Friday, July 29, 2011


In one of my older posts I have already writen here about tea samples from ChawangShop. One of the samples I have enjoyed was 06 LiuAn basket tea. And 250g bamboo basket of this tea was also in the package which arrived to our place a couple of weeks ago. The fact that I have ordered whole basket bespeak about my impressions from the sample. But sometime it is very difficult for me to judge a tea from 5-10g sample. So I was really curious what is inside those bamboo leaves...I am going to share my finding about this tea in one of my later posts. For now, I just would like to show you the new "home" of the tea. And its moving there...

 When I was about to break in to the basket I have found out one "complication". The leaves of bamboo are fragile and after few "openings" they are going to be too broken. Tea leaves are going to crumble around and I will have to put it in to a paper back anyway. So it will be probably much more practical to keep it in the stoneware jar which I hold for myself from the last firing.

The jar is unglazed inside. I hope it will have a good impact on the tea stored there. At least I think that the porous material can create affable microclimate for aging of the LiuAn.

Leaves of the LiuAn are not so pressed as pu- ehr cakes but still- I find the Pu-needle helpful also in this case.

I am not sure if in this case (the Anhui HeiCha- not Pu ehr tea) is the Nei Fei the proper name. But this piece of paper pressed inside of the tea was very nice finding indeed.

Traditionally the LiuAn is prepared with small piece of bamboo leave in the teapot. So I have putted several leaves from the original basket to the storage jar. It will be not only my supply of bamboo for entirety of my LiuAn teas. It will be also the right environment for those tea leaves themselves. I mean for aging-storing of the tea.

The jar itself has a decoration created by white slip (clay) on the rough body. During the top stage of the firing it was partly covered by charcoal- I like those marks and footprints, colors and irregularity which this process creates.

Thank you for reading

Sunday, July 24, 2011

New companion...

Jana Matiščiková is our friend , college who also belongs to our sect of woodfirers. She visited us couple of weeks ago with few boxes of new pots from her kiln. Among others, we find there several wonderful porcelain teacups. Very first celadon cup I have seen there really hit me and it was easy to decide- It is going to be mine! 

I like to buy pots from colegues. It is interesting to see different approaches, and feel different materials, when I use those pieces. But every time when I buy tea ware, it is somehow special for me- it is going to be part of my private moments. It doesn't have to be perfect from potters or artistic point of view. It just has to feel right and makes my tea sessions happier. And this cup works very well. 

To make this cup, Jana has used translucent porcelain and very clear celadon glaze. There are several point about this cup which everyone notice- the light raised decoration, simple and clear shape and (when you are holding it) its lightness. Walls are very thin, but they don't feel too fragile.

 Usually when I have new cup which fits to my tea routine, I use it very often. I don’t know for how long I am going to be stock on this blue-green friend, but for now, I use it everyday…I wish to Jana many satisfied customers as I am now.  Thank you again. 

SF Nepal in the morning....
2010 Yiwu shengpu in the midle of the day...
Fresh YanCha  for afternoon...
And confoming LaoChaTou for early evening...
Thank you for reading.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Pots under influence of tea

Yes, it can be. I have been drinking too much Chinese tea lately...good for you my new, little baby.

 Just drying outside the workshop...
Enjoy your day as I am enjoing mine.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Dragon from Bulang mountain

As usually I will try to say a story with me and tea as main characters. The story still goes on- We are (the tea as well as myself) getting aged. Or just getting old?:) We will see. 

I got this tea quite a while ago from one of my favorite Czech tea suplier  -LongFeng. The owner of the company started produces his cakes in 2009. Usually in several small series from different "mountain" of Yunnan. I liked both 09 and 10 teas I have tried before so I was curious to find what is in this nice, small package.

There are few interesting points, which I should probably mention. It was made from Gu Shu maocha gathered 15km from Lao Ban Zhan. Spring material pressed in August. It is offered as one half of wedding edition together with "Phoenix from Bulang mountain". Some of my friends do not like it and at the same time the owner of the LongFeng call it "this tea is the highest and finest tea we have ever offered in The LongFeng Exclusive Production".  Ok then, let’s see what is inside that package...

