While in Moscow and St. Petersburg tea clubs are growing like kombucha, in Kazan this drink continues to be treated more as a pleasant bonus to chak-chak and hookah. However, here you can find several places where you will brew a real shu pu-erh according to all the canons of the tea ceremony. “Inde” spoke with the artist and founder of the “Drugochai” movement Farid Fattakhov and learned where to drink Chinese tea in Kazan and how to learn to understand it.
Oolong is a special method of processing tea leaves, which gave the name to several varieties of tea. For the preparation of oolongs, mature leaves are used; first they are laid out in the sun, then removed to the shade and constantly kneaded, trying not to damage the structure. The result is a medium-fermented tea, which occupies an intermediate position between black and green.
Shen pu’er (from Chinese — “raw, unprocessed”) is made from mature leaves and buds. In the aroma there are smoky, woody, herbaceous-floral shades, in the taste-prune, stringy-honey notes. Color-from greenish-golden to reddish-amber.
Shu pu’er-compressed tea, artificially aged by accelerated technology. The taste is nutty with hints of autumn leaves, wood resins, cocoa beans and dried berries. The aroma is thick and warm, nutty.
Wuyishan oolong (Da Hong Pao, Zhou Gui, Shui Xian) — teas grown in the city of Wuyishan in eastern China. The taste of Da Hong Pao has fruity, floral, chocolate or spicy notes, while Zhou Gui has honey, fruity, creamy notes with cinnamon and a sweet-spicy aftertaste. Shui Xian resembles a fruit compote, but with the aroma of herbs and flowers.
Teguanyin-large-leaf oolong, has a slightly sweet taste and a pronounced spicy-fruity aroma.
Hei Cha is one of the most unusual and rare types of Chinese black tea. It has a thick, rich taste with wine and woody notes. Outside of China, tea is sold under the name “black”, which is called “red” there.
Dian Hong — known in China red (according to the European classification-black) tea. In the taste and aroma, you can catch bread, sweet floral and fruit notes, light smoke, honey and spices.
Yue Guang Bai is a tea made from silvery-white hairy buds and black leaves. It has the aroma of honey, meadow flowers and herbs.
Farid Fattakhov, 35, artist, founder and ideologist of the Drugochay movement For a
long time I, like many people, was fond of coffee and still depend on caffeine. When I was brought good tea from China, I did not know how to brew it properly, or rather, to spill it, and according to the European tradition, I brewed it in the French press. I didn’t taste good, I didn’t understand why anyone liked this drink. Four years ago, at one of the city markets, we met Nikita Guru. I bought half a shen puer pancake from him. I used to think that pu-eras were only black-this was the first time I saw a pressed green flatbread.
I am a very enthusiastic person, so I immediately began to read literature about tea, works on Chinese philosophy, works by Bronislav Vinogrodsky (sinologist, translator of the Book of Changes and other fundamental Chinese texts. – Ed. “Inde”). Then, together with his wife, he organized the label “Drugochay”. I call it a healthy lifestyle-a movement that unites around itself those who are interested in good tea, do not use alcohol and drugs. First, the meetings were held on Ulyanov – Lenin, then on Karl Marx, and now temporarily on Vishnevsky (at our house-the last time 30 people came to the event). In the near future, we want to open a tea place in the city center, but in the meantime, we are planning a series of tea events (for example, a lecture hall) in collaboration with Nikita Guru on the basis of his tea room.
The whole process takes place on a tea board. First, I put a portion of tea in a special container-cha hye. The person takes it in his hands, brings it to his nose, and easily exhales the air. The tea is warmed by his breath and reveals the aroma. Then I rinse the gaiwan with boiling water (a special cup for brewing tea with a lid and a saucer with a volume of 80-200 ml. – Approx. “Inde”), chahai (an intermediate vessel where the brewed tea from gaiwan is poured before it is poured into bowls. – Ed. “Inde”) and bowls — so the dishes are warmed. Then I make the first spill-I fill a portion of tea in the gaiwan with water, pour it into the chakhai, from the chakhai — in bowls and drain it. This is necessary to wash out the dust and other debris from the tea and prepare the tea for brewing. Then — the second strait: I hold the boiling water in the gaiwan for just a few seconds (this distinguishes the Chinese method of brewing tea from the European one, when the leaves can be infused for hours, and then the tea is diluted with hot water), I pour it into the chahai so that the infusion is leveled, I pour it into bowls. Now you can drink tea. So, for a conversation or meditation, hours pass.
With the choice of tea, everything is more difficult — you never know which one will hook a person.
Although I can say from my own experience that 80 percent of people like Wuyishan oolong, 100 percent like Teguanyin, and men usually like pu-erh-probably because it is very invigorating. By the way, it is not recommended to drink it on an empty stomach (or to eat immediately after tea). My favorite teas are Wuyishan oolong. I love them for their color, density of taste and aroma. When I get to other cities, I almost always try Zhou Gui, Da Hong Pao and Shui Xian-I compare the taste, color, aroma, and develop a palette that remains in my memory. This is necessary to learn how to distinguish good tea from bad.