and his reaction. Bet he wanted to spit out the first alcohol he sipped as well. Keep working on him!

TheTeaFairy

KS, Thank you. Yes, I’ll definitely keep working on him, for the tea and for his well being…

Ysaurella

at least he tried …the main point is YOU loved the pu-erh

Sil

thank you for sharing this story. :) and i’m with Ysaurella, at least he tried it!

Bonnie

Kids often spit out veggies that they love later on as adults. I love your stories! You inspire me.

TheTeaFairy

Sil & Ysaurella: How right you are! I admit I explained about «rinsing the dirt» to gross him out a little, thinking he wouldn’t want to try it anyways. I was shocked that he actually tasted it and told him after how brave he was, that’s why we laughed so much :-)

TheTeaFairy

Thanks Bonnie! Aside from the spitting part, I think he was intrigued by this new experience. He needs new things in his life right now, I won’t push it on him, but I have a feeling he’ll be around for more… I told him that there are better choices for beginners and that this tuocha was pretty bold to start with!

Bonnie

Tea is a cool subculture thing for many young people. At my shop, you see lots of young people (no oldies except me) and they hang out there. Free wi-fi, not expensive and good place to meet people.

Sil

YAY! thanks for the update on jack :)

Kittenna

Agreed! That’s awesome to hear :D

TheTeaFairy

thanks girls, I’m so proud of him, he’s doing great…

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Comments

K S

Love your description and his reaction. Bet he wanted to spit out the first alcohol he sipped as well. Keep working on him!

TheTeaFairy

KS, Thank you. Yes, I’ll definitely keep working on him, for the tea and for his well being…

Ysaurella

at least he tried …the main point is YOU loved the pu-erh

Sil

thank you for sharing this story. :) and i’m with Ysaurella, at least he tried it!

Bonnie

Kids often spit out veggies that they love later on as adults. I love your stories! You inspire me.

TheTeaFairy

Sil & Ysaurella: How right you are! I admit I explained about «rinsing the dirt» to gross him out a little, thinking he wouldn’t want to try it anyways. I was shocked that he actually tasted it and told him after how brave he was, that’s why we laughed so much :-)

TheTeaFairy

Thanks Bonnie! Aside from the spitting part, I think he was intrigued by this new experience. He needs new things in his life right now, I won’t push it on him, but I have a feeling he’ll be around for more… I told him that there are better choices for beginners and that this tuocha was pretty bold to start with!

Bonnie

Tea is a cool subculture thing for many young people. At my shop, you see lots of young people (no oldies except me) and they hang out there. Free wi-fi, not expensive and good place to meet people.

Sil

YAY! thanks for the update on jack :)

Kittenna

Agreed! That’s awesome to hear :D

TheTeaFairy

thanks girls, I’m so proud of him, he’s doing great…

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Profile

Bio

I am French Canadian, so please forgive me if my English is not always perfect!

My relationship with tea in a nut shell:

I’m married to straight Blacks. I have torrid love affairs with Oolongs. My BFF are Greens. I socialize more and more with Pu’erhs. I have distant White acquaintances that I visit once in a while. I party with Flavored!

Love Steepster, a place for tea lovers, where you learn and share with others…

About me:

I am a free spirit, I let people be who and what they want to be and expect the same in return.

Books! I love French and classic literature, but also modern and pretty much anything that captures my attention.

As tea and books, music is something I can’t live without! From Bach to Nirvana, my ears know no boundaries…

Art is food for the soul…I consume lots of it.

Animal and nature lover, I will never let a fury friend in needs.

I’ve been drinking tea for as long as I can remember. But since I’v joined Steepster, my tea knowledge has emancipated exponentially.

Drinking tea is a sensorial experience. The name in itself “Camellia Sinensis” lingers the promess of an adventure for the senses…

As for my rating system, well it’s pretty much inexistent…Since I don’t write many reviews, I try to focus on the good stuff and will usually review teas that left a big impression on me.

Not a big «swapper» but if we do get to swap together, you’ll remember me, I live up to my Fairy reputation :-)

Location

The Laurentians, Canada

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