I’m gazing out my window on another cloudy damp day. We’ve had quite a few of those this past week. The tops of the trees are swaying in a gentle breeze. It is so quiet here save for the occasional bird call and the hum of my computer. This is the type of quiet that allows me to access my inner space, a nice balance to the busyness of my life lately.
This morning’s tea is a China black tea called Pu-ehr Tuo Cha. The leaves are compressed into small bowls or what I like to think of as tiny birds’ nests. Pu-ehr tea is divided into 2 classifications, raw and cooked, depending upon the processing method. This particular tea falls into the cooked category. It undergoes a double fermentation not unlike what happens in a compost pile. The leaves actually begin to decompose, giving them a strong earthy taste when steeped.
There have been numerous studies done on Pu-ehr tea with results that it appears to lower cholesterol. The Chinese have long enjoyed its medicinal benefits for aiding digestion, especially with fatty foods.
The leaf is so dark after steeping. I usually break up the tuo cha a little bit to help the leaves unfurl from their compressed state. I steeped them for 7 minutes in boiling water. The strong earthy fragrance was mirrored in the taste. I find that I enjoy its rich, dark flavor much more with milk and a little honey added.
This afternoon I am going out to purchase some tables for my studio. A big thank you to all who offered suggestions on tables and lighting and set up!