Saturday Morning Tea


Good morning, dear tea friends! It’s a bright, cold November day today as we near Thanksgiving, a time to gather with family and friends to give thanks for all of the abundance in our lives. I think it’s especially important to focus on all that’s good in our lives what with the frightening events happening in the world. I’m thankful for a hot cup of tea on a cold morning and for all of you to share it with.

In my cup this morning is a China black tea from Yunnan province, called Yunnan Rare Grade. Composed of downy, golden tips, this tea is rich and inviting.


I stepped out of the box a little bit and steeped the leaves for 6 minutes in boiling point (212F) water. I love how you can see the fine golden hairs even under water.


The twisted tips release slightly after steeping, giving off a warm aroma with just a hint of cocoa. The tea itself has a toasty aroma.


The beautiful dark-amber liquor is sooooo smooth with notes of biscuit/toast and hints of cocoa, which reveal themselves more as the tea cools. I feel this tea is inviting me to experiment with how long I can push its steep time.


I’m comfortably settling in to my new home, one unpacked box at a time, and am looking forward to creating a special area in my dining room to display my tea bowl collection.

Until our next cup of tea, I leave you with one of my favorite poems. Have a lovely Thanksgiving!

Morning Poem

Every morning the world is created. Under the orange

sticks of the sun the heaped ashes of the night turn into leaves again.

and fasten themselves to the high branches—and the ponds appear like black cloth on which are painted islands

of summer lilies. If it is your nature to be happy you will swim away along the soft trails

for hours, your imagination alighting everywhere. And if your spirit carries within it

the thorn that is heavier than lead—if it’s all you can do to keep on trudging—

there is still somewhere deep within you a beast shouting that the earth is exactly what it wanted—

each pond with its blazing lilies is a prayer heard and answered lavishly, every morning,

whether or not you have ever dared to be happy, whether or not you have ever dared to pray.

~Mary Oliver

Saturday Morning Tea


Good morning, dear tea friends! I’m happy to be sharing a cup of tea with you from my new home. After unpacking all week, it feels great to sit down and savor a cuppa. This morning’s tea is a second flush harvest from the Teesta Valley Estate in Darjeeling, India.


Teesta Valley Estate was named for the nearby Teesta, a turbulent mountain river. Along with the Gielle Estate, Teesta Valley was laid out gradually from 1841 to 1856, using carefully selected China bushes. Stretching upwards from 2500 to 6500 feet above sea level, this lovely garden is located at the highest point above the valley and blessed by cool mists, bright sunshine and crisp winds, the perfect growing conditions for great teas.

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


The leaves steeped up to a beautiful amber color. The aroma wafting up from my glass teapot is sweet and floral. This tea is a bit lighter and smoother than a typical second flush selection. With that in mind, I think I’ll experiment with increasing the steeping time and see what happens.


The flavor has a pronounced sweetness, especially as it cools, with notes of fruit and flowers. A suggestion of apricot lingers in the crisp finish.


I’ve enjoyed this peaceful respite with you. Now it’s time to return to the stacks of boxes piled up in my new space.

Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy your tea!

Saturday Morning Tea


Good morning, dear tea friends! It’s a chilly, overcast autumn day here in my corner of New England. On a day like this, I’m happy to warm my hands as well as my spirit with a hot cup of tea. Or two. Or three. Today’s tea is a second flush selection from the Castleton Estate in Darjeeling, northeastern India. This renowned estate produces high quality, classic Darjeelings every year.

Here’s some interesting information about the estate from an article by Shyamali Ghosh on World Tea News:

Castleton Tea Estate, perched in Darjeeling’s misty Kurseong South Valley, actually has a castle of sorts, as well as a history colored by storybook details. No one is sure of the castle’s origin, though it’s probably just a building left behind by a long-ago money lender.

Originally planted in 1885 by an enterprising Englishman, the estate has passed through the hands of Calcutta royalty, and still uses names rather than numbers to designate specific areas in the garden. The original name of this garden was Kumseri. The various sections of this gardens are known as Bhalu Khop (bear cave), Jim Basha (the erstwhile manager’s domain), Dhobitar (washerman’s clothes line) and Baseri (resting place).

I love reading stories about tea and its history.


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

A marvelous fruity fragrance greeted me as I poured my first cup.


As you can see, the liquor is a beautiful amber color. The flavor is rich with that characteristic Darjeeling “bite” awakening my palate.


I detected notes of muscatel, a warm toastiness and bright highlights, reminiscent of citrus, in the flavor. This tea is definitely strong enough to add a splash of milk but I encourage you to try it plain first and see what notes you find. This would make a lovely companion to a rich dessert.


I’m going to relax today and work on a new knitting project, a rosey pink cardigan for someone special. How are you spending your day?

The next time I join you for a cup of tea, I’ll be moved in to my new home. Until then, enjoy your tea!



Saturday Morning Tea


Good morning, dear tea friends! Since we last shared a cup of tea together, I’ve moved again. This is my fourth move in a little over a decade. Moving does seem to be a part of my life’s path, and I’m trying my best to embrace it. Again. That’s a story for another time, however. Today’s story is about a well-known and well-loved tea from China, a green tea called Pi Lo Chun Imperial.

The name Pi Lo Chun translates to “green snail spring”, so named because the leaf is rolled into spiral shapes resembling snail shells. I have read that they roll the leaf this way to retain its freshness.


I steeped the leaves for 3 minutes in 180F water. The water turned murky as the silvery dust released from the tippy leaf.

As I lifted the infuser from my glass teapot, a sweet, vegetal fragrance was released.


The leaves were loosely rolled so steeping released them into their original leaf bud shape.


The golden yellow tea liquor has a fresh buttery mouth feel with notes of sweet melon and flowers and sea-grassy vegetal hints.


As I sip my tea, I gaze out the window at the colorful autumn leaves swaying in the breeze and think about change. The change of seasons. The changes in one’s life. The change from a spiral shaped leaf to a delicious cup of tea.

Thanks for your patience with my sporadic tea posts as I get used to this newest change in my life. Enjoy your tea!


Saturday Morning Tea


Good morning, dear tea friends! My morning tea today is a rich Ceylon black tea with a fun name, Victorian Brew BOP1. Even though the days are still summer warm, the nights are turning cool and crisp, perfect weather to sleep with the windows thrown wide open. The day when the light and dark are equal here in the Northern Hemisphere is only 4 days away.


This tea is a blend of Ceylon black teas so I couldn’t find any background information on it. I steeped the leaves for 4 minutes in 212F (boiling point) water.


Look at that beautiful amber color!

The aroma has a dried fruit fragrance with hints of spice, enticing me to take my first sip.


The flavor is rich and smooth with a light brightness that plays at the edge of my palate. The tea liquor has a hot cocoa thickness and a spicy profile with hints of cherry. There’s a citrus-like brisk quality that lingers in the finish. Is this high-grown or low-grown tea? It exhibits characteristics of both, which leads me to suspect it’s a blend of both.


As always, thanks for joining me in a cup of tea! Enjoy this last summer weekend!

Saturday Morning Tea


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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


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.


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!