Saturday Morning Tea

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Looking out on a brilliant blue sky, I carefully measure my tea leaves into my glass teapot. This morning’s tea is one that I haven’t reviewed before, China Gunpowder green tea. I have never been fond of gunpowder tea because I find that it has a tobacco-ey smoke flavor note. As a reformed smoker, I shy away from anything that reminds me of those days, especially smells and tastes.

I find this tea, called Tippy Gunpowder Imperial, to be an exception in that there is none of that smoky quality to it. The leaves have been withered, heated and then rolled and shaped into the distinctive gunpowder “pellets”. These tea leaves have a looser shape, however, reminding me of the Yunnan Spiral Buds I reviewed 3 weeks ago.

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Steeping the leaves for 3 minutes in 180 degree F water reveals the fine plucking and tips. Wow, that is the intact end of the stem. Beautiful! You can see the tip, the new growth, in the middle between the 2 larger leaves.

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I found this great tea processing flow chart on Wikipedia. I’m a visual learner so it helps for me to visually see the steps taken to create the different kinds of tea.

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The processing of green tea leaves into gunpowder style tea dates back to the Chinese Tang Dynasty (618–907). It was originally done to expose the leaf to less physical damage and to retain more flavor and aroma. The name comes from the resemblance of the rolled leaf to gunpowder pellets.

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As I sip my tea from one of my favorite pottery bowls, I am greeted by a fresh, clean aroma which reminds me of the fresh air smell after a spring shower has passed. The flavor is also fresh and vegetal but not overly so, with a distinct astringent finish that lingers in my mouth for awhile. This tea has a robustness about it that I find very appealing.

It’s time to go make another pot of tea and go play in my studio! Enjoy the unfolding beauty of your world this weekend.

The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.

Don’t go back to sleep.

You must ask for what you really want.

Don’t go back to sleep.

People are going back and forth across the doorsill

where the two worlds touch.

The door is round and open.

Don’t go back to sleep.

~Rumi

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4 comments on “Saturday Morning Tea

  1. Judy says:

    Nice Karen.. That’s a very interesting name of tea. It amazes me how many kinds of teas that are out there… I hope you enjoy your studio time.

  2. nina says:

    that is my.absolute.favorite.rumi.poetry.lines!!!!!!! xoxoxoxo

  3. artandtea says:

    Thanks Judy! I know, it is amazing how many different kinds of tea they can make from just one kind of plant.

    I love it, too, Nina. Especially now at this time of my life. I’ve been asleep for way too long…

  4. Steph W says:

    Thank you, as always, for sharing these!

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