When dealing with mountains there are often practical and poetic considerations. If there is a gift that tea translates from its place of origin, then it is often speaking a mountain language, one that translates its slopes and ridges, is stony bulwarks and frozen peaks, and its cold, swift streams. There is also the vibrating memory of body and mind that is penetrated by any trip linked peak to peak along a mountain’s thorny back. Whether slipping along the tree-line or summiting its peak, mountains have a lush language that is often only spoken in memory, as the body is often too busy to do much other that move and record, and so many of the sensations linger long after the journey; many lingering solely in the remembrance.
It is best thought that this tea is sharing this, so much of its flavor akin to vegetation, earth, and spice. Its resemblance to pu erh seems mostly in name, until after the cup is done and its voice echoes, much like a mountain view calls, and hints at motes of shou pu erh’s earthy legacy. Most who drink this cup and seek an experience with the mind of Yunnan pu erh, you will already be lost. Pu erh’s homeland being solely Yunnan and born in that land. “Dark teas” born elsewhere are a creature onto themselves, cast from different molds and fresh ideas.
Much of this cup reminds me of first flush Assam teas; something that I tried for the first time only a year ago. The juicy, vegetal cups, sweet and bright, brick-orange, and painting a textured tongue.