Saturday Morning Tea

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Good morning, dear tea friends! As August winds down and we head into the cooler days of September, I’ve chosen a contemplative tea for my cup this morning. I’ve been experiencing a lot of change in my life recently, I’m sure you’ve all known a time like that in your own lives, where everything seems to be happening at once. Anyway, I’ve made a pot of a China white tea called Organic White Silver Needle, to help me slow down and unwind so I can get in touch with that inner place.

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This tea is made up of just unopened leaf buds, the baby growth on the tea bush. The buds undergo a minimal amount of processing and are dried in sunlight.

I steeped the buds for 4 minutes in 180F water.

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Each bud is covered in soft white hairs that give it a silvery appearance. After steeping, the now sleek hairs reveal more detail on the buds.

The aroma is delicate and sweet with a whisper of melon.

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The pale straw-colored tea liquor is light and sweet yet it has a very solid mouth feel. Fruity hints like melon and nutty hints like pistachio glide across my palate in a silky smooth dance.

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This is the perfect tea to enjoy when you need the regular day-to-day to recede for a few special moments by yourself or with a fellow tea lover.

Have a wonderful weekend. See you in two weeks!

Saturday Morning Tea

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Good morning, dear tea friends! On this hot and hazy summer day, I’ve brewed up a pot of second flush Darjeeling, as promised in my last post. This particular selection is from the Sungma Estate. The reason I chose it is because I think it’s a great example of a second flush tea, starting with the variegated tones of brown in the leaf color.

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Established in the 1860s, the Sungma Estate experienced a major loss in 1934 when a terrible earthquake destroyed its factory. After that, Sungma merged with a neighboring tea garden called Turzum Estate.

I steeped the leaves for 3 minutes in 212F water.

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A rich, fruity fragrance wafted up from my glass teapot, filling my kitchen with its delicious aroma.

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Look at that gorgeous color! A deep amber-colored liquor tells you that this is a second flush Darjeeling, as opposed to the light golden color of a first flush.

The flavor bursts in my mouth, like biting into a piece of ripe fruit, very rich with notes of muscatel and nutty hints. The fruitiness lingers deliciously on my tongue. A honey-like sweetness is also present in the cup, which gets even sweeter as the tea cools, making it a wonderful choice for an iced tea as well as a hot cuppa.

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August is the month of abundance when so much is being harvested from nature’s bounty. A cup of second flush Darjeeling is the perfect companion to rich and flavorful foods.

Until next time, dear friends, enjoy your tea!

Saturday Morning Tea

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Good morning, dear tea friends! This first day of August dawned clear and bright, a beautiful summer’s day. My morning tea is a wonderful treat, a tippy, first flush Darjeeling from the Singbulli Estate. As you can see, the leaf is gorgeous, a multi-hued work of art from nature.

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Located in the picturesque Mirik area of Darjeeling in northeastern India, the organically certified Singbulli Estate was established in 1924 by British planters. Its 9 rolling hills are spread out over 14 miles, at an altitude that ranges from 1,200 feet to 4,100 feet. Mirik comes from the word Mir-Yok, which translates to “place burnt by fire.”

I steeped the leaf for 3 minutes in just under boiling point (212F) water.

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The wet leaf aroma after steeping is bright and vegetal. The cup aroma is sweet with pronounced notes of flowers.

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The glowing golden-yellow liquor has a fresh, crisp mouth feel and a pronounced floral flavor with a whisper of tropical fruit. Mmmmmm….

This tea is the epitome of a first flush Darjeeling.

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I chose this lovely teacup this morning because the inside is glazed the exact same color as my tea.

In my next post, I’ll show you what I think exemplifies the second flush Darjeeling character. Until then, enjoy your summer and your tea!

Saturday Morning Tea

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Good morning, dear tea friends! It’s wonderful to be back sharing another cup of tea with you!

It’s a humid, rainy morning in my little corner of the world, the kind of day where the air is thick and steamy. On days like this, I’ve always enjoyed a rich China Keemun tea in my cup. As you can see from the leaf above, I chose a Keemun Mao Feng for my morning tea.

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This tea was grown in Qimen County in China’s Anhui province. Established in the year 766 during the Tang Dynasty, this county got its name from nearby Mount Qi. Keemun tea is named after this well known tea-growing region, pronounced Chee-men.

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You can see how the long, wiry Mao Feng (“Fur Peak”) leaf was twisted during its processing.

