The blast that hit across northeastern portions of the U.S. this past Friday and Saturday posed challenges for many, and for us tea lovers it became quite a tea steeping opportunity.
Set Up the Teawares
The Crackleware Design Ceramic Teaset, with a gaiwan, pitcher (chahai) and cups, seemed just right for Janice and I to share some uplifting tea, something that would chase away the chills. The beauty of the craftsmanship was part of the delight of this snowy day tea time. Each piece is unique and worth a bit of close study in-between sips. Variations in color and texture can make you see all sorts of things in them, a bit like watching clouds in the sky but not shifting around the way clouds do.
Get Out Just the Right Tea
This Yongde 2010 First Grade Ripe Pu-erh Tea was carefully selected by my supplier during one of their annual tea acquisition trips to the Yongde area of Yunnan Province. The tea is processed using a medium-fermentation style that is carefully-controlled by the skillful technicians in charge of the fermentation. This tea has been dry aged, which has improved the flavor. (The longer it is stored and aged, the better the aroma and taste it will become.) This one being aged a little over 5 years, it was a delight, smooth, and free of bitterness with a wonderful cha qi. The infused liquid presents a very thick, soft, and mellow taste with a wonderful full and lingering aftertaste with every sip. It can be infused at least 10 times, so we just kept the water hot and refilled the gaiwan again and again (we sort of lost track and may have gotten more than 10 infusions – our minds were on the view outside).
Pick a Comfortable Location Indoors to Gaze at the Snow
Avoid the snowy/icy gridlock (and getting stuck in your car for hours without food, water, and heat) by staying home, selecting a comfortable location in front of a window, and gazing at the snow outside (assuming that you can still see out the windows of your house, that is). For us, looking out over a snowy backyard was a delight as we did several infusions of this fine pu-erh (loose leaf versions are becoming more common and attract a wider range of tea lovers to this style of tea).
To the folks hit worse than we were, we hope you are all safe and will get shoveled out soon.
For you folks not affected, share in our “joy” with this video on Facebook by Ryan McElhenny:
You gotta watch the whole thing. Our snowfall wasn’t quite this extensive, but it was significant.
Best wishes and keep warm!
- 5 Tricks to Using a Gaiwan on this blog.
- About Gaiwans on the Tea Info section of our site.
- Selected Chinese Symbols on the Tea Info section of our site.