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Sunday, August 23, 2015

2014 Autumn Zhang Ping Shui Xian

9-10 gram size squares

Picked up a 5-pack of these little 9-10 gram Autumn tea pillows with my spring sheng order from Chawangshop.com. I'd been eyeing these for a few months, and shortly after I got mine the stock had sold out. Seems Chawangshop sells these every so often, but they don't last long. The eight step process of making this tea involves picking parameters in September/October, light oxidation, light charcoal roasting, and pressing. This "water sprite" tea is known for its floral scent, narcissus or daffodil are common comparisons. In reality, this tea gives a bit of the best of both green and roasted oolong teas.

This cloth bag came with the order, probably for my bladder pads. 
The weather has been far too hot for me to even consider oolong or shou over the past few months. But today we have an overcast and unseasonably cool day, in between summer and fall.

I went a bit heavy on the tea/water ratio, but I didn't want to break up the leaves. Sometimes I found as many as 4 leaves on a stem as I dug around in my teapot. The scents alternate between the familiar plummy charcoal roast and then the grassy notes of green oolong. The brew is long-legged down to the stomach. The charcoal roast is just enough and it stays around the edges of the mouth, while the grassy citric notes cling to the tongue. Very cooling on the throat which is surprising. A bit of sourness throughout, I suppose to be expected, the tradeoff for the incredible floral aroma which is the real hallmark of the tea.


Tea for a dreamy afternoon.

And as usual I drank too much. The main event is over at 5 pots of tea, at this point the roast begins to dissipate along with the heavenly floral scent. I squeezed out 7 pots before calling it a day, and probably could have got a bit more. The caffeine packs a punch compared to the Pu I normally drink. I'm a bit jittery in my stomach now. I can feel the need for a large meal coming on.


Light oxidizing and roasting gives these leaves a lacy appearance.

At $5.50 or so for 5 tea cakes, this works out to just over a dollar a session. Half the price of a candy bar nowadays and nothing on the hips. For me it was a no-brainer adding a pack of these to a puerh order. I'll save the remaining 4 for a special afternoon like today, when the cooler, cloudy weather calls me to treat myself to a little inspiration.

Requiescat in Pace.

4 comments:

  1. Ah, good to learn that Chawangshop sells these too. I haven't tried it yet, but I recently bought a heavy roasted one from What-Cha; they don't seem to offer the lighter roast version though. I'll have to put together a Chawangshop order soon!

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    1. I think they sold out of this version. Might look for it again sometime this winter. Steepster's database shows they have sold it other years.

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  2. Cwyn, I wanted to bounce this one off of you. You sometimes cover your crocks with a damp, but not dripping, cloth right to add humidity? What if you heated the water so that in the crock the temp and humidity would rise? Although very hands on, this might be a really good solution I was thinking.

    let me know

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    1. I don't use a damp cloth over the top. If the crock has a lid, I moisten the inside of the lid. I only use a cloth over shou or humid aged sheng because they mainly need airing. As for heat, I do have radiators which I made use of when making shou out of maocha this past winter.

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