; Cwyn's Death By Tea: Getting on my Manzhuan ;

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Getting on my Manzhuan

I don't know what the problem is, but lately I can't seem to get on a good tea drunk. Fine, I'll admit the first step: I'm addicted to tea, my puerh habit has become unmanageable, and probably only a higher power can get me to admit the exact nature of my wrongs. For I've been drinking a lot of aged teas. Like so many people, when autumn turns colder I look to darker aged teas for the warming factor. But the downside to aged tea is that most of the caffeine is already aged out. Four cups of a roasted oolong and I'm yawning. Five cups of shou and I'm snoring. Too much aged tea for an aged person is just old people hanging around too many other old people, very soon everyone is dozing. Perhaps we need the young and green nearby to give us a reason to stay awake. In my case, I need a decent tea like a fifty year old man needs Viagra, especially when the clocks get turned back an hour and daylight savings time ends.

So I'm digging around my collection for that guaranteed whiskey-like concoction, the bark-like-a-dog tea, the one that has me hanging over the bar in a complete stupor. The one that gets me emailing shout-outs to other teaheads who've learned by now they don't need to answer back, and they are too tea-drunk themselves to reply anyway. I can think of three teas which are usually a slam dunk for this tea drunk, the 2005 Menghai tuo from Yunnan Sourcing, Sencha Ashikubo from Camellia Sinensis, and the 2014 Manzhuan from White2Tea. I wrote a bit about the 2005 Menghai in my post about quantitative statistics a couple of months ago. Currently I'm out of the Sencha Ashikubo and still trying to drink up this year's senchas from O-Cha which are like lettuce soup. 

That leaves the 2014 Manzhuan which I wrote about already on Steepster. My opinion is the 2014 Manzhuan should be banned for people with more than three misdemeanors or a felony conviction. This tea isn't for lying around and avoiding, it's one that could cause the wrong person to shoot the neighbors. But what else can I do but drink it? I need to get out of bed long enough to take out the garbage.

Official photo from white2tea, mine has faded characters already.
Last summer I got lucky enough to score a ticket to one of Twodog's tea tastings in our home state. He served the 2014 Manzhuan along with the 2007 Repave and the 1990s Hong Kong Raw. In fact the Manzhuan was the final tea on the roster, and I could sit through the other two teas knowing I would stumble out the door well drunk in the end, because I had tasted a sample previously, and already had a cake on order. It's worth re-posting the photo of Twodog's tea table from that session, it's a teahead equivalent our local area Hustler Fest where alcoholic people drink beer all weekend and post silly photos on Facebook. Keep in mind when you look at the piles that this amount of tea served 10 people. And if we are honest, the piles are just average for only one Real Tea Drunk, a scary thought.

*Hic* did I really drink all that?? No...
My Manzhuan cake hasn't seen the light of day in several months. I last removed it when I decided to label all of my white wrapper cakes with small pieces of paper to keep my stash organized. But now I can find out whether I can still get a good tea drunk going or whether I need to dry myself out and attend a meeting. I wonder what local AA people would think if I show up and declare a tea addiction.

Actually, I haven't even opened this cake yet. I got two samples with a couple of tea orders, and drank those up which precluded the need to break into my actual cake. I notice the cake is getting a bit brown now since the spring, on the surface anyway. Okay, do I really need 10 grams? I think I do.

My 2014 Manzhuan from white2tea

Thick brew, no splash and no bubbles when pouring after two rinses. Like engine oil going into the chainsaw. The apricot is still there but deeper now than I remember from earlier this year, and the combination of heat and thickness of the brew feels like cognac in the mouth with a bit of warmth down the hatch. Oh yeah. Three cups in and I don't feel exactly tea drunk but I am getting hungry. I can feel the caffeine a bit.

