Last week my friend Nick stopped by the store with his bag of tricks. He suggested I take a well-deserved break and we could gung fu it for an hour or so to get my soul back on track.

Well, it definitely worked. He busted out the last remnants of a nice 1994 Aged Bao Zhong and we took it from there. I had to bust out my 2002 Aged Oolong to show off a bit as Nick was impressing me with not only his awesome tea (obtained from Hou De Tea) but his fantastic and humble execution of the gung fu tea method. I have witnessed the gung fu method of tea preparation several times, but never by someone who seemed to be connected to the process in such an unselfconscious way. It was fun and educational and very grounding, as well. We had a blast. And we got about 5 good steeps from both teas.

The Bao Zhong you could tell had lost a bit of its jinginess or freshness. That said, it still the great bao zhong qualities; the complex floral notes, misty lingering long finish, and that dark hint of granny’s attic in the background you get from some of these aged teas. I likened it to sitting in grandma’s house and she had baked a peach pie the day before, but had left the door to the attic open and the window in the attic was open and it had just started raining. Safe to say I was transported.

We followed up with the 2002 oolong. It definitely had more punch and presence; it was only 7 years old and was more highly oxidized to begin with. It was also really enjoyable. A solid roasted, round body, hints of chestnuts and spice. The next couple of steepings we were rewarded with some really nice floral richness. Very evocative. Earthy and sweet with a really long nectar finish. Very nice.

A great break from the day.