; Cwyn's Death By Tea: Wedging ;

The Very Limited T-Shirt for Cwyn's Tea Fund

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Wedging

Disaster
Noooooooooo! Horror of horrors, the worst thing to happen to a puerh addict is something amiss with the teacake and it's my treasured 2005 Naka. The psychedelic must-save-for-chemotherapy standby! The tea meant to ease me into the afterlife where I plan to meet Lu Yu and he'll greet me with the hundreds-of-years-old sheng, pouring golden-red-brown elixir down my gullet before the last tea drunk of life wears off. Immortality by Tea on old Cwyn, for tea is religion two cups in. Something has happened to my Wrapper and I'm frozen in Tea OCD-ness of what do I do...

The wrapper got torn. Wedging.

For those of you not familiar with this American slang, it's an old school joke of seeing someone's underwear band sticking out, grabbing it and pulling upwards quickly into the poor victim's butt crack and forcing him to stick his fingers in there and dig it out. In the case of my teacake, the cause is stuffing Too Many Teacakes into a stack in the tea fridge. Pulling my Naka out of the too-tight stack tore the wrapper. My tea cake has wedged its undies and I'm not sure what to do. What was I thinking??

Awhile back I asked TwoDog to send me some spare tea wrappers in case something like this happened, and he obliged with enclosing some extra spare wrappers he had lying around, but none of them happen to be the same as the one on this tea. I didn't ask him for specific tea wrappers, but just something in case of disaster. But now I'm stuck because I want the ORIGINAL wrapper. I wouldn't care about putting a non-descript tea wrapper onto something like a 2009 Jingmai or a 2005 shou beeng I plan to break up anyway. But dear god, not my Naka.

Thankfully I have two 2005 Naka cakes from white2tea. The One That Got Wedged is the cake I'm drinking from. Occasionally. In a panic, with precious loose tea starting to fall out from the cake onto the floor, I stuff the cake into a plastic bag and seal it up quick. I begin to wonder how many other Tea Drunks are in the same situation. I'm probably the only one with an overstuffed tea fridge, cakes waiting for crocks. Everybody else is probably far more sensible with a manageable stash. Rational tea drinkers have built shelves and stack their cakes appropriately. They care about their wrappers and my behavior is negligence at best.

Now we have a case for an all-Dayi collection, Taetea has the good sense to manufacture sturdy wrappers. And no Dayi collector in his right mind is going to remove the holographic sticker, much less the actual wrapper. Maybe a Taiwan Businessman with a hundred Dayi cakes and 30 tongs goes ahead and breaks up his tea and jars it, he doesn't care. He throws away his wrappers. He can always buy more. He plans to live forever and probably already has, with so much money at hand these guys are capable of anything.

But I'm a poor old lady living in the Midwest USA where nobody cares about tea and I can't even complain at the Kwik Trip because they'll just hand me a tea bag to try and fix me up, and then usher me out of the store as quickly as possible out of worries I might head to the toilet next, and they'll have to argue over who will get to check on me when I don't come out. Not even the alkies down at the bar are going to sympathize, they have a sensible habit and throw away the bottle when it is empty and by that point they have already picked off the damp label with their fingernails out of boredom because, let's face it, drunks don't have anything to say. Their habit is about silent communion and acceptance. The tea drunk, by contrast, is still fighting. Tea is the drink of the ninja and the samurai and the nun and the white mage and Hobbes' Leviathan.

I've given up trying to explain all this to the neighbors and the ladies down at the library where I used to work. At some point, every old lady sounds whiny or ranting or creakily croaking no matter what we say, even when it all makes perfect sense. They just wonder if I've had my meds today or whether they need to call my son and say come get your mother. The only place this all makes sense is online where I know I will meet up with a 20-something tea drunk who knows for a fact I'm not senile and she's worried about her tea wrappers too. Only then will I gain some rational perspective because on top of all that she's dealing with diapers. She has her own worries about Wedging.

Okay I think I'm calmer now. Really the only rational thing to do is just break up this cake and crock it. It's still a cake though. Once I get out the knife it's all over, forever, and the beeng will never again be a beeng. It's just tea.

Yes. It's just tea.

It's just tea.
It's just tea.
It's just tea.

Drink it now, I'll be a goner tomorrow for sure and my contingency plan has just been halved.




Requiescat in Pace.









10 comments:

  1. Dayi before about 2006 used very soft wrappers. I've wound up using aluminum foil for the '05 Dayi Mengsong Peacock.

    The premium brands? Those wrappers hang together much better, even the ones from '04-'06. The wrappers people use these days for premium stuff will last for a looooooonnnng time.

    Just drank the last of that Naka sample I received recently. I can believe it's actual Naka/Naka-like gushu.

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    1. I think Chawangshop's bamboo Naka is the real deal too, you can tell if it is the small leaves. Naka wild trees have tiny leaves because no fertilizer is used to boost the nitrogen content. But I think the Chawangshop isn't all spring leaves, so it has a lesser relaxation effect.

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    2. I believe I have had a sample of that tea long ago. I didn't think much of it, comparing it to a Mengku at the time.

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    3. Well in most cases with tea,my out get what you pay for. I have other tea friends confirm the effect from both teas so it is not just me. So you can have the $7 session or the $300 session, one will leave you still sitting and the other lying down.

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  2. Why not just double wrap the cake? The second wrapper can catch the fannings, but the tea is never divorced from its original wrapper.

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    1. The Naka is still a little green and needs access to moisture which in my tea fridge isn't high enough to penetrate double wrappers. To be honest, I think I should really remove all wrappers if I'm serious about aging, regardless of the method used. The wrappers are fine in super humid climates, they are made for such weather. My problem is being too precious over the wrapper. If common sense ever kicks in, then in my dry climate I need to remove all wrappings and create a micro climate inside a stoneware crock such as would be used here for fermenting vegetables.

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  3. I double wrapped one cake shipping destroyed. Another I put a pu'er pick through before I had a tray. Heartbreaking. I've been trying to keep my wrappers all nice and pretty to make a collage to hang above my tea shelf. Thinking about it, saving the wrappers for quick art is like saving wine corks for a pinterest project. - Oolong Owl

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    1. A collage is a cool idea. Wrappers made with cotton/linen or cotton/silk blends can actually be shredded and soaked and made into rag paper which I think is lovely for crafts too.

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  4. At least is was not one of those artistic pieces like the Tea Urchin sells. I would lose it if one of those got wedged......

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    1. I do like their wrapper designs as well.

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