Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Strong & Sturdy like an Old Redwood Tree

Favorite teas come and go like the sun and moon rise and fall, but Feng Huang Dancong Ba Xian is my one tea that I can always come back to, strong and sturdy like an old redwood tree.
I still have a vivid memory of trying this tea for the first time. Sean and I had the privilege of cupping it as soon as it came in. I still remember that small little guywan so packed full of leaves. The small and dainty little lid trying so hard to contain the wonder of this tea, its unique strength and patience lasting through many complex and highly aromatic infusions. I felt like I was floating and glowing fire from the unbelievable chi this tea so willingly gives to all. I have gotten to know this tea over the past few months. Getting to know so many of its facets through my own personal manipulation. You and I can both love this tea and love something completely different about it. Recently, Sean and I revisited this tea again.

GLASS: half full of tealeaves, 180 degree water, rinse, 1st infusion 2 minutes, 2nd infusion 1 minute with the rest going up by 15 seconds.

The first infusion had the fruity and delicate floral aromas I remembered but I craved the bold astringency that I feel gives such great chi.

The second infusion started bringing out that astringency that balances out the delicate notes.

Then it happened, the third infusion gave me a combination of the first two with one of the nicest lingering aromas I have tasted in a while. It was as if fragrant blossoms danced on my tongue and filled my senses as I exhaled.

Mondays at work can be pretty stressful with the work of the weekend weighing down on you and the tasks of the week slowly piling up, but we do work at a tea company. My biggest perk is being able to stop and enjoy my water and leaves; taking the time to slow down and forget about the paperwork and voicemails and remember why we are here. My passion is tea and tea is good to me.

Susana Mojica
Student of the leaf and passionate aficionado.

The story of these oolongs begin with Zhao Bing, the last emperor of Southern Song Dynasties who fled to Chaozhou, Guangdong in 1278 A.D. As his group marched through the Feng Huang Mountains, they picked fresh leaves from old tea trees and discovered that by chewing the leaves, their thirst was miraculously quenched. The leaves had sweet, floral and savory notes with an uplifting energy that helped them through their journey. Varietals and seeds from original trees such as this one were spread through the region, selected and cultivated, resulting in what we like to refer as an extended family with many generations.

1 comment:

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The fresh leaves from old tea trees by chewing the leaves, the thirst is miraculously quenched. The leaves has sweet, floral and savory notes with an uplifting energy that help them through their journey.