2007 Shuangjiang Mengku Qiao Mu Wang
The world seems like a scary place right now, with catastrophic destruction in Japan, the looming threat of radioactive dispersal, and upheaval in the middle east. Somehow, in the past, I had the ability to turn this sort of frenzy off and focus on my own life. Today, however, I find our not-so-graceful global decline harder and harder to look away from (damn you graduate school). Fortunately, I can always turn to a peaceful and meditative tea session to bring me back to center.
If there is one thing my tea collection is full of, it’s untasted samples of various cakes from different producers, waiting quietly in sealed mylar baggies. Despite having recently ordered a number of enticing new cakes and bricks, I am choosing to let them breathe some and focus on a sample set of Mengku productions that I purchased from JAS eTea many months ago. Mengku is one of the bigger factories with which I have little experienced, so I am eager to experience tea from a group I perceive as having above average quality, while at the same time, being susceptible to larger factory practices.
With my descriptions of tea, I yet feel as though I say too much, am too verbose. I need to more often let tea just be. Over-analysis can muddy experience. I’m trying. With the “Wild Arbor King,” I find a tea unlike much of the smaller producer tea I have been drinking of late. As evidenced by the photo of steeped leaves above, there is variability in production that leaves this tea a little simple. I appreciate its firm bitter grip, it’s opening sweetness, and pungent sun-dried character. However, I find it too heavy on the stemmy greenness familiar to plantation tea, oligosaccharides, and distant oxidized black or white tea notes. There is certainly not much wrong with this tea, I am just searching for a beckoning depth, and it’s not there.
The Half-Dipper - 2007 Shuangjiang Mengku “Qiaomuwang”