Anyone else find that frequent shu consumption has a heinous effect on the color of one’s teeth in spite of vigorous and frequent brushing? Anyone found a solution? I’ve been indulging in dozen steep binges of this stuff for three days and my blood stream feels fantastic and my teeth look like a nightmare clown.
Gongfu Madness returns!
Four steepings into a common pot. All 5 seconds.
The result borders on overwhelming in complexity.
This is why I love shu.
And so it begins.
A dear friend gifted me one of these http://camellia-sinensis.com/teapot/fiche/Mr.+Chen+teapot+CH-5 and it arrived on Wednesday afternoon. I used the last of my Upton Tea Celestial Tribute shou pu-erh to season the pot using the method that David Duckler enumerated here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0wzsBNHO6C4
My car had a series of unexpected problems over the past two weeks, only a small fraction of which was covered by insurance, and so my plans to order lots of unusual and exotic teas is on hold until my checkbook can recover from the trauma. Meanwhile, my usual order from Upton of black dragon, yunnan gold rare grade and wang pu-erh will have to keep me sustained.
The great news, of course, is that this means I have a shou seasoned yixing and I have shou tea leaves!
I have to say, this brand new pot should be greedy, stealing most of the flavor of this first steep (after a rinse), and yet, the flavor and mouth feel of this cup are as full and lovely as they ever are.
Does anyone know if any real development actually still goes on with the Steepster code base? It seems to me they need to separate actual tasting notes from our daily drinking logs. We’ve made this into a very social space, and a kind of “tea journal” but all that information ends up cluttering up the pages for the actual teas and makes it hard to find new teas to try when you have to read through all the bits about someone’s day.
I want us to keep the social aspect, but I think the site would be a lot richer if there was a static area for tasting notes, and review which you could update or leave alone, and then a tea diary that was tied to your profile, but not the tea pages. Hmmm…
I go a total of 6 or 7 steeps out of the da hong pao. I think I made one error early on that, when corrected next time will result in better cups, and more of them.
So, it has been quite a while since I have had this pu-erh.
And I have never done short steeps with this tea.
The dry leaf is richly loamy to the nose. The wet leaf is like a freshly plowed field (not fertilized ;-)
1st ~ The liqueur is actually amber in color and the flavor is much more “open” than what I would get in the past with much longer steeps. The profile itself is the same, just presented in a different manner.
2nd ~ This steep is already black as night and the brew is that heady, thick, earthy cave that surrounds you. Shu may be a cheap imitation to some people, but I will always love it for what it is, not what it is not. I can already feel my Yi awakening.
3rd ~ Off to the races. Complex, mellow, warming, a hint of sharpness lingers on the tongue after swallowing.
Lots more steeps to follow, clearly.
After a weekend of excessively rich meals (Teala’s seafood enchiladas, Backstreet Cafe’s lamb chops, Hugo’s Mexican brunch…) with the in-laws I feel in desperate need to get back to basics. This calls for many cups of pu-erh.
As much as I know about, appreciate in, and enjoy partaking of fine foods, I have to say that as I age, I find myself more interested in knowing about them and talking about them and less interested in actually eating them. Indulging leaves me feeling at the same time soft and stiff.
Many cups of shu will get me back to feeling firm and limber in a day or two.
I keep forgetting it is winter. My younger brother’s first born joined the world late Tuesday and everyone’s been complaining about the weather getting them two and from the hospital and this and that and I keep thinking “but it was 80 and sunny yesterday” and then I remember that it is late February and they live 1500 miles away to the Northeast.
Pu-erh fixes EVERYTHING.
I have to say, I think gongfu is far better suited to pu-erh than it is to a lot of other tea. On the whole I haven’t been super impressed with the increase in steeps compared to, shall we say, “leaf commitment” with most teas, but here I am on my third steep of this pu-erh that I made about 10 or 12 cups of yesterday — same leaves.
