Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Drinking the whole 7542 cake- conclusion

Few tea friends recently asked about my "drink-a-whole-cake-experiment". Was it boring at the end? Have you enjoyed that tea after two months of drinking it? Even though those questions were not significant to me at that time (no, it was not boring and yes, I enjoyed it) , I realized that maybe also some of my readers are curious to hear some conclusion or closer of that trip.

From the date of the original post you already know- the cake was finished few months ago. I had a plan to write about it right ahead but somehow could not find a time to do it. And maybe it is for good. Sometime it is better to talk about a journey when dust is settled. Anyway, if you want to share a story better to do it late then never, right?
Before the cake has desapeared, I took few pictures on early spring sun

When I was in the middle of that cake, I realized how much the brew change depending how I prepare it. I thought I will make some conclusions and write about tea ware, steeping time, amount of leaves and how all that physics work. What is the best what one should be aware of, what to avoid. I was also going to talk about tastes, fragrances and delicacy which this "experiment" help me to perceive. Yes, tongue can be trained. But later on I drop it. For me, there are more important things to be focus on right now.

I experienced what is quite obvious. But as in many cases - to experience is a different level then to thought -think about it. I experienced how important I am, as the one who prepare and drink that tea, for perception, assessment and judging it. How I feel at that moment, how I slept last night. Who are you at that moment, when you swallow your tea? Have you ever find out how your (momentary) condition affect your opinion on what you have in your cup? I realized that even hour after heavy meal the same tea taste different then in quiet morning on an empty stomach. I realized that when someone describe and judge a tea, it is more about that person in that moment than about that tea. Or at least it is about conversation between those leaves and drinker. If I am in well-being, at the present, I naturaly choose the right leaves for that moment and make the best of it. Tea will then make my well-being deeper and relaxed. For me it means, that to make good tea,  I have to stop to set apart "tea" at one side and "me" at another. The experience is more genuine when there is "just" the tea session. After all, when we empty our cup, the tea becomes part of us.

This understanding leads me to some thoughts on kung fu cha and the way of tea generally. It is way of self-improvement by doing it- talking, reading, writting just make it more juicy. In ceramic analogy: I try to explain to our ceramic studends that to study ceramic means to do it. Reading books, talking and studying art of others is important but without doing it, it is empty. Do it as well as you can, then it is perfect. You will always know that there is way how to do it better. But you can not be focus on making better clay (tea) - you might want to be focus to make you (to become) better potter (tea maker).

At the end, back to my 7542-from-2003 months. Aside of those experiences I wrote above, I would like to mention discovered mouth-feel. I started to feel it after few weeks, the tea was probably make just right. It was like new window in old room. New view, new light. From that moment I can find it there almost anytime. It also help me to distinguish mouth performance of other teas I drink since that. So conclusion- if you are thinking about similar experiment on yourself, be careful. It can change you.

Thank you for reading!


  1. Thank you for sharing your experience.
    I really enjoyed reading your post and looking forward to start a similar exercise

    1. Thanks Ye Min, If you will go to spent more time with one tea, then you might want to choose clean, live, in another words good, tea. Then enjoy it!

  2. Doing this was very... courageous ! I don't know if I could, even if I can foresee the benefits. Thanks for sharing. It was very interesting.

    1. Courageous indeed..ha ha, I was more like need to get back to order. Under pile of samples and much more teas then time to drink it one have to make some rules to not get infatuate (tea-crazy).

      Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Too bad you didn't get to write the post about your changing experience with brewing the tea. I do have a similar experience when I kept drinking a cheaper young sheng; I managed to get a very nice, fruity taste that one time but later on it was very hard to reproduce.

    All in all, your post was rather philosophical, which was nice, but I would have gone for the more exact "experience-based" post you hinted at in the beginning, but ultimately dropped.

    Thanks though!

    1. Thanks for your comment. Next time I will try to write more from exact side. But knowing that "time-weight-temperature-capacity" information is hardly going to help anyone to make better tea (it is much more about experince then about informations) I dont see real point of it.

      In case of this cake, the "time-weight-temperature-capacity" changed depending on:

      a) if I had a time for one and half hour tea session or just quick fifteen minutes tea

      b)if I was alone or sitting with friends

      c) what kind of leaves or I just had-were there hardly compressed centre part of that cake or almost loose leaves from sides, boken leaves with dust or clean chunk of it? It is important to adapt.

      d)in what mood I was, I make my tea differently after hard, working day or in the calm morning breeze

      and so on...

      Have a great day

  4. Pretty impressive, I have probably bought over 100 pu erh tea cakes in my life and honestly I have never finished a whole cake. Your post makes me think of trying this out, but I won't as I expect not to have so much patience as you. Thanks for the great reading ;)

  5. This is some good tasting drink. I assumed its taste is not to bitter. click here