Sunday, June 08, 2008
The living of Tea Master "Cloud Rock" is very basic. Clean water running from the mountain stream, persimmon tree, mulberry tree growing as shade to cool and shelter the main compound. Situated near the foot of the mountain, the house rested next to rock and stone caves. Smaller caves are for storage and Kimchi jars piled around them. There is electricity, but the stoves are still the traditional wood-burning cast iron style. I really can feel the connection between nature and human, or maybe this is the way it always should be? A balance, or harmony to coexist, maybe a respect or humble as we are just a small part of this equation...
Anyhow, I just want to share with you the Point A to B, from his house to his plantation. The two is divided by a river running from the top of Jiri Mountain range. Learning from previous trips in Yunnan, Anxi, Phoenix and Wuyi mountains, getting a truck is essential. 5 minutes from his house, we suddenly made a sharp turn down to the river. I pulsed a bit and he just gave me a signal to a shallow water passing by. Stepping on the gas panel, I just rolled with the flow. "This is cool!" I exclaimed... " This is what I am talking about!" no one made a sound. "This is child play compared to Yiwu mountain" I mumbled to myself.
Climbing back to a narrow path, we started going up the hill....
There were wild Strawberries everywhere, the monk calls it something with "dragon berry (?)" The plantation has a South-view, although the view is not as breath taking as the Handong plantation we did stay the other night, or the San Chi is not as noticeable. The peacefulness is quite obvious. There are a lot of cypress trees growing around, he mentioned these trees only grow on well drain cliff based soil. That is music to my ears, Yan Cha in Korea? Who will expect!
Returning back to his house in the late afternoon, he started brewing his 40% fermented tea. "Tastes like Oriental beauty!" I then asked if he has experience on this Taiwanese treasure before, and he is kind of not certain. Luckily, I did my homework and swiftly presented him with a top grade OB as a faith offering. He was more than surprised for this gift, I do humbly hope that he can learn much from this small sample of mine and eventually his tea can take on a all new dimension.
Later, I also brew some of our wedding puerh for him. I did learn so much from his wisdom of making tea, he did suggested if the moacha from the puerh could have absorbed an hour of the sun energy, this will be a more livelier brew. That will be a important note for me from now on: All tea plants need sun energy to survive, so will the process of making it.
I think there is a huge potential to this traditional fermented Korean tea. Taste like a cross between oolong (OB) and first flush Darjeeling, very beautiful and inviting. I will be aging this tea in a Korean pot at my archive to see its improvement.
Posted by toki at 8:37 AM