Good morning, dear tea friends! As I gaze out my window at the puffs of clouds floating across the cold, blue sky, I’m enjoying a very special tea called Sunrise.
From the 1,662 acre Steinthal Estate, located in the Darjeeling district in northeast India, the leaves were plucked at sunrise during the second flush season. I have been told that the dew that collects on the leaves overnight delays the photosynthesis process. This delay causes maximum flavor retention in the leaves so plucking in the early morning hours is desirable for optimum flavor.
Sunrise is such a hushed, magical time when the world still sleeps and beautiful colors bloom across the sky. During the week, I rise at 5:30am so I’m able to see the sunrise most mornings. The beauty of nature is truly awe-inspiring.
I steeped the leaves for 3 minutes in boiling point (212F) water. The aroma was quite fruity as I lifted the infuser from my glass teapot.
I have read that the Steinthal Estate is actually called the Singtom-Steinthal Estate. The word Steinthal comes from the German Jesuit missionaries that developed different areas of the tea garden.
This special Sunrise tea was handcrafted in honor of the 160th Jubilee celebration of the tea estate.
The color of the tea liquor reminds me of the blazing dark-orange that lights up the sky at sunrise. If there are clouds in the eastern sky right before the sun peeks over the horizon, it looks like their undersides have been stroked with a paintbrush.
The flavor is quite fruity, with a dominant note of fresh apricots. The rich body is silky smooth. If you prefer your Darjeeling to be on the astringent side, I recommend pushing the steeping time a little.
I had some fun taking photos as I poured the tea! Now the tea is all gone and I’m craving another cup…
On the studio side of things, I’ve created some polymer clay sheets with the technique I spoke about previously and now it’s time to play around with cutting some shapes for my beadwork. While I love my job, sometimes it’s frustrating having to wait for an afternoon of free time to play in my studio. Does anyone else have that experience?
As always, thanks for stopping by and sharing my tea time!
“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.”
~Douglas Adams, The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul