Her water bowl and food dish are still on the kitchen floor. They’re empty.
I keep expecting to see her lying on the couch, waging her tail, with her head on the arm rest, looking at me or hear her dog tags on her collar clink and rattle in the other room as I make my tea. But here is only silence. I’m alone.
She was 77. In human years. And she was the only girl who ever loved me everyday of her life. Her name was Amy, she was my dog, she was my best friend, and she was put down yesterday. And I miss her terribly.
To get my mind off her not being here, I need to keep it occupied on something else. Tea me.
This is my first Pu’er so don’t judge too quickly. We all have to start somewhere and I can think of no other place that I trust to be initiated than Verdant. Here goes nothing.
The wet leaf smells of old book pages. Its wonderful and rustic. It smells a little rough, like dried leaves scraping against concrete in the fall. That’s the only way I can describe the smell, with a sound.
After the 10ish second wash, the wet leaves smell musty and sweet. Like fish oil capsules. I After I pour the wash out, I smell the leaves and theres a little, cinnamon, caramel sweetness that mixes with the smell of wet hay. There’s a musty but clean air to it. This is very hard to wrap my head around and describe all the things going on.
The tea is a deep amber, to the point of being a thick ruby but clean. Its like watered down table wine, if that makes any sense, or the blood that comes from a piece of cooked red meat. That’s not to make it sound gross at all, its just the color I think of. It looks intimidating.
1st: Weird. I thought this would be thicker. It has a very, very light mouthfeel. Leaves a mineral stamp on my tongue and coats my mouth quietly. Slight bitterness. Still old book pages though, and I love it.
2nd: Mineral and light mouthfeel dominates but the lingering aftertaste is different now. Its cottony, fluffy and soft. Its like theres a smile inside my mouth.
3rd: Sweeter now, less rock-like. This is my favorite infusion yet. There’s a quiet bean-like taste that is so subtle it might not even exist but its there. I’m not getting the caramel taste that others get but there is a richness to the aftertaste that compliments the faint mineral thing on my tongue.
Not bad for my first Pu’er. I was scared. Thought I’d be drinking dirt water or moss extract. How wrong I was. I’m very surprised and very happy to say that I have tried this style of tea and want to and will try more.
My head feels pretty good, too. Maybe I’m not “tea drunk”, or “cha zui”, but I do feel different, a little “heady” after drinking three cups of this. I feel good.
This is why tea matters to me. It brings me back up when I’m down. Finds me when I’m lost. Sits quietly with me when I’m alone.
Time will take care of these feelings. I won’t dwell or sulk for long.
Besides, life is what you make it. And I believe I will make a cup of tea. :)