28 November, 2007

2005 Jingmai Maocha

Following my recent article on the lightness of living, and the value in shunning material goods, Lei and I promptly bought a new camera.

To justify this intense villainy, I should add that we've squeezed every last drop of potential out of our trusty point-and-click that has served us well for three years, and it's time for a change.

There are four individual photographs on this page, three of which are from the new device, while one is an archive picture from last winter taken with the old camera. Your mission, shouldst thou decide to accept it, is to determine which of the four photographs is the interloper.

Bidding farewell to an old camera seems like a good time to bid farewell to another old friend: this 2005 Jingmai maocha that has become an unlikely favourite. About a century ago, Tealogic's VL was kind enough to supply this tea when we met in Manchester. Today, the last branches of this most stick-like maocha tumbled into the chahe, marking the quiet passing of an era. By way of eulogy, my notes.

I have no idea where this tea was obtained, but I get the impression that it's not a well-hyped tea. That's fine by me, as the quiet ones can often be the most surprising.

The leaves run up to 12cm in length, and I have to tactically snap them about their stems in order to bend them into the pot without too much breakage.

As with most good maocha, this is refreshing and light, but it carries enough interesting flavour along with it to make me pay it some closer attention. It reminds me of the 2007 Simao maocha that I recently bagged from Maliandao - complex enough to make a mark, energising and oily enough to remind me that it's still a young leaf.

Good ku, good acidity, good texture, good huigan - it's a good tea.

Those big old leaves keep unrolling and unrolling once the session is over. If you've any idea where this friendly, engaging tea has come from, I'd love to know.

Did you spot which photograph was the odd-one-out?

through the window
as I finish my prayer
a gentle breeze


Mary R said...

Oh, have you given me a chuckle.

As I read your previous post last night, I knocked over a giant stack of papers on my desk. Which--of course--promptly fell into a half-full cup of tea, tipping it over and sending a miniature flood towards my precious MacBook.

"Wabi-sabi," said I, "it's time we met."

So I spent all day today pruning my possessions.

And what do I see on The Half-Dipper tonight?


(My vote on the interloper is picture one...but I have a horrible eye for things like this.)

Brent said...

I would choose the first photo... but that seems too obvious.

You seem like the more devious type. This could mean you put the picture in a less obvious place, hoping to trip up your readers. Or, if you are even more devious, it could mean you anticipated this thinking and made it the first one, hoping to trip up your more suspicious readers.

Of course, as you can likely tell by my (pointless) stalling, I am not a photography person. I'm going to guess it's the dry leaf picture, though. :)


Adrian Baxter said...

I say the last one.. the background is in as much focus as the foregound, and looks a bit extra detailed :)

xdustinx said...

I'm thinking it's the tasting cup full of tea.

Hobbes said...

Four answers, four alternatives - one for each, I'm impressed!

Abx clearly knows his photography, as he's quite right - it's all in the subtlety of the focus.

I'm no exception to the general rule that the first time someone gets their hands on an SLR, they go crazy for "boke" (also spelled "bokeh" to prevent mispronunciation of the Japanese) - picking one's subject out of the photograph by blurring the focus of the background and foreground elements. Just as Abx noted, the photograph of the wet-leaf is the typical "point and click" result, in which everything is rendered in focus. Plus, I like to think that the colours and fidelity aren't as accomplished as the other photographs, but that could just be me trying to justify large expenditure to myself...

Dear Mary,

I think this is perhaps cosmic justice for using a Mac, is it not? I recall the time one of my colleagues brought his Mac to give a talk - of course it didn't interface with our hosts' projector, but it did act as a handy platform to put a real PC laptop on top. :)

Dear Brent,

I was deviously counter-counter-counter bluffing by assuming that you would assume I was counter-counter bluffing! Victory is mine *cough*. ;)

Toodlepip all,


Unknown said...

You have got me into the mood for tea now; shall we have some tonight?

Hobbes said...

You bet, sleep is for wimps!