I have been excited for two days… Guess what?! I’ve restored contact with an old buddy through a networking website! The last time we saw each other was summer 2001. I was terribly guilty for not maintaining the contact. And how grateful I am that after all we haven’t lost each other! Ten years! How many times do we lose contact with good people in our lives? For me, I guess that’s many times. We ride the flowing water of time without even realizing a lot of good friends are out of the sight… How may times do we get back into contact with an old friend whom we haven’t heard from in the past 10 years? I guess that doesn’t happen a lot! But there are people in my life who I know will stay in my life, even if I don’t see them for 10 years.
To honor the friendship, I am having a 2001 CNNP Bulang today, a tea of 10 years, just like the 10 years in which we never heard from each other but never forgot about each other.
Tea from Bulang is excellent for aging and for making shu puerh, because of its rich flavor profile. Shu is not my favorite tea category. But today I feel I appreciate it more than ever. It doesn’t have the charming floral or fruity aroma. Instead, it has the “aroma of age”, which, to me, often means the taste of an old wooden box (let me add “clean”, because it’s dry-aged, ha ha…). Then it gives strikingly sweet aftertaste. In Chinese tea aesthetics, aftertaste is often valued a lot more than the taste a tea gives at the first moment. I feel probably the older I get, the more I appreciate this aesthetic value. In our lives, there are people who don’t give you excitment every day, but with time being, you know those are the people who give you lingering aftertastes.
Puerh is not my favorite tea category. But I always think it’s one of the most unique types of tea. On a day like this, when I think of my buddy, think of my own life 10 years ago, think of how much has been changed by time and how much has not… on a day like this, a pot of aged puerh is exactly what I desire!