I had a wonderful start to my morning today. The phone rang as I was preparing my tea and, as I said hello, I was greeted to a happy birthday song from my parents. My heart smiled as I poured water over the tea leaves. Thanks Mom and Dad. I’m so blessed.
The tea I’ve brewed up this morning is a Kenyan black tea from the Milima tea estate. I’ve found conflicting information regarding this tea estate. Some say that it’s a compendium of 3 tea estates and other information indicates that it really is its own tea estate located in the Kericho Highlands of western Kenya. The Kericho region is where most of the tea is grown in Kenya and it lies west of the Great Rift Valley.
I steeped the leaves for 4 minutes in boiling point (212 F) water. Most of the tea that comes from Kenya these days is of the CTC variety. CTC means crush, tear, curl, a mechanized processing of the leaf which results in a consistent granular structure.
This leaf, however, has an intact structure though it is broken, not whole. Its leaf designation is BOP which means broken orange pekoe.
The tea liquor steeps up very dark and full-bodied. It makes a great breakfast tea that would certainly hold up well to any additions like milk and sweetener.
I enjoyed my tea plain so I could discover the interesting fruit and spice flavor notes. Mmmm…apple…nutmeg….soft but there.
I’ve written about another Kenyan tea here.
While this tea is very smooth compared to its CTC counterparts, there is a zip in the finish. Look at that dark liquor, almost like coffee.
I am looking forward to a day of hanging out, shopping and lunch with my lovely daughter. A perfect birthday celebration. We plan on visiting the bead store which I’m hoping will jumpstart my dormant creativity. Now that I’m all moved in, my studio is ready and waiting to embrace me once again.
May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art — write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself. -Neil Gaiman