Thursday, September 08, 2005

Stéphane's tasting notes

Here you have my latest notes. I will probably give more details for teas b to h, in the same manner as for Hong Tai.

Speaking of Hong Tai, Danny said I missed the salty taste that comes from storage next to the sea. Maybe, but maybe not. Like Corax, I did smell something 'fishy', "small dried fishes".

1 comment:

corax said...

à propos of fishes, fishy taste, etc -- it's interesting that for some people, this will have a different valence than for others. blake, for example, communicated in an astute email earlier as follows:

"Fishy" communicates something that has slight negative connotations to some. But not necessarily all people. I like sardines and anchovies and so on. So "Fishy" is cool with me. If one said "Rancid Crab Bait," if it were used, on the other hand, sounds more like a score to settle with someone than a review of tea.

and while i was really trying to at least begin by being descriptive rather than prescriptive in my assessment of teas that smell/taste this way to me, it's undeniable that 'fishy' is not generally a complimentary term in my own lexicon. i have a friend who refuses to eat fish at all; his comment is, 'if the best thing you can say is, "but it really doesn't taste fishy," well then ...' -- and i sort of know what he means by that, although i do eat and enjoy [some] fish and some other seafood.

while i'm down with fish tasting fishy, i guess i *don't* want my tea to do so. i'm reminded of the ancient proverb, 'fish and guests stink after three days.' whereas a tea [unless it's fully rotting] always smells good. or should do.

this brings us right back to the essential nature of puer: what, precisely, is going on in the aging process of puer? isn't there a microbe [or several] that is/are participating in the, um, catabolism of the leaf? and if so, isn't that catabolism a form of decomposition? all of this quickly brings us face to face with some very large topics -- like the nature of death and change.

yikes! didn't mean for us to go there, necessarily. unless, of course, you want to. that's the beauty of blogging.