I take it out of the pumidor, curious about its recent development. There is plenty of loose leaf material on the "open" edge of the cake and lying in the wrapper. I collect all of it except for the super broken pieces. So, the stuff I got there looks quite fine. Let's try it.
I arrange a dark toned Chaxi to fit both the dark tea and the new teapot I baptise with it. It's a stoneware overhead-handle pot handmade by Warsaw potter Andrzej Bero. It somehow resembles a Dobin, but has a taller shape and the copper handle is a really unique design plus. The position of the spout forbids me to fill it to the top and let the water overflow as you would with a Yixing pot, especially to get rid of Pu Erh broken pieces. I pair it with light celadon cups from Stéphane Erler's shop. They're so light toned you can barely see it on the picture I'm afraid. I also added my very first living Chaxi decoration of all time: A small maple scion I accidentally picked up with a handful of soil I planned to plant an onion in. Now it's got an old milk pitcher as a new home.
I preheat the pot and do a quick rinse with the leaves. It turns out that this windfall is surprisingly un-dusty! I don't get out any relevant fannings, and the rinse liquor is already really clear. I smell apple and vegetal notes with much energy waiting to be tasted.
Next infusion. Of course I do a short one, no Pu Erh ever needs long infusions. The liquor is sort of copper / forest honey orange. Very colourful as you'd expect from 10 years of experience in being a tea cake. It's not bitter at all. Right amount of astringency. I get some walnut impressions and apple again. All the infusions give me very much energy indeed. The aftertaste stays long and reminds me of peppermint. I keep the leaves for the next day and do another handful of infusions which still work perfectly. I honestly never managed to get to the last possible infusion of a Pu Erh, they're just too persistent.
Thanks for reading!