This weekend I had the honor of trying the most amazing tea I have seen. It was a gift from my local pu guy, who is becoming a very good friend and a teacher. He told me it is from the early '70s, maybe '72 or '73, and it is a sheng.
He steeped it in a pot that is a type of zinni that I didn't recognize, and it 20 years old.
The leaves were loose and gorgeous. Light brown, very shiny. Sorry for the low quality photos here.
Then the pour
Once he steeped it, and poured it for us, we just sat, mesmerized, by the eun mu, or the "cloud and fog". I just wrote another post about it. Someone came up and Mr. Moon, the teashop owner stepped away. After he returned he asked us how we liked it. We had not tried it yet, but rather had just sat and stared at the beautiful, shifting, glowing patterns. I have never before seen an eun mu that formed such perfect spirals, both small and large, just to fracture and shift into other patterns.
Then we drank it. I usually like the third or fourth steep best, but this was different. The first was my favorite, though the 8th (and last) was still amazing. It tasted very strong, with a full body that I wanted to chew, but without the slightest hint of bitterness. My first thought was that it tasted like an ancient, deep-rooted tree. Then I started to think of medicinal herbs, and even just good clean earth. I became suddenly aware of my teeth, though in a good way (hard to explain). I kept wanting to chew it. The more I drank, the more my mind kept slipping to the place, deep down, where the bottom-most roots meet the dirt. I felt lightweight, and I felt tight deep in my core, though loose in all my extremities. I felt indescribably happy and calm, like everything would be OK no matter what happened. It was fantastic.
I will post the carnage, bright and glossy, in just a moment.
All in all, this was a fantastic experience. Also, by the way, the teapot is selling for $1,500, and the tea goes for $400/100 grams. Waaaaaaay out of my price range. This was a really special thing for me, and I hope you all enjoy hearing about it!