28 June, 2017

Fructis Ventris Tui

...the figurative Tea-Womb of Mr. Essence, that is.

Let us indulge in a little exercise in tea obstetrics.  Let us part the tea-labia of Essence of Tea, and deliver the fine pu'ercha from within.  Thence, quivering and perhaps still covered in (figurative) amniotic fluids from the birthing process, we examine this fine, new-born cake.

This is the 2017 "Secret Forest Wild".

There is substantial and obvious fruit here.  Mr. Essence's tea-womb is fruity to the max.  Merely exposing the leaves to air causes the (Dancong-style?) scent of purple oxidation to assail the nostrils.

Some of the leaves are red, as one might expect.  "Elegant" appears twice in two sentences, on the product's web-page, and it is.  Elegant, that is.

The charming flavours gently blow away the sweet exertions of the morning, after getting my boys to school and pre-school.  In the warmth of summer, the cooling nature of this tea is obvious: cooling on the breath and of the body.  It is internal air-conditioning.

Coffee can be like a shot of adrenaline injected directly into the myocardium.  Coffee wakes me up, but it does leave me feeling as if I've just been brought round from a particularly ungallant overdose of opiods.  By comparison, this tea does it right: it gets the juices flowing, and cleanses the doors of perception, and yet it does so without giving your cardiologist something to complain about.  It is, for want of a better word, a tonic.

Now, for some trees...

I could quite happily walk up to those trees and chew on the leaves.  In fact, merely looking at the photograph causes me to move my jaws like a ruminant.

Mr. Essence writes that these are the same trees as were picked for a 2016 cake, but that the 2017 version has used bigger leaves, rather than focusing on buds.  This suits me just fine, as I never find "white" teas especially exciting, and prefer a bit of oomph. as the larger leaf might deliver.

Does it do so on this occasion?  This is a fine, fine tea.  It really is "elegant".  Given the grim near-30 temperatures of summer, the fruity drink-it-now appeal is immediately satisfying.  The price (£110/400g) is good, I think, for something (i) as clean as this (in terms of soup, and in the lack of cadmium) and (ii) as "wild" as this - its provenance is excellent.  I trust Mr. Essence to deliver the goods in these two categories, these days.

All that said, there is perhaps not enough tea for me.  I am forever in search of a violent, aggressive tea, and this petite little lady is, to my tastes, not quite there.  I cannot deny its quality, but my tastes run to the more chunky end of the spectrum, perhaps.  This might well age properly in a humid-and-hot climate, but a humid-and-chilly climate such as England requires something a little more rancid, a little more deadly, a little more elegant, I fear.

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