I steeped the leaf for 5 minutes in boiling point (212F) water. This tea is so smooth that you could probably steep it longer, if you wanted to.

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The tea liquor is the color of glowing embers and imparts a rich, earthy aroma as I lift the lid of my glass teapot.

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The flavor is thick and stout with notes of earth and smoke and cocoa. Hints of dark honey and red wine linger on in the finish. This is quite a yummy selection!

I hope everyone is enjoying their summer. See you in two weeks!

 

Saturday Morning Tea

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Good morning, dear tea friends! June is such a lovely time of year with warm days, not yet too hot, and a landscape of colorful, blooming growth. In my cup this morning is a first flush Darjeeling from the North Tukvar estate. If I had to describe this tea with only one word, it would be refreshing!

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This tea estate was first planted in 1852 and is nestled in the foothills of the Himalayan mountains near Kanchendzonga peak. With altitudes ranging from 1,500 to 6,500 feet above sea level, it is one of the highest elevation tea gardens in Darjeeling district, in northeastern India.  Its tea plants consist mainly of clonal bushes and China jat, meaning tea bushes with origins from China.

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I steeped the leaves for 3 minutes in just under boiling point (212F) water.

The aroma is fragrant, fresh and vegetal with a whisper of flowers.

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The golden tea liquor wakes up my mouth with its refreshing flavor. Floral notes are complemented by a citrus zest tang, which lingers long into the finish. It would make a delicious iced tea.

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My son and his girlfriend gave me a gorgeous pink orchid plant for Mother’s Day. It’s a beautiful accompaniment for my tea table, don’t you think?

I’m off to Michigan next weekend for a 2-week visit with my family. I’ll be back with another tea post in July. Enjoy your tea and this great summer weather!

Saturday Morning Tea

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Good morning, dear tea friends! On this cool, overcast morning, I’m enjoying another Pre-Chingming tea in my cup, an Oolong called Fenghuang Dan Cong. This tea has been plucked from centuries old “single trunk” tea trees in China’s Guangdong province, rather than from cultivated tea bushes. Also know as Phoenix Oolong, this is a venerable tea indeed.

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I steeped the large, twisted leaves for 4 minutes in 190F water.

A sweet, fruity aroma wafted up from my glass teapot as I removed the infuser. The wet leaf smells like peaches and lemon. Mmmmm…

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The long leaves stayed twisted even after steeping. They lightened up to an olive green from the dark brown color of the dry leaf.

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The light golden tea liquor has a fruity flavor, like fresh juicy apricots and peaches. There’s a slight vegetal note with a silky smoothness that lasts into the finish.

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On the oxidation scale, I think this Oolong falls between the more oxidized chestnut/woody Oolongs and the less oxidized fragrant, floral Oolongs. It would be a great choice for multiple steepings, if you like to do that.

I’m off to my granddaughter’s softball game this morning. Watching the little ones play and have so much fun gives me great joy.

See you in 2 weeks. Enjoy your tea!

Saturday Morning Tea

PCMGreenNeedleOrgDryLeaf Good morning, dear tea friends! It’s a glorious spring day today, and I enjoyed sitting outside in the morning sunshine sipping my tea. In my cup is a Pre-Chingming tea from China, a green tea called Pre-Chingming Green Needle Organic. PCMGreenNeedleOrgSteep052315 As I’ve shared with you before, Pre-Chingming teas are harvested before the festival of Qingming (Chingming), usually celebrated on the 15th day from the Spring Equinox. Any teas harvested before that date are referred to as Pre-Chingming teas. In other words, harvested in very early spring. PCMGreenNeedleOrgWetLeaf052315 This tea is aptly named as the leaves do look like long, thin needles. I steeped the leaves for 3 minutes in 180F water. PCMGreenNeedleOrgTeapot052315 The tea liquor is a beautiful spring green color. The aroma is sweet and lightly vegetal, like a whisper of sweet baby peas. PCMGreenNeedleOrgTeaBowl052315 The flavor is complex, meaning there are multiple layers of flavor notes that intermingle in a very pleasing way. I taste light sweet corn as well as a faint fruity hint, like apricot. The liquor is smooth and leaves a buttery feeling on my tongue. There’s a quick tang in the finish. A lovely tea to slowly sip and enjoy on a beautiful spring morning. I wish everyone a great Memorial Day weekend filled with lots of relaxation and fun.  See you in two weeks!