March 12-16, 2016
Oh my…this tea wants to stay with you forever!!!
Smooth as a warm bath, earthy and mushroomy, like wet bark composting on the soil with a sweet mineral finish lingering on the sides of the tongue. Then…
The Spiral of Life wrapped my body from feet to head, grounding my body, stabilizing my mind, and comforting my heart! Everlasting!!!”
Amazingly, this is my third formal loose leaf Tea ‘tasting’ experience, and my first PuErh, and I’m already feeling that Teas maybe are not necessarily meant to be “judged” only for its aroma and taste, but mostly to be sensed!!! Sensations overpowered my body and mind, and were so genuine that I simply didn’t care to much about ‘tasting’! Besides that, this tea truly remain so true for multiples steeps. I made 5 brews, but I knew it would have given me much more. I didn’t want to stop…didn’t want to waste a drop! So, I didn’t!
I had divided the amount that I received of this tea for a chance to have two sessions with it…and I’m so glad I did that! On March 15 I did my second session and what I can say?…in this occasion I couldn’t even kept my attention on sensations. I just simply wanted to stay forever with this Tea. I did 5 brews again, but this time I didn’t discarded the leaves after finishing the session. I kept the leaves inside the tea pot, wrapped the tea pot with food plastic, and put it into the fridge until next day. After that, my Yoga session that day was amazing! My body was more flexible, my mind centered, and my spirit in total appreciation and stillness. I was in Heaven! Just the next day, I had my third session with the kept wet leaves from the day before, and I managed to make 5 additional brews. Most of the original notes and sensations were still very alive and persistent during the first 3 brews. After that, Tea was mostly very smooth, with some mineral sweet still lingering on the sides of the tongue and then turned out predominantly very sweet at the end. The smoothness and the comforting sensations of this Tea is what seems to never end!
What is a Zen Blend?
A “Zen Blend” or “5 Elements Puerh Blend” as described at GTH magazine is “a blend of five different dark puerhs, like aged sheng, shou or aged shou, and sometimes black teas, which are mixed together based on their energetic frequency, flavor and mouthfeel to create a balanced liquor that will center you in your heart.”
Through that light, a 5 Elements Puerh seems to evoke the five elements that influence all aspects of the Chinese culture, philosophy and spirituality, known as “Wu Xing” or the Five Elements: water, wood, earth, fire and metal.” In order to that, every tea in the blend must represent one of these elements. I loved the allegory they used at the magazine to explain how to determine the role of every tea in the blend. As actors in a play, most teas can play any of the five roles. It all depends on which other teas they will be blended with, and which role is more compatible with every one in the blend. Even though there isn’t a precise ‘formula’ for a tea blending like this, the Tea Master must have to know very well the teas he will be blending in order to convey them into the order and quantity that will lead to a well balanced 5 Elements Blend Tea. For that, he might use trial and error as much as sensitivity to the teas during the process of blending. I’m amazed by knowing that it is better to do this type of blending just before a tea session, so the teas in the blend somewhat balanced, can maintain their individual roles, while with time they can eventually fuse with each other.
Tea’s ability to absorb the energy of the other four teas is how they fuse and flow.” – GTH Magazine
Although this can be fairly obvious, it shows somehow how ‘skilled’, centered and present the Tea Master must be at the moment of the tea blending. I’m still so raw on Teas, but I feel Master Wu De did amazing with this 5 Elements Pu-erh. Despite the time that passed since this tea was blended and my tea sessions with it, the sensations that I had were really very genuine! My first GTH Tea and I’m deeply in Love! It was really a very interesting ‘Tea” and I feel so blessed to have the opportunity to enjoy such a unique Tea so early in My Tea Flow!
“Zen Blend” by Global Tea Hut
Puerh Tea Blend
My brewing recipe for this Tea:
~2 tbs. of Tea/6 oz. water @200-205F
Steeping time: 10s-60s
Appearance: Like leaf pellets
Aroma: Earthy, fishy, compost pellets
Leaf color: Deep dark green and brown
Liquor: Deep dark brown to light brown
Taste: Extremely smooth and watery, earthy, mushroomy, bark compost, sweet mineral finish (for me this feels more as sensations than flavors)
GTH brewing tips are very general as they always motivate their readers and members to explore by themselves and be more present at all stages during the tea sessions. That way you can try to better known the Tea and what works for both during a tea session. For this one, for me the most important tip was to use hot water, the others parameters were improvised. So far for this experience, it is true what they say that “Aged Teas like this are forgiving, which means that if you put in too little or too much, steep them too short or too long, etc., they still turn out nice.”