A cool, rainy day in New England. Even though the skies are dreary and dark, this rain is heartily welcomed as we are experiencing low rainfall and drought right now. It’s wonderful to wake up every morning to bright sunshine but it’s always beneficial to have a balance between the sunshine and the rainfall to nourish our gardens and trees.
This morning’s tea is a Chinese Oolong called Tie-Guan-Yin Tribute Special. This type of tea was offered to the Chinese Emperor as tribute during the Song Dynasty in China. A very special tea indeed. As you can see, the dry leaf is rolled in such a way that it curls upon itself. There is a a hint of the full leaf there.
After a 3 minute steep in 180 degree F water, the leaf opens to reveal its structure. The unfurling of the leaf during steeping is often referred to as “The Agony of the Leaf”. I’m not sure why they actually term the meeting of water and leaf “agony” because it is a beautiful sight to watch the leaves open up. The aroma of this tea is like walking through a blooming garden and being surrounded by its heady fragrance.
The tea liquor is pale, a light greenish straw color. The flavor is delicate with notes of lilac. This would also be a perfect tea to sip during a winter snowstorm to conjure up images of a colorful summer garden!