Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Misty morning with raw coin from 80'

Autumn is here, and it is getting already cold. We had white frost every morning last week. But today morning was a bit warmer. When I went out there was mist walking around and also some brave bird tried to sing. Being aware that this can be one of the last chances, I have took my tea table outside.

 With basic equipment and mist around I decided to open one of the treasure bags which arived from Taiwan a month ago.

Stephane Erler write to me this note: "The puerh coin is probably made of plantation buds. What's interesting is that they were stored inside a real bamboo stick. Nice packaging! Quite smooth, but by far not as powerful as the mid 80s loose raw puerh I've described recently. (I have only 1 coin left in my inventory!)"

Raw puerh which is about 25 years old is not common visitor in my cup. These, to coin shaped leaves, are brown, small with very light flowery scents. Pressing is rather strong and I was glad to realized how it fits to my small yixing pot.

First quick infusion (after one rinse brew) was very light, alive and pure in my mouth. I have put lid on the side and sniffed a bit. When steam reached my nose I smiled. It is like start to read a new book and after first page you know- I am going to enjoy this adventure. Scents of nuts mixed with resin and woods are intense and force me do sniff again and again. This repeat after each infusion but after fifth it getting to be more subtle. And I started to believe to my mind which found there also fragrances of sweet flowers. I found the complex of fragrances surprisingly similar to scents I know from much younger LiuBao I have.

Second brew was already full bodied and also darker in color. Mouth fell is rounded and smooth. On taste profile participate tints of coffee chocolate.

...and fourth cup
After six infusions I have taken a break. Energize but calm I went to studio to get back to this tea during evening. 

The boiling teapot still works...
This tea fits to autumn colors and moods very well. I also feel that drinking and learning from really aged, mature teas is quite important. Important for me as someone who like puehr tea and who would like to make my tea sessions deeper. It is good to have the experience to know where our young teas can go. I always become aware that the magic of good aged puehr tea is not in its look, taste, smells or mouth feel. All of this can be great but there is something more why we love it.

Have a sun in your cups, no matter how misty or rainy your morning is!

Thank you for reading.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Terra Mano

After quite busy summer we decided to accept nice invitation from France. Terra Mano is name of festival hold every year in small town in Corréze deppartment, Meyssac. We were invited to participate on festival and also to spent few day before festival in this wonderful area. We needed vacation and it was pleasant to leave our daily routine behinde us. But I took this traveling, as I usually do, more like oportunity to learn and bring new inspirations in to my live.

Back home, I remember people and their lives more then sights. I am always more curious to see how craftsmen work then lie on the beach. Hearing story of a castle I see lives of people in the landscape around. We enjoyed stay in the area very much. It was great to watch how local potters throw on the weel. It was factinating to see how glassblower is blowing in to a pipe, creating wonderful vase. Farmers in walnut orchard are picking up this year's wealth. There are goats on slope and goats cheese on the table. Driving thru vineyard in the morning we enjoyed red wine during evening.

There are few villiges in the area called "red stone villiges" From pictures you can see why this nickname. What fascinates me as a potter was the clay used by local potters. It is stoneware with almost the same color as those sand stones houses around - iron red.

The clay is mined by Dordogne River and it was joy to try work with it there. Such joy that I asked Meyssac potter Laetitia to give me chunk of this "Dordogne treasure" to try it at home. I am looking forward to see how my hands and our kiln are going to deal with it. At the top of my head I have few tea pots named "French Autumn" (I know, not too inventive...). And the process have already started. So please, curious reader, be patience and stay tune.

Thank you for reading...