20 September, 2008

Autumnal Equinox

As the days get colder, tea goes from being a summer cooler to an autumnal warmer. It's a versatile affair...

Alan Bullock Close

If you live in Ireland, South Korea, or Germany - stand by your bunks! The postman is on his way...


One of the above is a consolation first prize to the winner of our recent haiku competition. Those who know me well know that I'm a clumsy chap, and I successfully failed in sending the first prize to the first prize winner (RJ). In fact, I sent it to the second prize winner (JC) by mistake.

Thanks to the infinite tolerance of RJ, he's accepted some Douji pu'er as another first prize. In fact, it is none other than the 2006 Douji that I fought so hard for in Maliandao. Regular readers will know my love for this particular cake, so letting it out of my reach to dear RJ hopefully testifies to the depth of my regret!

JC has done a sterling job in mounting the calligraphy, so all's well that ends well. Thanks again to both for being such good sports about my muddle.  (Thanks again to Skip4Tea for providing the calligraphy.)


Though I have not had the luxury of sufficient time to transcribe tasting notes here, I have been scribbling merrily into my journals - older readers will remember that all of my notes start in the dingy depths of my journals before making it into electronic format.

For the curious, some of the teas I've been enjoying lately. As ever, zooming into the photograph is but a quick click away...


I'm looking forward to comparing notes with readers on some of these, as I have read that they have been encountered elsewhere...


So, with a touch of regret, we say goodbye to a summer that didn't really involve me too deeply, though it did look nice through the distant window in my study...

University Parks


Bert said...

We're off to see the wizard, the wonderful wizard of Oxford. :-)

Thank you!

Hobbes said...

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain... :)



Circle Community Acupuncture said...

Welcome back! Does this mean the dissertation is finished?

-David L in San Francisco

Hobbes said...

Thank'ee, sir!

The thesis still has about 6 weeks left in it, I'd say, so I'm still a Mister. :)



Anonymous said...

Hello there, finally back in Oxford! Hadn't realised you were a doctoral student - I suppose I assumed someone with so much experience of tea must be older. Then again, I suppose it depends when you start drinking it, obviously.

Anyway, I have a question. Have you heard of a 古树兰香 shengpu? I was given a cake of it by a friend's mother, but she didn't really tell me anything about it, and - though I know bugger all about pu'er - the flower-scent thing strikes me as odd. It's got no English or transliteration on it except "TM" after 古树兰香, which also struck me as quite odd, and the factory is printed as "景迈景古茶厂", which doesn't bring anything up in searches. Any ideas?



Hobbes said...

Welcome back to the city, Luca! If you lean out of the window, you might even be able to hear me typing this on my keyboard... :)

古树兰香 pu'er is Gushu Lanxiang, of course: ancient-tree orchid-scent. The ancient tree bit is a common claim, as you no doubt have come across before, but the lanxiang isn't too unusual, either - it's referring to the floral scent that some pu'er has. An example would be the 2008 Yongpinhao "Lanxiang", for which I have some notes yet to publish.

The "TM" means, literally, nothing - there is no effective copyright control on PRC products! It just means that it's a brand-name used by the factory.

In terms of the factory name, 景迈景古茶厂 is Jingmai (area) Jing Guchachang (ancient-tea factory). I'm not sure about the second Jing, there, and that's not a factory I've come across before. If it were 景谷 (jing3 gu3), and not 景古 (jing3 gu3), I would assume that it referred to the town of the same name. An odd one. :)

See you soon, I hope!



Anonymous said...

Yes, I don't know why I was surprised by the "TM"...

I had taken 景古 as one word, but of course 古茶厂 makes much more sense. Only there's that lone 景... I'll bring you the neifei at some point. I doubt it's anything more than a cheap everyday tea, but I like to know what I'm drinking, even if my tastebuds don't necessarily know the difference yet... :P

I'm actually out of walls this year - just: I have a set in a house at the end of Longwall Street, on the corner with the High. Great views of the library to inspire a poor wreck of a finalist...

I suspect the dissertation's driving you crazy if it's due in soon, but if you still have my email drop me a line one of these days if you have a moment to spare. You're very welcome to pop over to mine, of course - whatever suits. :)



Hobbes said...

Longwall Street's a good place to be, just don't go out during rush hour =)

See you soon, I hope,