Elderly Min Tea
Chou Me-Nong bragged about Min Vin-sui's tea to me over and over.
In the ninth month of 1638, I went to the City of Liu. After landing, I visited Min Vin-sui at Peach Leave Ferry. It was afternoon, and Vin-sui was out. He came back late, and I saw a grumpy old man. No sooner than introduction, he suddently exclaimed "I forgot my cane at some one's home !" then out he went. I said to myself " I cannot afford to waste a whole day". I called again. When Vin-sui returned, it was already evening.
He glanced at me, and said "Is the guest still here ? What are you here for?" "I have long heard your reputation, I will not leave here unless I get to drink Vin-sui tea" I replied. Vin-sui was pleased, and set up stove and brew tea himself, as swiftly as wind and storm. He led me into a room with bright windows and clean desk and filled with Thorn Brook tea pots and Chen Shuen Kiln porcelain cups. What an exquisite collection! Under the lamplight, the color of tea looked the same as the porcelain cups, but the tea had an aggressive aroma, I exclaimed with amazement and ask Vin-sui "Where do you obtained this tea?"
"It was from the Garden of Liang" he replied. I sipped again, and said "Don't fool me, this tea was indeed made according to Liang Garden recipe, but it doesn't tasted so" "Do you know where the tea was from?" asked Vin-sui, hiding his smile. I sipped again, and said "How come it tasted so much like Lu Gie tea?" "Odd, odd!" said Vin-sui, sticking out his tongue. I ask Vin-sui what kind of water he used.
"Hui Spring water" "Don't fool me, Hui Spring water travelled thousands of miles how come the water moves but not the pebbles?" "I am not going to hide the truth any more. When one fetch Hui Spring water one must dig a well, and wait in a silent night for new water to arrive, then bucket it up quickly. Mountain pebbles would line the bottom of the jar. A boat will not move without the wind, so still water creates no pebbles......"
" Odd, odd!" said he, sticking out his tongue. No sooner he uttered this words, out he went. He soon returned with a kettle and pour me a full cup of tea, and said "please try this" "It has an intense aroma and rich taste. Is this spring tea? The one I tasted before was Autumn pick" Vin-sui laughed heartily and said "In seventy years of my life, I have never met a single connoisseur like you!" We became friends.
From Book III, "Dream and Remininscence of Tao An" , translated by Gisling