Friday, April 03, 2015

ShanLinXi Oolong (Taiwan) and Poetry

April is National Poetry Month. I love poetry! I'm regularly moved deeply when reading or writing poems. I think truth is often best known through a poem, and it takes a brave person to write the truth. And so, I will strive to sprinkle poems liberally throughout my postings this month. Also, plan now for National Poem in Your Pocket Day, April 30th!  It's a fun day that I get giddy about each year.  

This spring finds me busy with work, home and tea life and in addition, planning for a service trip to Rwanda.  I look for frequent ways to bring calm into my life. Tea is always a remedy, as this poem explains:  

"Though I cannot flee
From the world of corruption,
I can prepare tea
With water from a mountain stream
And put my heart to rest."

~Ueda Akinari, 1734 - 1809, Japanese author and waka poet

I recently  had a few hours on a sunny afternoon to drink Winter 2014 ShanLiinXi tea from  Floating Leaves. It's a tea that's very balanced and I appreciate the fruity aftertaste.

I had the good fortune to drink this tea with Shiuwen Tai (of Floating Leaves), and she is helping our tea group appreciate the nuances of teas like this.  In addition to the aroma and taste, we spent time paying attention to the tea broth and how it feels in the mouth.  This tea was described as "creamy" for the way one experiences the feeling of the tea (not the flavor).  

The next time you're drinking an oolong tea, spend some time with the mouth feel.  Is it thick or thin? Does it coat your mouth? Does it leave your mouth feeling dry? Try not to judge, but rather experience and notice.

This burlap fabric, above, is from my China-adventures roomie.  I LOVE it!

This cute little guy was my tea companion.

Notice how much the leaves have expanded.  I used a layer of the dry, balled tea to cover the bottom of the pot and when done brewing, it filled the pot up.

OK, your turn!  Share with me your thoughts on poetry or this poem, on how to appreciate tea, on mouth feel, or on whatever you feel moved to share.


Angela McRae said...

I can practically taste this tea thanks to your vivid description!

Nora @ Teacup Tales said...

This is a very timely post as I enjoyed several cups of ShanLinXi yesterday. I won a candle on Marilyn's blog last month and she so kindly sent me some Baozhong Farmer's Choice oolong from Floating Leaves. I loved it so much that I ordered more. Shiuwen included a sample of the ShanLinXi in my recent order. Both oolongs are wonderful, but I prefer the fragrance and lightness of the Baozhong.
Love poetry too! Took an amazing course in poetry in college that really opened my eyes to the world of poetry. Favorite poets= Langston Hughes and Lao Tzu.

Marilyn said...

Yes, I do love the mouth feel, especially when I take the time with Shuiwen to taste and savor.
Also love poetry and must remember to share more this month also. I realized just today I haven't taken the time to write anything lately, this must be resolved.
Oh, Oh, Oh!!!! Your trip, I want to know more.