First steeping.
Right. It's now going on 5 a.m. I haven't gone to bed. Drank too much again. Been playing a video game for so long it's glitching out on me. My mental perception and Adept shotgun skill outlasted the game disk. Going to have to scarf a benzo to knock my brain out. Didn't even steep out the tea, but a comforting thought to know it's resting in the Yixing until needed. Thankfully tomorrow's a weekend, and I'll live to drink another day.

Requiescat in Pace.


  1. questions:
    which game were you playing?

    why is the tea so dark in the last picture?

    1. I am playing Mass Effect 2, shotgun Adept with no Research Terminal upgrades. Do you mean the photo of the steeping? I think there may be some huang pian in the cake, that is, some aged yellow leaves. Twodog usually favors a leaf blend of various grades because of the complexity and smoothness. Or perhaps some autumn tea in the mix too. Maybe he will see this and chime in. I can tell you my samples brewed up similarly orange.

    2. yeah I meant the steeped tea. my sample brewed up pretty bright yellow.

      you and your Mass Effect... maybe I should pick that game up, see how it is. I always wanted to play it back when I was a regular gamer, but never got around to buying it.

    3. I'm not sure? It looked dark to me too. I'm used to it being more of a golden color.

    4. Okay then I have to conclude it is my Yixing contributing the color. I use this pot with young-to-teenager sheng. Other teas leeched into the pot have made an appearance! I will keep this in mind and consider a gaiwan for showing newer teas. Thanks guys!

  2. I often wonder about the effects of tea. I'm kind of dependant on it to kick start me in the mornings, and to keep me going during the day, but don't usually drink it from late afternoon on in case it keeps me awake. I don't often experience a 'drunk' feeling, but when I do it can be with aged teas. I probably drink too much, to the extent that what is happening may be more about holding withdrawal symptoms at bay than it being a stimulant.
    As a scientific westerner I know the effects are largely chemical and come from a combination of caffeine and theanine, and perhaps some other active compounds. However, I would like to believe that Qi is more complex than that. What I do find is that the effects seem to differ depending on what I am doing and what mood I am in to start with. The times that I have felt quite tea drunk I have been quiet and meditative. I notice little effect when my mind is occupied with other things.
    Perhaps if you want to get tea drunk, put away the games console and force those legs into the lotus position!

    1. Thanks for your continuation of my tea education! I had not understood that there is a distinction. Tomorrow I must try drinking too much , rather than too well ��. What a relief that cha zui can be experienced in any position. Any Boy Scouts out there good at untying knots in old limbs folded into unnatural positions in search of a tea high? ��
      Venveri Viri Carpe Vinum

    2. I think you are referring to cha qi, and I am referring to cha zui which is more about the caffeine. And oh...I can get cha zui in any position. ;)

      Cha qi is indeed nice as a meditation aid. But only when we are the combustion which needs no aid.

  3. Sometimes I just hear words inside my head, I guess because cosmic council doesn't think I have mental processing torque to draw my own conclusions. So this time it was manzhuan. I am trying the opposite, kill caffeine, so mixing gotu kola with something with a kick but the one that would rebalance senses rather then send heart and head away from each other. So far I am experimenting with teas I couldn't give away, one is xiaguan Fusheng Han Cha. But hei zhuan as opposite to hua zhuan seems to have nicer kick to any raw puerhs. I find golden flowers is like BBQ sauce, it's like cheating. I want to know what that chicken felt the morning it was slaughtered. I want to propel its legacy into fearless faces of people who meet me when the overdose narrows one of my pupils like in surrealistic marylin Manson art craft. Is it inflammation ? No, it's a filter to climb out of this dimension where noone follows unless they ready to lose their limbs. I mean, I can touch walls with octopus hands while my body is slumbered on a couch. It's a layer cake, where brain and body looking at each other thru airport security glass knowing that luggage is connection we are wired to nurture. One price point is that stalks seems to fuse different acidity to leaves, so cheaper varieties, almost soup base for minorities is a path to freshness and soothiness, paradoxally.