štvrtok, 21. marca 2013

Bada 2008 -EN

As I promised, I will continue blogging in English as well :-)
It was a very beautiful sunny evening in Bratislava. So finally I was able to take some photos, I was satisfied with. But I hope I will be able to make tea outside soon! Today I decided to brew Bada 2008 from selection of Peter Stanik.


As every tea lover I have some teas and fragrances and tastes in them I prefer. That's why we argue so much sometimes (particularly here in Slovak an Czech republic). But I think it's a good thing! Thanks to different preferences of different tea vendors we are able to choose from lot of interesting teas (lot of tea vendors wouldn't agree :D )!  Here is my advice! If you really want to learn something about tea, try to step outside your "taste comfort zone"! You can discover a whole new worlds of beautiful teas and tastes!


Soft and warm sunlight was shining throug my window but it was still very cold day so I decided to use some warmer colours for this tea session. Zhu Ni teapot and cups, tea tray of similar colour, simple teamat and saucers made of sandalwood. I hope I will be able to find some nice Cha Bu soon!

And what about tea itself? As the name tells you leaves come from Bada 巴达 region, which lies in the northern part of Menghai 勐海.  Tea was pressed into 200g cakes (Xiao Beeng Cha) and the pressing is rather light so I asume it was made by hand (stone press). From what Peter told me the tea was pressed for JingHong association of tea lovers (or something like that) and it has been stored in JingHong for last 5 years. Leaves come from old trees. I wouldn´t be afraid to call it Gushu.

















Dry leaves have very intense aroma. Sweet and heavy! You can find walnuts and dark molasses. After rinsing you could find even sweeter more fruity aroma, but also some smells from wetter storage (JingHong, Xishuangbanna ) But I think it isn't unpleasant and these smells will disappear after some time in my dry storage. 



I tried different teapots (zhu ni, duan ni, zi ni) and also porcelain. There was differences, but I liked it from every teapot I tried. You should choose what suits you and your tea session most.



Bada 2008 is very smooth for its relatively young age. I like shengs that go nicely "down the throat".  You could taste intense sweetnes, fruits, molasses and what I liked most: camphor. Aftertaste is nice and smooth, not that dryness that is typical for young Taidi Shengs. 


Cha Qi is very strong, but very pleasant and relaxing. Different from very young Gushu teas, that makes you (sometimes uncomfortably) tea drunk after one cup :-D Thanks to this tea and this session I was in realy good mood.  I used about 6-7 grams. And the tea gave me a lot of infusions! I used abot liter and something of hot water.










I bought two cakes of this tea. It has lot of fragrances I like (molasses. ripe fruits, camphor) in nearly every tea and it is reasonably priced. I think that Peters Bangpen 2008 is objectively better (check what Hobbes wrote) but personaly I like Bada more :-) Btw if you have any suggestions on teas with taste profile I described please contact me
So have a nice day and see you soon!

streda, 20. marca 2013

Bada 2008 -SK

Konečne bolo dnes v Bratislave pekné počasie a tak som mohol (aj keď stále vo vnútri) nafotiť jedno príjemné čajovanie. Rozhodol som sa pripravovať čaj Bada 2008 od Petra Staníka, ktorý možno už viacerí poznáte.


Ako každý čajomil aj ja mám určité chute, ktoré preferujem a vyhľadávam. Táto naša vlastnosť síce občas prispieva k nekonečnému vadeniu sa a hádkam, ale zároveň nám pri rôznych obchodoch umožňuje väčšiu chuťovú rozmanitosť. Skúste si niekedy zohnať viacero čajov od toho istého obchodníka a myslím, že po čase zistíte, čo dotyčný človek preferuje. Tiež si myslím, že by sme občas mali oveľa viac vystupovať zo svojho chuťového "comfort zone" a bádať v nových a nových chuťových oblastiach. 




 Do izby mi svieti príjemné teplé poobedňajšie svetlo a hoci by už aj človek očakával príchod jari, tak vonku je stále chladno. Akosi prirodzene som na toto čajovanie zvolil teplejšie farby. Konvička a misky z Zhu Ni, maličké more z podobne ladeného materiálu, jednoduché látkové prestieranie a prvky dreva v podobe podšálok zo santalu. Snáď sa čoskoro dostanem aj k nejakému peknému Cha Bu.

