So I have mentioned it some on Instagram, but realize I have not elaborated here on the blog, or anywhere else for that matter, I have come to a very important and hard decision. I am going off my medicine, no more Gabapentin for me. Yeah, it worked for my Fibromyalgia for a while, but there was the unhappy trend of them not working and the dosage being upped, and the side effects getting awful…til yep, they caused me to have seizures. Turns out I got too much of the stuff and had a nasty reaction, took the doctors a while to figure that one out. I have just had so many nasty reactions to medications that I am done, I am going to try a different approach, especially now that I know I don’t have anything that is going to kill me if I am not super vigilant. Currently weening myself of the meds is a nightmare, my pain level is astronomical, but I have tea, painting, gaming, and a very comfy blanket…so all will be well.
It is time once again to return to Misty Peaks Tea with their 2015 Autumn Pu’er, I was enamored with the 2014 harvest and have half a cake happily stored away (I split a cake with my mom) so I was very happy to sample this years harvest. If I am going to drink a super fresh Puerh I really prefer the autumn harvest, from my (limited when compared to the real pu-heads out there) experience, they are a bit easier on the stomach, some fresh Sheng is practically caustic on the guts. As like last year, these leaves are monstrous, big fluffy beasties that barely fit in my Sheng pot, with nice mottled amber tones and silvery fuzz. The aroma of the leaves is pungent and sharp, with notes of wet hay and bamboo, apricot skin, spinach, sandalwood, and a touch of distant peppery spice. It is a good blend of pungent and sweet, with the woody undertones giving it a bit of a complexity.
Rinse and tea time, as is my usual way with Sheng, sometimes I drink the rinse, but rarely…and that is because in all honestly, my rinse bucket is a bit narsty. The aroma of the soggy leaves is pungent, with notes of wet hay and camphor, a bit of a wet wood barnyard (minus the wildlife) aroma that finished on a touch of spinach and a pinch of apricot skin. The liquid is sweet, notes of honey and apricot mix with camphor and sandalwood, it is a double punch of fruit and resin.
The first steeping is pretty light, a light mouthfeel and a light taste. Starting with mineral notes that move directly to sweet honey and hay with a touch of apricot. It finishes with sandalwood and a cooling camphor note that builds in the middle to a lingering cool finish.
On to the second steep, it takes the notes from the first steep and builds them, the resinous sandalwood notes blend with hay and a touch of apricot. The taste is cooling and sweet, wet hay and honey with apricot and a strong sandalwood note at the finish that lingers.
The third and fourth steep have a lot in common, sweet honey and apricot notes with resinous sandalwood and a strong cooling cedar note. These steeps bring the only bitter that showed up in my steeping, a dry slightly powdery mouthfeel with notes of cooling all the way down into my belly, it is not a super potent bitterness, a very drinkable level of bitter I think. A lingering sandalwood and apricot note hang around for a bit after sipping.
The fifth steep really shined in the aroma, probably the most aromatic of the steeps, strong notes of sandalwood and apricot, cedar, juniper, and even a hint of frankincense. I am noticing this year is very resinous and woody, reminding me of a winter forest, and of course it is quite sweet with never ending notes of apricot. As with last year, I found myself having many steeps and enjoying the crisp notes and clean tastes of this tea.