Wednesday, December 14, 2011

2006 ZhangPing Shui Xian

This morning I opened two new bags - first with tea I got some time ago from Chawangshop. Second one arrived yesterday - new charcoal as food for my "water heated on charcoal" project. Both tea as well as charcoal would deserve more space than this short post. I can promise that as my experiences with charcoal will grow I will happy to share with you more.

Zhangping Shui Xian is rather rare oolong tea. Maybe I was not looking dutifully but I know only about Life in Teacup where you can purchase such tea on the "west". Reading description on Chawangshop and going thru posts on blog of Life in Teacup you can come to know about origin of this interesting oolong. I have not tried it yet so I was exited to see what is inside the very nice package.
just wet fingers and ink is smudged...

I cut this five years old small square brick in half, and put it in to my 90ml teapot. It was maybe too much tea for it. I don't mind to drink strong tea. But as I was enjoing it in my cup I was aware that behind its full body there are covered fragrances. So next time, the second half of the "brick" will be cut again in to the half.

Although brews were strong, let's say powerful, there ware still many flowery and sweet, fruity scents. Roast of this tea is not so strong like with traditional Wui ShuiXian but you can still feel it. Probably those five years of age, created it the tea heavier hints of plums and dry apricots, which this tea has left in my mouth.

If I would like to sound romantic I could say that this tea reminds me "taste of old China". From its package, thru look of dry leaves to sweet aftertaste. But this is just my personal impression - what do I know about it? But it was pleasant mixture of misty, quiet morning and tea leaves what made my day. Hot water in my kettle was slowly gurgling - just one step to happiness. It is decent and interesting tea worth to try. The seller says that "this tea is very good for long term storage". Who knows? But even now there are signs of (semi)aged oolongs and that is good thing.

For those who are interested in to my new charcoal experience I have, for now, just few words and couple of pictures. I have tried few different charcoals and, till today, as the best work coconut briquettes. Today morning I used "single kind", high quality, Czech oak charcoal. Ok, producer labeled it as "high quality". But truth is that there are rather bigger, nice pieces and chunks. Charcoal is clean and without dust, which makes smoke and smells during burning.

For lighting it up I used gas burner. I leave charcoal in original, bigger pieces and I was afraid how it will work. After five minute on gas and another ten, waiting, if " the light up" was sufficient, I have my first cup in fifteen - twenty minutes. It was faster then I was hoping for!

 Having still enough hot water I have enjoyed six infusion for another forty five minutes. Everyone who uses charcoal for heating water for tea, talks about impact on quality of the tea itself. I like how it works! But I have to make the whole process of preparing charcoal, heating water and brewing tea more calm and get routine. Then I will be more free to see and feel how it improves my tea. For now I can say: It is way worth to be started.

Thank you for reading.

Note: To everyone who would like to learn about heating water by using charcoal fire I can recomment to read and stay tune to Mattcha's blog.


  1. Ahoj,
    píši Česky, protože bych to anglicky napsal zajisto špatně. Mohl bych tě poprosit o informaci, kde by se dalo sehnat tebou zkoušené Charcoal. Google na to očividně nestačí.
    Díky za tvůj blog.
    Měj se krásně.

  2. Drahý Kupodivu,

    Jsem rád že se blog líbí. Zde jsou stránky výrobce Ten je asi přímo neprodává ale když zadáš název výrobku do Googlu tak by několik prodejců vyjet mělo. Zatím se mi jako vhodnější jeví to uhlí z buku - menší vůně při zapalování a méně prská.


  3. Splendid! I'm glad more people are using charcoal. The impact on water is huge. I'd like to know why...

    Lovely tea stove - self-made?

  4. Hi Jakub, glad to see you here.

    I have been enjoying charcoal a lot lately and you are right - it makes my tea seasions better. Just look, smell and sound of the hot stove with gurgle water on it are very pleasant. Tea itself is purer then.

    Yes, the stove was born on my pottery wheel...


  5. Hi!
    I'm glad to see myself here too :) Didn't know you had a blog for a long time.

    Awesomeness of your work is...awesome :)

    Are you selling these stoves? Several people have asked me whether I could get them a tea stove, but where I bought it, it is not available anymore. As well as porous clay kettles are not... I could link these people to you if you were interested in selling these.

  6. I appreciated you interest in to my work. I make them also for sale but I still work on the best design-function combination. I have two new clays suitable for pieces under thermal shocks and I m going test them with charcoal we will see :) Stay tune. (You can also contact me to keramikakcaji&


  7. I'm agree with you about quality and flavour of Shui Xian - really nice tea! And I've never tried to prepare water for tea by charcoal. It's sounds well, but a little strange. But I'll want to try still )