I was going to finally take the plunge on the wild arbor sheng today, but maybe I’ll hold off. After I milk this shu a bit longer, I’ll need to change up the flavor profile a bit more dramatically than that.
This pu-erh is probably the least exciting non-tou-cha pu-erh I’ve had.
“But you gave it a 94”.
Yeah. Pu-erh is THAT good.
Lightening flashed at 3:15AM. The dog awoke and went into her usual multi-hours long frenzy. At 5 I gave up, got up, and took her out into the living space so that Liz could try to get some sleep. I decided to make a pot of pu-erh and try to polish off “The Last Chinese Chef”.
I really don’t like this book at all. The parts of this book that are about the food and the history of the places (and the history of the food) read as though they were written by someone else entirely. The actual narrative story is incredibly trite, obvious and badly in need of a stern faced editor. But the food parts were worth the rest. I will now forever be obsessed with a cuisine I will probably never get to eat. Part of me feels like reading books that aren’t very good is a sinful waste of time. But a bigger part of me feels like I need to read bad writing sometimes in order to fully appreciate the writing that is so good it makes me laugh out loud with joy just from the mere structure of the sentences, let alone the content. I need to read Nicole Mones in order to truly love Neal Stephenson.
I was supposed to go throw disc this morning at Tom Bass park, but the rain has picked up again, and so that’s not going to happen. Now I’m just alone with the dawn listening to Gabriela Montero do terrible things to Bach on a piano (which upsets me intellectually, but makes great background music) drinking absolutely transcendent tea, listening to the dogs snore and realizing that the ringing in my ears is almost exclusively on the right side, now, not both.
There is almost nothing left in my cupboard right now, after a long Spring of many teas. Gone soon will be the lapsang, gone already are the Taiwanese oolong, the golden teas and all the other deep, dark flavors. Gone even is the decaf English Breakfast. I’ll probably replace them with bright, Japanese greens for the Summer months.
But I ordered 500g of this pu-erh and I’ve been making it in increasingly smaller and smaller pots as I’ve gone to these much shorter steeping times. So… this is gonna linger a bit. If I had it stored in ceramic instead of aluminum, I’d just put it up until October, but I don’t want it to taste like tin.
OK my wang chun practice gets even more extreme. We are down from 1 minute steeps to nearly instantaneous steepings! At least for the first couple cups.
Astonishingly, the first cup is still black coffee dark. I’m finding that if I start with a generous mound of dry leaf, and do the first 3 steeps at more or less no time whatsoever, I can easily get seven cups of tea from one set of leaves (stretching the later steeps up from 15 seconds to a minute, to 3 and to 5).
If nothing else, this means I’ll be using up less tea over the same frame of time.
Mostly I just want to see if the Twitter and FB thing will work. The twitter one doesn’t seem to be.
I’ve actually started to radically change how I brew this tea. I used to brew fermented pu-erh for long stretches of time (10, 15 minutes, sometimes longer). Based on some reading, and mostly on a whim, I started doing 1 minute steeps.
I still don’t hold to this business of throwing away steeps (rinsing). If you’re entertaining guests, I could see doing a rinse for a few seconds just to ensure you don’t serve dusty tea. But I’ve read about people doing 5 minute steeps and then chucking it. I just don’t get the point of something like that. Especially now that I’m doing these shorter steeps.
The first steep, even at this short time frame, is still very dark and strong. One thing I do notice with this approach is that some favors begin to emerge that are more familiar with a raw pu-erh and which I hadn’t found in a fermented before. Those “construction site” or “cabin in the sun” flavors I’ve talked about in the past.
One interesting development is that I believe this infamous impact on one’s “chi” is a lot more in evidence with these shorter steeping times.
At least for this particular tea, I would strongly recommend making 5-7 steepings of very short duration for best results. (This explains why so many traditional pu-erh pots are so tiny.)
Well, I’ve done it again. I ordered something I thought was new to me, only to discover I already have tasting notes for it on Steepster which means I’ve had it before.
I need to start doing that in the other order.