|2015 Bosch white2tea|
My week of fainting in the arms of the National Guard got me the funds to purchase my very own cake of Bosch, something I've been looking forward to since white2tea released their 2015 house label teas. The description for the Bosch cake insists this tea is for the "experienced" puerh drinker, and of course Old Cwyn thinks she should be at the head of the line in this category. So to shut her up, I had to go ahead and order it. She really wants two cakes, but I also wanted another Poundcake ever since I drank up my entire 100g gourd from May's tea club. When two highly fragrant fresh sheng cakes like Bosch and Poundcake arrive together in a plastic bag in hot weather, they emerge from the box smelling like my Polish aunt's bathroom after she's used it. That's the aunt with hot pink fur wallpaper bathroom and too many perfumes.
|Read it at your own risk.|
"I'm reincarnated from a Mexican Indian," we grew up hearing all too often.
"And how do you figure on that, Mom?"
"Oh well it's my gypsy heritage," she'd say.
"Mom. Your heritage is devout Hungarian Orthodox Judaism. The chances of you being related to any other ethnic group are virtually nil."
She never bothered to really look into who Gypsies are, content in her view that it's all about lifestyle and choices and not a history of isolation and oppression and forced wandering. Undeterred, she moved to southern Arizona so she could visit the land of her chosen heritage more often, mostly a dentist because Mexican dentists are cheaper. But still she did stalk a Mexican lawyer in Mazatlan for two years she felt destined to wed, even while married to her own third husband. And just before her death she kept herself busy chasing a Volkswagon dealer in Tucson of Mexican heritage, a second candidate for the destined fourth marriage but thankfully at least she was widowed by that point.
|Bit of bleed on the neifei :P|
Now don't get me wrong, my mother was a tootsie but I did love her. (A tootsie is someone who wears mini skirts well into her 70s). And I was rather proud of her flagrant and confident sexuality, that unlike other kids I had a Mom who didn't bequeath uptight hang-ups and explained anything sexual to a five-year-old in the most blunt language possible. But when you have a Hungarian parent with no boundaries whatsoever, you need to find the Off Button and press it frequently. If my mother saw the Bosch wrapper, she'd think it is all about her, even though she wouldn't have a clue who a Flemish painter is, nor know a Bosch triptych from a Van Gogh, or a gypsy from a Jew.
|Long leaves characterize this cake.|
Ignoring the wrapper, therefore, I allowed the tea to air out for several days in case the Poundcake had added to the fragrance. Also, given the rains in Yunnan this year I weighed the tea as well, and got a cool 200g reading on my scale. The tea has bled into the neifei, juicy and full leaves come apart easily. No trouble getting 8 grams into my gaiwan to start my experience.
|Normally my Maine Coon isn't interested in my tea.|
|The color here is that of older trees.|
|Steep number three.|
|Steep number six.|
Now, in meditation work, this is the point where you begin to observe more closely, when you hit a disequilibrium. You observe this, and see what it is saying. So my stomach is not really saying "stomach ache," as in feeling sick, it is simply saying "sensations." Thus the observation is merely to experience it as it is, rather than impose an interpretation or course of action.
Certain drug experiences also have a bit of a belly effect, I've never taken psilocybin mushrooms, but I understand these can have a disequilibrium effect in the stomach at first.
Now I'm probably making too much of this, such that anyone reading this is going to conclude too strongly that the belly effect is unpleasant, and my post hoc over-analysis is perhaps a bit much. The effect is actually pleasant and warming if you are a less nervous type than I am. I got a bit of the Woody Allen thing going, certain I have a brain tumor or some such if I have a twitch in my scalp and I find doctors reassuring when they roll their eyes as mine does. If you are a physically vigorous person, you'll truck along with this tea and have a great time. Keep in mind I don't like alcohol much, that explains a lot about my type. Your type might be vastly the opposite, hopefully. I'm someone who has to meditate and observe in order to understand, and I needed to observe the effects of this tea. And I'm someone who'd rather live without the whole business that goes on below the rib cage and above the pelvis, anything tummy and I run. Thus I'm in my non-comfort zone when I think of my digestion, and this is an issue dealt with squarely, long-term in meditation practice.
So the belly effect is quite warming, perhaps more so than I need in the summer and I look forward to drinking this again in the fall during cooler weather. I also noted a bit of char in the strainer and I definitely taste it in the first few steeps. This is something I will need to work out of the tea in a crock because after a year it will taste sour in the dry storage of my geographical area. I just recently crocked up my 2014 Manzhuan for this reason, the char in the tea had started to turn a bit acrid. A year in a crock will get rid of that.
|Steep nine outdoors, the cup reflecting the clouds.|
|Steep number twelve.|
|Steep fifteen and the leaves are really open now.|
|Same photo as at the start above, steep sixteen.|
I've spent some time with sessions of 72 Hours, a tea which is a more straight-up sweet experience. Still the 72 Hours has a bit of the same tea stoned in the face, relaxation quality, but not the changing flavors and subtlety of the Bosch. Flavor-wise, for a great tasting cup the 72 Hours wins. The Bosch is for the inner life, the person who has the time and a particular inclination. I'm glad to have it in my collection. But I plan to throw away the wrapper.
Requiescat in Pace.