Saturday Morning Tea

Castleton2ndFlDry090509

The hint of fall that was in the air at the beginning of the week has now left us and we are finally blessed with a perfectly glorious summer weekend, not too hot and humid, not too cool, juuuuust right. Even though it is officially considered the last weekend of summer.

Many are celebrating this weekend by going away or getting together with friends and family. As I shared in my last post, I am doing both. This time tomorrow I’ll be on my way to sunny New Mexico to visit my son and his family and also to attend a knitting retreat.

This morning’s tea is a black tea, a second flush Darjeeling from the Castleton estate, one of the most esteemed and well known tea gardens in the Darjeeling tea growing district in northeast India.

A “Castleton” is always a special treat.

“Second flush” is the summer harvest of the tea plants, after the leaves “flush” back from the “first flush”, or spring, harvest. The leaves of this tea are larger than normal with a rich variegation of color.

Castleton2ndFlSteep090509

Speaking of rich color, I am enchanted by the harvest pumpkin color of the chrysanthemum flowers I picked up yesterday to adorn our backyard deck. I must be on a color kick because I picked up that exact color in a skein of yarn while shopping with my daughter last night. I am a color slave. But I digress…

I steeped the leaves for 3 minutes in 212 degree F water (boiling).

Castleton2ndFlWet090509

The steeped leaf is another gorgeous fall color. As the leaves are allowed to oxidize during their processing, they turn a dark reddish brown from their original deep green color. I wrote about second flush Darjeelings from other tea gardens here and here.

Castleton2ndFlTeapot090509

The tea liquor is not quite as dark as last week’s China black tea but it comes pretty close, sharing that same reddish brown hue. It leans more towards amber, I think.

The aroma is fruity with a hint of tropical ripeness, reminiscent of a sweet pineapple. How perfect to go along with the CD I’m listening to this morning – a collection of Hawaiian music.

Castleton2ndFlTeacup090509

The fruitiness carries through into the taste, with a pronounced sweetness, but what strikes me the most about this tea is its incredible smoothness, without a hint of that bright, astringent “bite” so characteristic of a Darjeeling tea.

So silky smooth, mmm…

I am sorry to say that I will not be able to join you for Saturday Morning tea next Saturday as I will be away from internet access while in the mountains of New Mexico. That said, I look forward to joining you once again to share tea and stories in 2 weeks.

Enjoy your holiday weekend!

It is good to have an end to journey towards;

but it is the journey that matters in the end.

~Ursula K. LeGuin

Advertisements

8 comments on “Saturday Morning Tea

  1. Arline says:

    Have a great vacation!

    Arline

  2. nina says:

    you will be missed, but oh! karen! the adventure that awaits you!!! lots to anticipate upon your return. save travels. love, nina

  3. Judy says:

    Love the colors of the tea and flowers. Come back, safe, happy ready for show and tell.

  4. Snap says:

    Have a wonderful time! We’ll be here! Waiting!

  5. artandtea says:

    Thanks ladies! 😀

  6. Gorgeous tea! Have a wonderful New Mexico time. Crisp evenings and clear air make the most beautiful sunsets in the world. You’ll come back refreshed and renewed.

  7. Steph W says:

    That brewed up to perfectly accompany your mums!

  8. Jason Witt says:

    Nice tea review. Sounds good to have no astringency. And I liked the quote by the sci-fi author that destinations are of course good to have as goals but that getting there is what’s so important in the long run. That’s what mindfulness is all about–the path where you’re at right now instead of where you’d rather be for whatever reason. –Spirituality of Tea

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s