This week brought another snow and ice storm to our area. As the piles of snow around our driveway grow and grow, it definitely heightens my focus in on the moment. That moment being one of gingerly walking to the car or to get the mail. Or, backing oh so slowly out of the driveway, more listening for cars in the road than being able to see them. So, when a day dawns clear and bright and the temps promise to reach freezing or a little above, we New Englanders celebrate. Tomorrow is February and spring is getting closer!
This morning’s tea is a real treat with a very interesting name. A China black called Golden Monkey Imperial. Its name comes from ancient legends of monkeys being trained to pick tea leaves from tea trees growing on high cliffs in mountainous areas.
This tea comes from a very fine plucking of the top leaf and bud of the tea plant. I have read that it is the black tea equivalent of Silver Needles white tea. The leaves are very oxidized and dark with golden threads weaving through the dark needles. It is grown in Fujian province in China.
When I opened my packet to spoon the tea leaves into my teapot, I was greeted by such a strong aroma of bittersweet cocoa. mmmmmm… For a chocolate lover like myself, I was already in heaven even before my first sip! The tea liquor is very full-bodied with strong cocoa notes and a whisper of sweet dried fruit. There is a little tang in the finish. This tea is definitely strong enough for the addition of milk and sweetener but I recommend drinking it straight for the full effect of its amazing flavor.
I am headed out the door soon to spend the day with a very dear friend of mine, a kindred art spirit. We’ll start our day with a lunch at Panera. I’m thinking of a steaming bowl of broccoli cheddar soup with fresh, crispy bread on the side. How about a cup of hot chocolate with a dollop of whipped cream? Then it’s off to the local bead store, armed with a gift certificate I received at Christmastime. Then we’ll go to my friend’s home, light a cozy fire in the fireplace and drink lots of tea while we chat and catch up on each others lives. A perfect day…
“It is a sweet thing, friendship, a dear balm,
A happy and auspicious bird of calm…”