Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Misunderstood pu'er tea

10 year old golden pu'er tea from Yunnan
I used to loathe pu'er, finding it almost disgusting to down. My first impression? Muddy and smelly. Good quality pu'er, however, has a deep, rich and complex flavour that I consider to be earthy with a perfumed aftertaste. In some raw pu'ers, I tend to pick up rosy notes from time to time, knowing very well that there were no additives and this is more likely the result of the post-fermentation process. Nature certainly has its own way of tantalising our senses.

Gradually, I started drinking this tea more often for reasons as mentioned and more importantly, the Qi that this tea brings to my body. Warmth and improved blood circulation, where the most obvious effects are felt at my fingertips.

My experience with high quality pu'er finally opened doors to yet another dimension of tea appreciation also known as 品茶 (pin3 cha2). Notice the three squares in the character 品 (pin3)? This reminds us of how tea can be appreciated - in three sips. It is very enlightening to witness language at work here in conveying the subtleties of enjoying tea in a meaningful way. 

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