; Cwyn's Death By Tea: Giant Steps 2012, or Do you have a Plan for Your Stash? ;

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Sunday, August 10, 2014

Giant Steps 2012, or Do you have a Plan for Your Stash?


Giant Steps 2012 by White2Tea
Just like Last Thoughts 2014, White2Tea's Giant Steps 2012 cake is part of my overall "Death by Tea" plan. I also chose it for the wrapper. For a very good reason.

Not long ago, MarshalN wrote "Drink Your Tea Now" on 4 April 2014, after he was asked to evaluate a man's stash for estate purposes (scroll down his blog to see Part 1 first).  Turns out the dead dude left a rather sizable number of puerh cakes, many of which had never even been cracked open. MarshalN took time to reflect upon the care with which the collector had gathered and stored all this tea that the recently departed fellow never tasted. This dead guy blog posting put me on pause. Time to face facts. For unless I want to become this dude, leaving a tea closet full of cakes I've never tasted to relatives who know nothing about tea, then I need a plan.

First Plank of the Plan: anyone looking at my stash after my official demise will know right now, with absolute certainty, that I will be gazing upon you in full-on tea jones and you will be haunted from the grave if you toss my tea. Yes, I plan to rise on the last day, and when I do I will first have lunch at Wisconsin River Meats, and then I will be looking for my stash. Count on it.

Second Plank of the Plan: don't buy any tea for the purposes of aging. Everything must be drinkable now. With the one exception of Giant Steps. Well, and possibly Amerykah 2014, but that's another story. For I will be drinking up my stash until it kills me.

Third Plank of the Plan: get an insurance policy. In the event of leftover tea, make sure those who will be getting their hands on my stash have reason to to keep it. This is wise advice, because anything stashed away in America with paper wrappings covered in Chinese kanji brings images to mind of Walmart and BPA plastics. Any Badger of good moral character who gets whiff of my stash is likely to don a hazmat suit and order a dumpster immediately. Are you thinking "this will never be my situation?" If you haven't read MarshalN's post by now, go read it.

In my case, the insurance policy involves currently unemployed Dear Son, posted on my last entry behind his computer. He is an only child, and unless he goes first then he will be the one to deal with my tea stash. How am I to make sure he doesn't just toss the whole lot? This is when Giant Steps becomes brilliant. Giant Steps has a wrapper that is covered with Saxophones. Dear Son doesn't play a saxophone, but he does play a Bassoon. That would be one of these:

Bassoon, at art.philipmartin.info
He even plays one that looks like bathroom plumbing.

Contrabassoon, photo by wikimedia.org
A saxophone and bassoon have one thing in common: they both require reed cane taken from a plant that looks like bamboo.
Arundo Donax, source wikipedia.org
Now, dear Son is a professional bassoonist and loves his Arundo Donax. Surely if he sees a tea cake with a reed cane instrument on it, he will keep at least that ONE cake and possibly think twice or thrice about the rest of the stash. I also have another idea in mind. Reed cane can be purchased in tubes.

Bassoon Tube Cane by gonzalezreeds.com
Do these remind you puerh drinkers of anything? How about tea stored in bamboo...

Ripe shoo in bamboo, photo by internetove-stranky.com
Now if I can get my hands on some tube reed cane, and stuff some loose mao cha therein, surely this along with Giant Steps is a sufficient insurance policy.

Only one caveat remains, and that is having to keep this cake intact. I cannot drink it. Except maybe a teensy, weensy lil sip is righteous, a way to taste myself into the afterlife, similar to Last Thoughts. It's a young tea. Here goes hurtling into the abyss.

Giant Steps in mummy wrapping, carefully now...
5 grams into the gaiwan, a bit less than half my 125 ml tea cup, so maybe 60 ml water. After all I'm just doing a tasting, not a full on tea drunk.
Tea 'Gator gets him some Arundo Donax reed cane
I get a little of that apricot smell and taste on the first steep, but the liquor is yellow and lemony. Subsequent steeps bring on the light lemon citrus. I've given up straining White2Teas, you won't find much char worth measuring and hence very little smoke. Gotta go elsewhere for that. Tongue-numbing buzz to the tea. This stuff would be good before visiting the dentist.

Fourth Steep, Giant Steps 2012 by White2Tea
Didn't do too great a job prying off leaves, the cake isn't terribly compressed and a lot of sticks got into my cup, along with the buds.
Cake is described by White2Tea as a blend.
The leaves want to stay on the cake. As they should.

Requiescat in Pace.


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