Saturday Morning Tea

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It’s time for another first flush Darjeeling. If someone asked me right now what my most favorite tea is, my answer would be a first flush Darjeeling in May.

This particular first flush tea was harvested on the Puttabong (also known as Tukvar) tea estate. First planted in 1852, this tea garden is nestled in the foothills of the Himalayan mountains near Kanchendzonga peak. With altitudes ranging from 1500 to 6500 feet above sea level, it is one of the highest elevation tea gardens in Darjeeling district.  Its tea plants consist mainly of clonal bushes and China jat, meaning tea bushes with origins from China.

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Unlike other first flush teas, its leaves are darker with less green bits. I steeped the leaves for 3 minutes in 212 degree F (boiling) water.

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As I lifted the infuser basket from the teapot, the tea’s fruity aroma greeted me immediately. I looked forward to my first sip and was delighted with the lively taste of the cup. While it was bright, it wasn’t as characteristically astringent and seemed more like a second flush with its muscatel flavor.

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Ok, I’m already sipping my third cup and the tea is still very smooth. Sometimes Darjeelings will reveal their bite as the tea cools. Not this one.

It is a delight!

I’m also enjoying it at a cooler temperature and would recommend it as a wonderful iced tea. With the leaves I have left in my sample packet, I think I’ll steep them in the fridge overnight for a glass of iced tea tomorrow morning. We are anticipating warming temps this weekend after a cool, rainy week.

Have you noticed the background in my tea photos? It is a background paper that I picked up the other day at A.C. Moore to use in my art journal. It’s called “In the Forest”. I’m expecting little fairies to shyly reveal themselves in its beautiful depth of pattern.

I’m discovering a whole new world of art supplies. Joy!

Just trust yourself, then you will know how to live.

~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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6 comments on “Saturday Morning Tea

  1. nina says:

    i thought of you this afternoon while selecting some lovely papers at – of all places – michael’s. happy journaling!!! x

  2. artandtea says:

    Hi Nina! Wow, it sounds like we’re on the same…….page. I’m sorry, I just couldn’t resist. 😉

  3. Lisa Clarke says:

    When I read these Saturday posts, I almost feel like you are speaking tea as a second language – it’s a romance language. So much of it goes over my tea-bag-from-the-supermarket-drinking head, but it’s still pleasant to read.

    I’m not sure I expressed this coherently (a cup of Tazo Calm tea has nearly put me to sleep tonight), but I do mean it as a complement 🙂

  4. artandtea says:

    Thanks Lisa! If you ever have any questions about tea, I would be most happy to answer them! 🙂

  5. Gorgeous colors. Your creativity is inspiring.

  6. […] This morning I’m enjoying a very special treat, one of my most favorite experiences of springtime – the first sip of a brand new first flush Darjeeling. This tea is from the Puttabong estate. Located in the mountainous Darjeeling district of northeast India and also know as the Tukvar estate, I’ve written about this estate before right here. […]

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