I have had very little “new” tea lately, if you have been curious about my conspicuous absence. I am preparing for a long trip abroad and between wanting to avoid leaving a cabinet full of leaf that is slowly going stale while I am away and wanting to save money, I have been using up a lot of existing stock, and have been avoiding purchasing anything new.

My great joys lately has been not only my 230ml Mr. Chen yixing (http://camellia-sinensis.com/en/teapot/theiere-de-m-chen-ch-3) which I have been using for sweet shu and Yunnan golden, but also my newest, teensy, tiny 150ml black clay Mrs. Sheng yixing (http://camellia-sinensis.com/en/teapot/theiere-de-mme-sheng-sg-8) which I use to steep lapsang souchong — it seems fitting to me to put this moody, smokey tea into a black clay pot. Someday the clay will look and smell like a well loved briarwood pipe.

But, I ran short of shu pu-erh with a few weeks to go before my trip, so I decided I needed something special to see me through the last days and I grabbed a couple of ounces of this leaf from Verdant.

This is a significantly mustier tea than the shu I tend to keep around as daily drinking leaf.

The dry leaf has a sharp, leather/jerky kind of aroma to it.

The wet leaf has the smell of a rotten log, just broken open to the air, with the tang of an old steel sink an aged cabin.

The cup itself is dusty and mineral. Well water from deep in a cavern. The rich, spongey loam of the deep forest.

And yet, this cup is very gentle. For a first steep I find myself seeking out these notes, not trying to climb out from under them. I hope this doesn’t prelude to only achieving a small handful of steeps with this leaf.

Update in a few hours.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec
Bonnie

Such an interesting description! Hello friend Jim! Blessings to you as you journey (to Asia I hope). Blessed Nativity.

Jim Marks

Yes, I’m headed to Japan for a good chunk of December.

May your Nativity fasting be a blessing.

Bonnie

Oh Hooray!!!

Invader Zim

Have a great and safe trip!

LiberTEAS

Both teapots are gorgeous … my favorite is Mrs. Sheng!

LadyLondonderry

Wishing you safe travels and a happy stay in Japan, Jim!

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Bonnie

Such an interesting description! Hello friend Jim! Blessings to you as you journey (to Asia I hope). Blessed Nativity.

Jim Marks

Yes, I’m headed to Japan for a good chunk of December.

May your Nativity fasting be a blessing.

Bonnie

Oh Hooray!!!

Invader Zim

Have a great and safe trip!

LiberTEAS

Both teapots are gorgeous … my favorite is Mrs. Sheng!

LadyLondonderry

Wishing you safe travels and a happy stay in Japan, Jim!

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I am rarely, if ever, active here. But I do return from time to time to talk about a very special tea I’ve come across.

You can hear the music I compose here:
http://jimjohnmarks.bandcamp.com

I have a chapter in this book of popular philosophy
http://amzn.com/0812697316

I blog about cooking here https://dungeonsandkitchens.wordpress.com

I blog about composing music and gardening here
http://jimjohnmarks.wordpress.com

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