28 March, 2014

While We're Drinking Wulong

I'm not often in "wulong mode", but this week, I is.

Of all the wulong in all the world, Dayuling is probably my favourite.  I understand that its claims of being "the highest wulong in Taiwan" are dubious at best, as is the provenance of most of the little green balls that invariably get repackaged in company-branded packets.  I understand that I am not supposed to love its plutonium-style freshness.  I understand that it is woefully, woefully overpriced.  And yet, there I am, loving it all the same.

The above photograph already has UN inspectors knocking at my front door.  To say that this tea emits ionising radiation is to understate the sheer ferocity of these little green balls.

And yet, when were balls ever so lovely?  This is a monstrously expensive, monstrously enjoyable tea.

I believe, and I may be wrong here, that I have loved every example of Dayuling that I have encountered.  I remember it starting out with Teamasters sending me a frighteningly-priced sample, which renormalised all other wulong for me.  My scale changed, tangibly, after drinking that tea.  I then went on to Houde and (I may be misremembering here) Essence of Tea examples, and recall thinking that there really were the canine's reproductive apparatus.  That's a good thing, by the way, for people unfamiliar with English English.

Perhaps my words will not do it justice, then, rather like me trying to describe my feelings when I look at my favourite painting.  

(I refer to April Love by Arthur Hughes, hanging in the Tate - there are no photographs that adequately capture the sensation that it delivers to the eyes, when viewed in person.)

It is floral, it is honeysuckle-like, it is buttery, it has the spice of gingerbread, and yet it is, like every other Dayuling, unique.  It is like describing April Love as being a painting of a girl in a blue dress.  The facts of the description are true, but the spirit is absent.

In the mouth, it expands like a sponge in water.  Big.  Big!  And sweet.  And enduring.  And it has me forgetting the rules of sentence construction, but that's OK.

I feel as if this article is probably of little help, but it is what it is.  Perhaps you might benefit from trying this tea to form your own opinion.  Like seeing April Love in person, however, I cannot guarantee that it will mean as much to you as it does to me.  We shall see.

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