A k samotnému čaju. Ako už názov napovedá, čaj pochádza z 
oblasti Bada 巴达, čo je na severe Menghai 勐海. Čaj je lisovaný do 200 gramových koláčikov, lisovanie je primerané, lístky sa ľahko oddeľujú, tipol by som to na ručné lisovanie a podla Peťových info bol lisovaný pre JingHongský spolok milcov čaju a v rovnakej oblasti bol aj 5 rokov skladovaný. Použité lístie pochádza zo starých stromov, čomu napovedá aj charakter chuti. Nebránil by som sa použiť aj termín Gushu :-) ale to radšej ponechám na váš úsudok. V poslednej dobe som si totiž uvedomil, že častokrát namiesto čaju pijeme názvy a sorty...









Vôňa suchého listu je intenzívna, ťažká, sladká. Cítiť výrazné tóny vlašských orechov a melasy. Po prepláchnutí sa sladkosť naplno rozvinie, objavia sa aj ovocné tóny. V pozadí cítiť aj jemný smrádeček, keďže JingHong (Xishuangbanna) oplýva vlhkejším podnebím. Nieje to ale nič závažné a podla môjho názoru sa to za dajaký čas v mojom archíve stratí :-). 


Prípravu som skúšal vo viacerých typoch hliny, ako aj v porceláne. Čaj mi chutil zo všetkého. Treba si vybrať to čo vám osobne sedí najviac a tiež čo vám momentálne pasne do atmosféry, ktorú chcete čajovaním navodiť. 


Bada 2008 je aj na jej relatívne mladý vek pozoruhodne hladká. Mám rád shengy, ktoré idú dobre "dolu krkom". Chuť je príjemne sladká, melasová, ovocná a čo ma zaujalo najviac- gáfrová. Po vypití nastupuje príjemný aftertaste, žiadne suchotiny, ako pri niektorých plantážnych čajoch. V ústach ostáva príjemný pocit sviežosti. 

Cha Qi je intenzívne, ale veľmi príjemné, pohodové. Nieje to "nástrel" ako pri veľmi mladých Gushu. Celkovo ma čaj dostal do psychickej a fyzickej pohody. Použil som cca 6-7g čaju. Nevážil som, ale pri takto lisovaných pu erhoch mám v tomto rozmedzí vcelku slušný odhad. Čajík plnohodnotne 
vydržal preliatie viac ako litrom vody. 






Slovom na záver: čajovanie aj čaj som si veľmi užil. V čajoch celkovo mám veľmi rád melasové tóny a tóny vyzretého ovocia. Máte dajaké dobré tipy? :-) 
Neostáva mi už nič iné, než dúfať, že som na vás preniesol aspoň trochu z môjho veľmi príjemného zážitku a priať vám veľa dobrého čaju!

pondelok, 18. marca 2013

Wake up from a long sleep EN/SK

I have not written anything in a long time. Last semester was extremely time consuming for me. But I promise I will write again very soon :-) But with one big change! I've received lot of requests if I could write in Slovak. But don't worry! I will continue posting in English as well! If you would like to read about some particular tea (preferably Sheng, Yancha or Dan Cong) feel free to ask :) If I will be able to buy that tea somewhere (and if I will like it) I will gladly write about it. Please forgive me that there won't be any tasting notes this time, I feel sick so it wouldn't be very enriching for you. Just two photos I was able to take on this extremely clody day..

A pre mojich česko-slovenských čitateľov. Dospel som k rozhodnutiu, že budem písať aj v slovenčine. Idea tohoto blogu bola zdielať zážitky z čajovania s čo najviac ľuďmi a z toho dôvodu som volil angličtinu. V poslednom období som ale dostával viacero prosieb, či by som nemohol písať aj v slovenčine. Nuž, síce to pre mňa znamená viac stráveného času, ale rád vyhoviem :-) Ak by ste mali záujem si počítať o nejakom konkrétnom čaji, neváhajte ma kontaktovať a pokiaľ sa mi ho podarí zohnať (a bude mi chutiť) tak o ňom veľmi rád napíšem. Dnes bohužiaľ nebudú žiadne zápisky z ochutnávky, pretože som posledné dni chorý a nemal by to pre vás asi veľmi prínosné. Pridávam ale dve fotky, ktoré sa mi v tento veľmi oblačný deň podarilo spraviť.



