Saturday Morning Tea

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Between work and visiting with my granddaughter, this past week has flown by. The almost daily rain pattern has finally left us and it’s felt more like summer these days. The air was even quite brisk this morning when I got up, a reminder that summer is winding down towards the fall. Even though August is a rich month full of color and harvest, it always makes me feel a little bit wistful.

This morning’s tea is quite the treat – a very high grade of Oolong Extra Fancy tea from Taiwan. Its leaf is very large and twisted, all processed by hand. After steeping, many of the leaves unfurl to reveal a whole, intact structure. This style is often referred to as “Champagne Oolong” and I can see why.

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Using 190 degree F water, I steeped the leaves for 4 1/2 minutes. Because the leaf is so large, I used 3 generous teaspoons for my small teapot.

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My oldest son gave me this beautiful leather journal. Isn’t it yummy? I love to write down my daily thoughts as I sip my tea.

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My glass teapot glows like an amber jewel in the early morning light. A light floral aroma drifts up, sweetening the cool air.

As I slowly sip from my cup, I taste juicy ripe peaches, warm in the sun, and a honeyed wine note fills my senses. Mmmmm…

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I invite you to read about other Oolong teas I’ve enjoyed and reviewed here.

This weekend I hope to get more granddaughter time in before they return home on Tuesday. I think that this picture from our zoo trip yesterday says it all – one joyful gramma!

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“If a child is to keep his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in.”

~Rachel Carson

Saturday Morning Tea

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Happy first day of August to you!

It’s a perfect day to celebrate the start of the arrival of the 2009 Assams.

This morning I am sipping a cup of black tea, an Assam from the Halmari estate in northeastern India. The dry leaf is quite dark with a sprinkling of golden leaf tips. A beautiful, earthy variegation.

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I steeped the leaf for 4 minutes in boiling hot (212 degree F) water. The malty aroma is rich and dark.

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Although you can drink an Assam tea at any time of the day, as you prefer, they are best known as a breakfast tea because of their hearty flavor which goes wonderfully with milk and sweetener. I wrote about another Assam tea here.

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The steeped tea liquor’s gorgeous russet color speaks of harvest times and crisper fall days ahead.

The flavor of this tea is quite brisk and lively with notes of malt and a hint of bitter chocolate. As with most Assams, the astringency dries out my throat. Even though there have been reports that adding milk to tea reduces its health benefits, I am more interested in its taste so I will add a dollop of milk to my cup later to smooth out that astringency.

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My DIL and granddaughter arrived this week for a visit from their home in New Mexico. We spent a wonderful day together yesterday enjoying each other’s company. At 9 months old, Ella is a delight! She’s constantly on the move, crawling, standing, exploring, laughing. I forgot how active a baby at that age can be! I was in heaven just being in her company and seeing the world through her eyes, so new and fresh and amazing. Even though she was sitting on the floor surrounded by colorful toys, her favorite thing to do was to crawl over to her car seat and play with its fascinating buckle. I am looking forward to my next visit tomorrow.

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“Seek the wisdom of the ages,

but look at the world through the eyes of a child.”

~Ron Wild