Sunday, January 20, 2013

Visions that witches brew

Yesterday I went to Luukki and walked first to lake Väärälampi, crossed it over the ice, and returned from there via lake Halkolampi, again crossing the lake, twice. I started walking 20 minutes before sunset, and returned 50 minutes after when it started to be quite dark already.

It was cold, about -16 °C, but there was no wind so it was a rather pleasant to walk on the snow and ice, mostly on paths made by others walking there before me.

Today I made - the first time ever - Pu-erh tea, and it was fine. I read the Wikipedia article about Pu-erh tea and learned quite a lot. I didn't realize that "Mao Cha" in the name of the tea I bought (Pu-Erh Lao Mao Cha) means "rough", which is the first stage in the process of making Pu-erh.

I checked and it seems the tea I have is a loose-leaf version of Pu-erh, ripened for tree years but not pressed into a cake. The process includes microbial fermentation and oxidation, but this is a different process than in the making of so-called black tea. The leaves are very dark gray, almost black, but when brewed in hot water some green color becomes visible. The taste is somewhat different from green tea, rather mild, with a fruity sidetaste, maybe plum.

(Posting title is from the poem To One Unknown by Helen Dudley.)

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