štvrtok, 26. júla 2012

Gyokuro Fuuki and note about Umami

For the first time ever, I decided to write about Japanese tea :-) Today I will write about Gyokuro Fuuki from teamountain.cz. It is one of more basic gyokuros from their selection, but!! it is still very high grade overall :-)


Tea leaves for Fuuki (which means "Riches and honors") were harvested near Tanabe and Ayabe in Kyoto prefecture from Gokoh and Yabukita varietal. 

I dont drink japanese teas very often- I like them very much, but there are so many teas and it is  nearly impossible to have wider overview and knowledge in all types of tea. If you are mainly interested in japanese tea I would really recommend poemtea.blogspot.com. 
These teas are always a bit special for me. When I brew Sheng, I usually brew it very spontaneously and naturaly - like breathing- and I dont think very much about it. But sencha or gyokuro? Exact temperature, brewing times etc.. It can look bonding at first look, but sometimes rules, codes and formulas are very freeing. Like mantras, they can help to clear your mind and stay focused. Its always a small ceremony when I brew japanese tea.


I used my smallest Shiboridashi made by Peter Novak. Its made of porcelain and glazed with Czech feldspar. 


I used traditional way of preparing gyokuro. Water just above the leaves, almost lukewarm temperature and steeping for 5 minutes. If you havent tried this type of brewing before I really recommend it! It is not something for thirsty drinkers, but it is worth it! Literally only few drops of the tea :-) You wont have full mouth of tea, but full mouth of flavor instead! 


Flavor of the brew is very intense- thick, buttery and with very strong mouthfeel. Main tone is Umami, but you can also find some lighter tones like fresh grass and flowers. For those unfamiliar with name Umami- it is the fifth basic taste (sweet, sour, bitter, salty and umami). More scientifically, umami present the taste of amino acid L-Glutamate. Its quite hard to describe, because most languages dont have their own word for this taste. But have you ever tried to describe the taste of ripe tomato? or spinach? Well, now you can. Its umami. Another good example is japanese dashi stock (due to dried tuna and kombu seawead used). 


Another brews were made using slightly higher temperatures and shorter brewing times. Once again it was a very nice and refreshing tea session :-) Have a really nice day and see you soon.



utorok, 24. júla 2012

New yixing- but not yixing

After a long while I finally decided to write again. My disappearance could be explained by my time-consuming school (I study financial math) and also my job at local tea house.
Since my last post I drank a lot of good tea and bought some new teaware. But my latest aquisition is somehow special :-) It is yixing tea pot, but not made in Yixing.


This little teapot is made of Yixing clay Zi Ni, but it was made by talented Czech potter Peter Novak. It all began, when Peter Stanik made one of the orders from yixing potter Mr. Liu Ming Zhu. But it was not only teapots. He also ordered some Zi Ni Clay, which he gave to Peter Novak. After some experiments with right temperature (temperature in Peter's kiln is higher than temperature usually used for firing Zi Ni) three teapots were finally born. One was given as gift to Peter Stanik, Peter Novak kept the second one and last one was included in Peter Novak's "Gems of the Kiln" project. Later another four were made. One of them belongs to Benki from Probuzeny slon teahouse and you can see second teapot on picture above :-) I dont know what happened with last two.

I was really happy and honored that I was able to add this beautiful teapot to my collection. Its unique in many ways. Its made from Zi Ni, but it is so much different than any Yixing that I have. Peter made it in his own unique style. It is not perfect and pure as other yixing I have- it is more rough and rustic but it is on purpose and it is part of its beauty.
There are three things that I really like to collect: Yixing, Peter's earthenware and Pu-Erh. So it was natural decision to dedicate this teapot for Sheng. And so it now embodies all these things. Tepot lid fit is really nice and tight and the teapot pours well. But what really surprised and amazed me how it interacts with tea. Tea prepared in this teapot is really sweet and clear. Its clay is a bit overfired, but it works amazingly well.




Im too tired to write about the brewed tea and I dont like post that are too long, so maybe later :) And I would like to thank to both Peter Novak and Peter Stanik for this amazing teapot :)