Scent of dry leaves is strong, heavy with very light smokiness behind. It seems to me that this "smokiness" almost has disappeared during couple of months I have it at home. Although the aroma of those leaves is quite strong it is not easy to identify all particular ingrediens of this "soup". Maybe kind of flowers I don't know? Spicy honey?
All infusions were clear with nice feeling in my mouth and throat.

Many young shengs I have fit to two categories for me- First it is "good for drink it now" or it is too wild, too sharp to be enjoyed without aging. Here it is something between- One year after pressing it isn't "an easy-tea to drink". It is strong, with very complicated taste. There is also bitterness of wormwood. This bitterness and young power don't forestall to me to enjoy it, it is not overwhelming. But for sure, ten years in one of my puer jars will show us more. Maybe the friend who didn't like it will also change his opinion then. Maybe he is going to regret that he didn't buy few of those small cakes as I did. And I will have an opportunity to invite him for cup of the tea. 

This tea is also a keeper. The taste of soup holds on its position for many infusions. Only slightly changing and developing thru my tea session. It is also not so easy to destroy it (compare to other fresh shengs I have). But still, it is better to be careful- we are talking about young guy here.

I got from Nada. Of course, it is as compare apples and pears but still- I have found some essence of those teas very similar. One reminds me another when I have tried them at week intervals. I hope to find time to prepare those teas in line to see how much I am wrong here.
Leaves of the Dragon from Bulang mountain are small but strong, with many tips.

You can see on pictures here a small teapot which I got as a present during my last year Korean trip. I like its small size and simplicity. It is probably piece from big series but the quality of the clay is quite nice. There was interesting discussion on The Listening to Leaves blog related to this kind of the teapots. The ball filter is not perfect here, probably too complicated for such small piece and for pressed teas. But it is not such big deal and I like to use it.

It is very nice to take your tea accessories outside. When you are sitting outside during sunny morning you can see your cup of tea in different light. Please lets go outside and enjoy your tea under a tree. Thank you for reading.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Is this going to be our Dragon Well ?

 I belong to that smaller part of earth dwellers with pretty good and sufficient water supply. I can hear, time to time, people around grumble about high water tariff and bills but I know it is nothing. I can freely drink, bath or even fill my swimming pull (if I would like to have one, which I don't) -and all that with safe, drinking water! And that is not because I work hard on it. I was just born in to it. I can be thankful of it, I can be thrifty when using that liquid gold and What else??

One of many ponds of our countryside.

When we brought our property, it was unused for many years, in very bad shape but with quite interesting history and energy. It made us (among others) to choose it like a place where to work and live. We got lucky at several things but the water was probably one of the most important. There was water supply network going to be finished just after we have bought this old stonework building. It saved us from digging our own well. It is also nice to know that this water conduit is full of water which garnered directly from forests and hills around the village. Great! Good water is first half of good cup of tea.

One day, cleaning wild bush on our future garden we found this hole. Hided under mud and two big stones there was old well! It was almost full of dirty water. Under one and half meter of water there were another few meters of mud. When we sucked up all water it was nice to see how this old fashioned dug well is slowly refilled with new water. And the idea was born -We should clean it, repair it and try to make it live again. We have enough water around so we do not need it. Actually small brook makes border of half of the property. But who knows what can happen in the future? One extra well can be useful reserve.

I know, the cement isn't so nice. But sometime you have to make compromises...

Neglected plot is slowly changed in to the garden...
I hope to clean this old companion of our building before winter. I look forward to see how the water will turn out then. Is it going to be drinking water for plants on our garden? Support for our work with clay? Or it will be useful for cooking and drinking? Or is it going to be our Tiger Spring?  The best water for leaves in my teapot? For fresh, spring Dragon Well of 2012? Anyhow - I feel blessed to have this old well here.
reflection of the heaven...