As some of you may remember from my previous post, I am currently staying in a charming village near Brno, the second largest city of Czech republic. Apart from large and really interesting city center, castle and cathedral, Brno has much more to offer - especially to tea-lover, as it hosts more high-quality teahouses than any other city around. I visited three of them in last few days. Each had completely different, unique atmosphere, different tea menu and different selection of teaware - thing I'm interested the most every time I visit this city, as I thing there are many great ceramists in Czech republic, blending traditional Czech and Moravian pottery with strong inspiration from Japan and Korea - the results are unbelievably pleasant to watch, touch and, in most cases, use. Today, I was in mood for some really special experience, so I visited teahouse called Probuzený Slon, which is well-known by local tea-lovers and offers mostly teas from Martin Špimr's Teamountain and Zdeněk Prachař's Longfeng, which are, in my opinion, possibly two of best tea-distributors in Europe - or Central Europe, at least. I am sorry for bad quality of photos, but they were taken with mobile phone in quite dark room.
I ordered really special tea - Kuradashi Kirara Kabuse Yabukita 1998. They serve higher grade teas like this in this teahouse, with small kuysu and thermos of hot water, which is, in my opinion, ideal serving and should inspire many other teahouses to do so as well. You may also notice the small teacup in lower right corner, which seemed to be Petr Novák's work.
This unique aged tea comes from farm of Mr. Katahira, from whom I remember drinking this year's Shincha - wonderful tea as well. This Kabuse was left to age for 12 years. Now it's the right time to try it.
The first infusion. I used 65 degrees hot water and brewed this infusion for one minute. This method gave me very light-yellow infusion with intensive smell. Then, I tasted it - unbelievably complex, milky, rich and heavy taste, with vivid tone of quince fruit. This tea is like no other Japanese tea I've ever experienced; it was completely different than any Kabuse, Gyokuro or anything else, from infusion collor to smell and taste.
The second infusion is being brewed. I made four infusions overall, though I enjoyed the first and second one the most.
After savouring this special tea and relaxing a bit in teahouse's nice atmosphere, I made a small purchase before leaving - buying this Shiboridashi and teacup made by Petr Novák and two fresh 2010 Japanese green teas - one Sencha from Yame and Kabuse Okuyutaka Kari from Shizuoka. Will post more about these teas and teaware in near future. Until then.
Necessary to say, I'm not a native English speaker (as you have probably already figured out from my entries), so please forgive me my mistakes and limited use of language. Other than that, I am an eternal student deeply appreciating good tea and all joys connected to it. Among my other interests is poetry – apart from reading, I also try to do my best in writing it. Then goes film, which is a big passion of mine as well as my field of study. Naturally, I would like to continue and deepen these interests in the future.