This is the first extended session I have been fortunate enough to experience with someone else at the helm. The cake proved pliable, with a selection of leaves being removed by hand in a single intact chunk, with only minimal amounts of broken pieces left from the severing.  The rinse was longer than my usual standard, and produced both a rinse of most enticing color as well as one of the most inviting odors from a pot of wet leaves I have ever enjoyed.

The water we used was around 200 – slightly under to start, and closer to 205 in the midbrews. I recommend the slightly higher temp – the leaves are large and healthy, and respond very, very well to the heat. I suspect that it would have been best to have operating there from the get-go. I will try to remind to edit in a postscript when I try it.

This tea had all the things I read about in other people’s better young pu sessions, some of which I had never experienced before. Mouth coating, lasting flavors, returning sweetness – they were certainly present, and very fine, but at that price point I’d expect it. What really bowled me over was the penetrating quality of the tea on the swallow. This party wasn’t content to stay constrained in the mouth – oh no. It led a parade down the throat and stopped to set up shop in the gut, selling unbelievably cheap and delicious pastry and tying wondrous balloon animals for kids and parents alike.

It was also incredibly easy to drink. Smooth as your favorite proverb, with only enough bitterness to keep things lively. Harder brewing in later steeps did not produce any astringent nature, and while the bitterness could be forced to the fore it was never jarring or any more than another element in a beautiful panoply of flavors I’ll never manage to describe. You might as well ask a small child to describe the dancing in the Bolshoi’s production of Swan Lake.

The energy was real as well, but settled in like an old friend you hadn’t seen for a while and soon enough it was like they’d never left.  It did not make me uncomfortable, foolish, or lazy (any more so than I already possess those attributes). Additionally, despite the fact that we’ve been having some tremendously muggy scorchers of late, it did not lead to any overheated feelings. Extraordinarily well played, DJ Doublemutt.

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I almost certainly don’t know very much about all that I don’t know about tea.

But I’m trying!


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