Dahongpao and the Winter Binge
A heavy snow storm painted the forests in my hometown just before my return. The snow was heavy, wet, and sticky. This glue-like snow coupled with a strong wind resulted in trees plastered with snow on one side. The mixture was heavy enough to fell some large trees, some who were easily twice my age. Unable to bear the weight of snow and ice, the forest was a sea of tilted trees, broken boughs, and snapped trunks.
My mother and I braved the cold, with a thermos and gaiwan [cup and saucer] full of Dahongpao [big red robe, a Wuyi Shan oolong]. After some wandering about, we found a small patch of snow where we could brew up some tea and sit in the quiet to have drink.
As the winter cold sets in, I often find myself reaching for yancha [rock teas] like this Dahongpao more and more often. I go on kicks of a few weeks where my gaiwan is filled up with rock tea, and then spring comes and their appearances become less and less frequent.
Luckily, my mother had the foresight to bring a few small linens to set the cups on, as resting a gaiwan and cups in the snow cooled them very quickly. Unluckily, I chose not to use them, as pictured below. This may not be a bad thing though, as I find rock teas to be very pleasant when cool.
I was still battling a cold during this time, so I can not say I remember much in the way of flavors, other than the heat of the tea and the mineral feel in my mouth after drinking. Suffice it to say that the environment and the company superseded the tea on this fine December afternoon.