"What? How can she...? Probably another flavored tea afficionado!" will say my pu'er amateur friends. Yes, my mother actually tends to prefer flavored teas, in the morning in a large teapot.
But, despite this inclination which part of her progeny has not inherited, why would she be wrong? Because having lived all her childhood in Brittany's countryside, between bovine herds, wheat fields and traditional farms, it is quite understandable that a pu'er, raw, ripe and even of good quality, might evoke her that image.
Others, more "professional", more "expert" or more "connoisseur" will say that this tea shows aromas of leather, old wood, wax, dry or wet straw, or even better, that it has animal, coumarine or undergrowth notes.
And finaly, where's the difference? Who's right?
When one analyzes and dissects tea, the other drinks it and expresses its feelings with a simple idea coming from his own olfactive memory. Some will seek an exact, absolute image while others will express their feelings, with a perfect relativity.
Of these two approaches, which one is the most accurate, the "best", the truest?
What if the essentials were elsewhere?... To be continued.
Upper right ilustration : "Vache à l'étable", by Charles François Daubigny (Louvre museum, Paris)