Outside the sky is weeping, reflecting what my heart feels inside. This past week was a very sad one in my home. We lost our beloved black Lab, Jack, and the world feels as if it has shifted upon its axis and will never be the same again. It came suddenly, however, we had time to say our farewells and honor our dear old friend. It is amazing to me how everyone who hears the news comes forward and generously opens their heart and shares their own story about the passing of a beloved pet. They are in our lives for what feels like the briefest amount of time, like a shooting star blazing across the heavens and then it is gone. But their wonderful memory lives on forever in our hearts. Jack taught me so much about loyalty and unconditional love. So much about love…
I need a big dose of comfort this morning and so I turn to green tea. I am sipping a green tea from China that one usually associates with Japan, an organic Gyokuro. Produced for the Japanese market, everything about this tea is Japanese except for where it is grown. I have written about Japanese Gyokuro tea and its unique growing and processing here and here.
The tea bushes are shaded with a dark cloth approximately 3 weeks before plucking. This gives the leaf an amazing deep emerald color.
It reminds me of cooked spinach, very healthy and very green.
I steeped the leaves in 180 degree F water for 3 minutes.
The color of the tea liquor kind of reminds me of that Italian liqueur, Limoncello, made from lemon zest, alcohol, sugar and water. The taste is not lemony at all, however, but clean and quite vegetal.
As I slowly sip and gaze out at the wet day, a gentle calm slips over me.
As the tea cools, a lively, tart pungency is revealed, a flavor note that I associate with Japanese green teas.
Clean. Fresh. Simple. Calm.
Rest in peace, my dear, beloved friend. You will always live in my heart…
I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive.