|Sejak, left; hwangcha, right.|
Might surprise a few of you that I do drink tea other than puerh. Every pu head needs to have a back up plan for those occasions when drinking puerh just isn't possible. For example, they don't allow puerh knives in prison. In my case, I'm heading for the nursing home where no laws are supposed to apply, but those people cut your meat in advance, and I'll be lucky if I can keep my Xbox, to say nothing of piling up bamboo tongs in my room. No, I expect that unless I want to file a court case I'd best identify some other teas I'm willing to drink before I'm unable to do much more than mutter over the tea bags in the community room. Actually, I'm quite partial to Korean tea so the decision of what else to drink is easy. But finding it? Not so much.
I suppose I will suggest you pick some of this Sejak up, but I'd rather you left it there in case I need it. Actually it was an excuse to also pick up some pu and naturally a teapot too. I wouldn't have done all that but for my friends on Instagram constantly taunting me with teaware, and puerh-sk is the place to go to hoard both tea and teaware in one big shopping spree. So really it isn't my fault I now have this Sejak.
|by Jeong Jae Yeun|
This tea, aside from puerh, is what I can recommend as the best tea. Full stop. My initial curiosity with this tea came from the story Arthur Park tells on his blog about how a Buddhist nun tasted this tea at Jeong's home and then stopped later at an artisan pottery workshop and shared her experience of drinking the best tea she'd ever had. I wanted to try and discover what a Buddhist nun might see in this particular tea, and the answer was easy to discover.
Using about a tablespoon of tea, try the first steep in your gaiwan at 150F/65C. I know that Buddhist nuns, especially those on the road, tend to fast more as a rule than western nuns. When breaking a fast, one doesn't want to put boiling hot water into one's stomach. Either use a cooler brew, or you let the tea cool a bit. Now I've done my share of fasting, and what happens is every one of your senses becomes more sharp. The first steep of this tea at a cool temp is a burst of chocolate, and I think the nun must have wept in delight.
|Author's lovely sister, in Jordan, 2014|
So now you know my Back-up Plan, in case drinking pu just isn't possible.