etz chayim- my winter teas

3 tevet 5781  my go to teas in the winter are puers and aged white teas. im here for the fresh sheng as well as the aged. this doesn’t sound like a big revelation because these are already teas i really like independent of the season. these are my go to teas in addition to dan congs so there is nothing too astounding about this revelation. so why do i like them during this time of year in particular? im about to get kinda woo, look out.   in the winter i spend more time indoors than i wish i did. i still go out into the woods and go for walks, but i have a hard time with the cold. its not bad out here in the PNW, but im still indoors more than i wish i was. i need the woods and being outside to not get too depressed. it makes me happy and helps me connect to the world and the things i love in it. the less im outside, the less i get to connect in that way and i have to find other ways to connect. tea is one of those ways for me.   puer and white tea both hold a certain qi that i really

tum'ah- WTF W2T?!

  25 tevet 5781 i bought some things from white2tea recently. people online like them so i felt i should give it a try. their prices seem pretty high and their design style looks like they are marketed for a boujee-er audience. but i wanted to check out the cheaper end of their catalogue and see if their more affordable options were still decent. i bought some 2020 sheng and some dan congs.   after my purchase i came across an unsettling eye sore. a white tea cake with a picture of a kohen gadol, a jewish high priest. what?! not only that, but the kohen gadol looks like it was drawn by a someone who is a New Age Esotericist illustrating a Tarot card after reading a book about “Q”abbalah.   why is this on a tea cake? what does a kohen gadol have to do with this white2tea cake from Yunnan? did they ask anyone jewish that they knew? i very much doubt it was picked or processed by a jew. i also doubt that it was given a heksher.    the cake is named “Censer” for the described camphor and i

im lo achshav- what do i want out of this blog?

24 tevet 5781 i don’t care about reviews that wax poetic about the detailed flavors or aromas of teas. i don’t want a play by play description of each infusion and how they compare. is this because i am too impatient? probably. is this because of my disgruntled relationship with the internet and information overload? also probably. i have too many books i need to read and i greatly prefer those than reading off of a screen and scrolling through blog posts (it makes my head hurt). i used to read a lot of food blogs and got very sick of the tired out tropes and back flips people would do to find new ways of describing the same thing. don’t worry, ill get there too and you can roll your eyes at my over use of the phrases ‘faint forest floor aroma’ or ‘reminiscent of the pungent bouquet found in a furry costume rental.’ what i want to write in these pieces is my experience with different teas. i want to share the stories behind them, how i found them, where i got it, what i learned from it

ta’avat geev’ote- 2003 cnnp high mountain from puerh shop

  21 tevet 5781 after the previous samples ( 1 & 2 ) i tried from, Puerh Shop i was getting pessimistic about the teas and also about my own knowledge of how to distinguish between a tea’s quality and my quality as a tea drinker. thankfully, i liked this sample more.   it is not super flavorful, but has more discernable flavors. there is that familiar puer ‘leathery’ taste, a pleasant smokiness, some mushroom flavor, and some nice earthiness. it also has a little more thickness and coating of the mouth, not much, but more than the previous 7542’s. the listing says it is from the Bulang region so i will have to see if other Bulang cakes share some of these same flavors (ie: earthy and smoky).   the PS website says it was aged in Kunming for 10 years and im guessing this was natural/dry storage. the broth is darker than the 1998 7542 which makes me more confident that the 1998 is not from 1998. the pictures don’t do a good job of showing that, but it was something i was paying atten

yam mutzak- my set up

19 tevet 5781 i like to keep things simple. partly out of necessity and partly out of stress. less things means less to worry about and i, like many, already have enough to worry about.   gaiwan. cup. water. just the basics. but because i  am  not  ‘basic,’ there are a few twists.   my gaiwan is a nice, petite, white gaiwan. just like me.   it is 60ml and i bought it from Yunnan Sourcing for under $6 plus shipping. i am a delicate little bird, so i like the small size of this gaiwan so my tea sessions can be reasonable. id rather have two separate small sessions than one larger size one anyway so i can try different teas.   i actually have two of these small gaiwans. why? because i broke the lid on the first one just one week into owning it. the lid of my second one lasted not much longer. so now i have two gaiwan bowls and no lid, what am i to do? thankfully, the lid from one of my thrift store ‘Chinese’ style tea pots fits my gaiwan! yes, the lip has an edge that catches some small l