Monday, January 21, 2013

Drinking a whole cake

This post is going to be about drinking one cake of puehr cha, but not at ones, of course. I just decided to take one cake and drink it every day till I will finish it. This action probably might needs some explanation

There are many stages on way of tea. Each person is different, but many of us experience similar course. 
If the enthusiasm stays, you will find yourself (or you already have) in place, which I would call "conscious chaos". You are under pile of tea and tea samples and you enjoy them more or less randomly. You already know what you like and which way you would like to keep walking. But there is always more tea then time to drink it. So you try this and that, still learning, training your tongue and organizing tea knowledge. I am there for a while and it is not so bad...

Lately, I have started to miss some order. I feel envy, when my friend explain how he drink puehrcha: "I usually open my tea closet, choose one cake, toucha or brick, which seems to nice to me at that moment. Then I drink it for weeks till I finish it". It sounds a bit orthodox yet simple and clean. Another tea chum just told me that for last month he drunk just teas from 2002. He have realized that he have many of them so he took a chance to get to know the year better.

I also find out, that sometime just a sample of tea is not enough or it is completely misleading. If one would like to judge a tea or learn about particular tea recipe, storage, factory or mountain then 10g of leaves is, very often, woefully not enough. Sometime you have to go through the cake to get to know it. What helped me, to go from words into an action, was also reading this Hster post. 

As first, I have chosen this traditional cake. It is Menghai 7542 from 2003. I chose this one for several reasons. First of all, I like it, it is nearly ten years old now and very pleasant to drink - you almost can't destroy the brew. Actually it very good! It was lightly traditionally stored and has stayed in HongKong for nine years. You can see it on leaves. I went for this cake also because I have few of them (I got lucky) so I am not going to cry so loud, when the beeng will be finished.

So now, I drink it every morning, every day. Depending on chosen pot, I use from 5 to 10g of leaves. Brew it in many ways. More ceremonially or more casually depending on free time and mood. Sometime I finish it during morning, sometime I am getting back to it whole day. More then 100g of it is already missing. Now I start to get to know it. It is pleasure. If I will keep going (I am not going to drink it if the pleasure disappear) the cake should be consumed in around 40days. I will let you know, that is for sure.

How do you drink you teas? Do you focus on one tea for while or are you jumping from cake to cake, from bag to bag? Thanks for sharing!

And at the end, just for a fun, three pictures from today morning. They are not manipulated in any software- just my camera has focused this way. 

Thank you for reading!


  1. Interesting! I still consider me as a tea beginner. I am trying to learn and compare many kinds of tea by drinking samples. But I also feel that to enjoy a tea is a process and not one session.

    So, that is inspiration for me.

    1. Hi Matej, Thanks for your comment. I still like samples and drink them daily as well. But sometime less it more...

  2. Hi,
    Nice of you to posed such a question of tea jumping around. I found myself doing as much since I was a tea reviewer and wanted to increase my tea counts; but now I simply enjoy the teas until they are gone. I may purchase more of that tea but will return to it at a later time for better enjoyment even. Out of sight than a rekindling of sort.

    Sorry if I have not made sense; or ever. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Dear Seule, In many cases, the real treasure is in middle of the bag. When the tea is new for me, there is a lot of excitment, maybe too much. When there is just small leftover on the bottom, sometime it have already lost its power.

      Happy day

  3. I've write about a new tea-sort in Holland :-) But I think I love coffe more!

    1. Hi Ima, thanks for stopping by. There are good coffe beans out there. Just not too often in my cup:)

  4. Velice zajímavý nápad! Zdá se to jako dobrá cesta, jak se co nejvíce seznámit s daným čajem, pochopit ho a dovést přípravu k dokonalosti.
    Osobně spíš preferuji pití čaje podle momentální chuti, aktuálního rozpoložení, ročního období - počasí... a dalších vlivů z okolí, které na mě zrovna působí. Troufám si tvrdit, že pít jeden koláč po dobu jednoho měsíce bych zcela jistě nezvládl. Toť jen můj osobní názor.
    V každém případě přeji mnoho příjemných chvil s tímto koláčem.
    Roman Drábek

    1. Zdravím Vás!

      Jsem na sebe hodný a ač si tento koláč si dávám každé ráno, během dne se dál propíjím dle momentálních nálad.

  5. You must tell me how the experience of drinking a cake until the end goes! I imagine it will be very difficult to resist the temptation of jumping around and keep things basic for a while in order to get a more profound sense. But I also think it's true that jumping around keeps a fresh feel on the tea drinking experience, keeps you on your toes, and wards of the possibility of your everyday tea becoming ordinary. This however, is just a reflection of chaos for when we approach the ordinary with the eyes of newness we are truly living. That's what takes effort, that's where we find true learning. So yes, definitely let me know how your experience goes!

    1. So far so good:) I have already found there some very nice character (mouth+taste combination) which I was not aware before. Now I can find it there any time. It is better tea then I thought. I am not keeping myself back from trying more teas during a day but it is nice to start with good friend. The fact that there is not much to left dont let the everyday becomes ordinary...

      Thanks for stopping by!

  6. It is nice to continue and be part of the blog.
    I visited Johnson Compounding Wellness Center in Waltham, MA yesterday and they had many teas in tea bag style sachets (Tea Forte) is a favorite of theirs. They had lovely Oolong teas as loose leaf way of up on the shelf and I could not reach it.
    I make mention of this here, realizing I had not seen any pu-erh teas. No Numi Teas or perhaps I missed it. It is a lovely shop and wellness center; small in size but packing and stacking quite high!
    visit them at

    Thank you, at times sharing is nice.