Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Water Golden Turtle / Shui Jin Gui from The Tea Gallery

Class: Wuyi yancha, oolong
Origin: Wuyi Mountains, Fujian Province, China
Vendor: The Tea Gallery (Product page)
Price: $18.00 (25g) / $63.00 (114g)


This is another lovely yancha from The Tea Gallery. The dry leaf smells soft, with a nice balance of caramel and tangy florals. The first few infusions show a strong yancha mineral base, as well as a nice cocoa/roast flavor. The tangy florals are quiet at first but linger, then bloom into a sweet, cool aftertaste. A caramel sweetness dominates once the flavor of later brews tapers off, until it ultimately fades.

This isn't a powerhouse of upfront flavor, but that's alright— the solid aftertaste and approachable mineral character make for a graceful, youthful tea.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Starting over.

It has been a long time since I had any sort of meaningful experience with tea. At some point I just... gave up. Looking back, I think one can see this in my last several entries; fearing that I would lose some important part of my life if I accepted my budding lack of interest, I desperately grasped at new ways to find meaning in the hobby I had spent so much time exploring. Sometimes it even worked, however briefly.

But sometimes we just have to let ourselves let go. Do I regret that I gave up on a beautiful thing, a creative outlet, and a means to meet interesting people and have stimulating discussion? Absolutely— I'd be stupid not to. But did dwelling on it accomplish anything?

Over the past year (probably even longer) I often had the thought, "I really should put together a new post..." I would look over at my tea stash and associate it with the burden of taking photos, looking up information, writing, formatting, etc.; it got to the point where I felt obligated to write about tea whenever I so much as looked at it. This obligation eventually turned into a weird guilty feeling I couldn't help but dwell on, and, well, it's no surprise that tea lost its magic.

Dwelling on guilt is an incredibly easy way of telling ourselves how much better we could be— how much better we should be. You know what? Screw that. You're just as shitty a person as you know you are; no more, no less.

"Quitters never win and winners never quit." A noble sentiment, but ultimately harmful. Does this mean we fail every time life takes us down a new road? Is one failure all it takes to permanently label us as failures? Where did we get this notion that we have to, or are even able to, win everything? Why do some of us give ourselves endless amounts of grief for not achieving the level of perfection we expect?

Take comfort in your revolting humanity, the piss-poor excuse of a god that you've become. Suffering from guilt is not righteous suffering, and freeing yourself from it is not a resignation to complacency but rather the first step in getting out of your own damn way.

All this to say, hopefully I can put this mode of thinking behind me and start (among other things) enjoying tea again. And who knows? Once that happens, maybe I'll start writing again, but forget about regular updates for the sake of regular updates.

Fortunately, my readers are used to waiting. :)