I travelled to Wuyi Shan in 2011 with my tea master Olivia to purchase teas for her shop in Vancouver and to deepen my obsession though experiencing the legendary South East tea regions of China. We wound for an hour into the tea-covered mountains until we came to a very small 5 acre tea estate run by the Hu family. The family still used traditional charcoal drying methods and prepared all the tea by hand. It was a stunning sunset on the mountain and a laughter filled evening of sampling teas. This Wuyi Shan Golden Goddess Oolong is a 2013 first flush lovingly prepared by the family.
It’s daring aroma and unparalleled complexity of notes reminds me Lu Tong’s poem Seven Bowls of Tea.Seven Bowls of Tea
The first cup caresses my dry lips and throat.
The second shatters the walls of my lonely sadness.
The third searches the dry rivulets of my soul to find the stories of five thousand scrolls.
With the fourth the pain of life’s grievances evaporates through my pores.
The fifth relaxes my muscles and bones become light.
With the sixth I find the path that leads to the immortal ancestors.
Oh the seventh cup! Better not take it! If I had it the only feeling
Is the fresh wind blowing through my wings,
As I make my way to Penglai.
Lu Tong, Tang Dynasty (A.D. 618-907)