Lessons with Tao: Ancient Pu-er

     Since the end of July I have been with Tao Tea Leaf and have learnt a lot since. A few weeks ago, with some friends we began the day tasting an Ancient Tree Pu-er. I have never had the chance to try this type of tea, but I have always wanted to . Others in the online Tea Community have written many pages on this type,but this is a first for me.
       The tea we tried was 2009 Bing Dao , Tao described it as the “Queen or Pu-er” latter in the day. On an empty stomach this tea made me feel warm and I had a light sweat. This feeling was new to me, I wish I knew why the body has such a reaction after drinking it.
   As we continued to brew Tao invited Mike our guest who came in with his wife, to explain “Qi” to me. 
    Qi has been mentioned on many blogs I have read, It is hard to describe. To put it simply its how the tea effects your body, to understand this more I suggest giving this type of pu-er. 

 The teas dry leaves have a sweet biscuit like scent to them that,when
steeped, opens up to a stone fruit taste with a hint of menthol (Hui Gan is the name for this). A
lingering mouth feel, as the menthol coats your pallet  The body feels warm and
the tea makes you sink into your chair further, becoming more centered and
aware of its weight. As the body adjusts to the
tea, we found it hard to control our body from burping. This is a very natural occurrence, each time it made the body feel like it was fixing something from within.

       Latter in the afternoon We sat down again to try Ban Zang 2011, which I was told was the “King of Pu-er”.

Smelling the wet leaves has a menthol smell, it feels like it
opens the sinuses. It has a very young taste. The taste is similar to a good
cigar and the smell takes us to a secluded creek. As the body adjusts to the
tea, we found it hard to control our body from burping. It has a strong Cha Qi , Tao tells me which causes this.This is a very natural occurrence,
each time it made the body feel like it was fixing something from within.

           There are two villages in the area this is made, new and old. The old village
is located apart from the new, where this tea originates. The area experiences
a thick fogginess for  about a third of
the year, due to its high altitude. There are thousands of old trees that vary
in age, from over 100 years old to over 800 years old. 
  Have you tried Ancient Tree Pu-er before?  I would love to hear about your experience with them. 

The Sage hut and Tao through tea

  I have been thinking over the last little bit on the ideas I can recall from “The Way of Tea” by Aaron Fisher . A very well written tea book on Tao and Tea. Again as I usually end my nights (and begin my mornings) I check out different tea related things. Tonight that was looking at The Leaf and following it to Wu De (Aaron Fisher)’s blog. In January I e-mailed him inquiring about his book and was invited to his school when I have the chance. This school now has a web page, The Sage Hut, it is compleately non profit and very inviteing. It seeks to teach others about Tea and the Tao or Cha Dao.
     I have met with many differnt types of people over the last few years, all with different opinons on the leaf.  “Meeting” Arron, through his book, I have come to a point where I am seeking more than just the leaf itself. This being Cha Dao. As it is quite late right now I feel putting this, need into words impossible. In short, I wish to begin to post about things I see in tea, not just reviews which do help my pallet in preparation for the George Brown program. This I hope will include Cha Xi (which is represented to an artful form my Stephane over at Tea Masters) , thoughts on tea ware I use (and even things that I use that may not be “ment” for tea), Cha Qi (Once I can understand it, so this is something to learn), etc. These posts will not be to push anyone in any way what so ever towards this method of seeing.  Tao is very interesting to me and I hope it will bring this Journey in the direction it feels I need to go. Perhaps I will find myself in Taiwan with Wu De.
       To sum it all up, keep an eye out for these posts. They may be included along side a tea “review” (more so a tasting) or on their own. All in all good night now, I have a final cup for the evening waiting for me.