Saturday Morning Tea

Good morning, dear tea friends!

A world of white greets me these days as I walk out my front door and carefully negotiate my way to my car along channels cut into the snow. After all was said and done, 19 inches of the white stuff fell last Wednesday. And now our temps have sunk down into single digits. 5 degrees…brrrr..

I’m glad to be inside right now, hot cup of tea warming my hands. In my cup is a second flush Darjeeling from the Thurbo estate. It is considered a “silver tip” Darjeeling because of the profusion of tips, the new silvery growth on the plant.

I steeped the leaves for 3 minutes in boiling point temp (212 F) water. In the picture above, you can see some of the huge mounds of snow we have.

The Thurbo estate is located in the Mirik valley in Darjeeling district in northeastern India. I’ve read that it got its name because long ago the British set up camp there to invade Nepal which is close by. The local dialect word for “camp” is “tombu” which could have morphed into Thurbo.  An interesting little bit of trivia.

When the sky is clear, the snow glows blue and purple at twilight. It’s a magical sight. I think those colors have seeped into my consciousness.

The rich amber liquor has a predominant chestnut aroma which carries on into its flavor. Hints of ripe fruit round out the very smooth cup.

This tea is perfect for this frosty, frigid January morning.

Despite the hours of shoveling and clearing away, the snow has brought some positive benefits with it. A snow day from work this past Wednesday pushed me right into my studio (yay!) and I finally finished my Towers and Turrets pendant. Now I’d like to turn it into a necklace so it’s off to the bead store I go today, armed with a very generous gift certificate from my oldest son (thanks Justin!).

I know that I’ve spoken about the art side of my blog being sorely lacking these past months. I’ve been thinking about that a lot this week, even reading art posts from past years and wondering where that motivation and passion went. Buried underneath a full-time job, I guess.

Anyway, one of my personal goals for 2011 is to share more of my artwork with you once again and I’d love for you to share your creations with me.

What are you creating?

The Eskimos had fifty-two names for snow because it was important to them: there ought to be as many for love. ~Margaret Atwood

7 comments on “Saturday Morning Tea

  1. cha sen says:

    An inspiring post to start the day with – thank you, Karen.

  2. Howard Marder says:

    Karen, I’m still a bit puzzled. Did you like this tea? If you do, why? If you don’t, why? How does it compare to other second-flush darjeelings (Castleton, Margaret’s Hope, etc.) from this season? Other than knowing that it is perfect for a cold, snow-covered day I don’t have a clue. Sorry to be harsh but with the price of estate darjeelings these days I wan’t to know as much as possible before I make a purchase.

  3. artandtea says:

    Thanks cha sen!

    Hi Howard! Well, I like all of the teas I write about, some more than others. And I really like all Darjeelings. So, to answer your question, yes, I like this tea. Why? Personally, I like it because, first and foremost, I like the flavor of Darjeelings, their aromatic character and unique flavor notes. Not all people like them so that’s why I always recommend trying a sample of a tea first to see if you personally like it. What I like you might not and vice versa. I was so thrilled when my company started offering sample sizes of our teas. So, I say choose a Darjeeling or any tea based on the described flavor notes if they happen to appeal to you. If you’re someone who likes flowery Darjeelings then this is not the tea for you. But if you like nutty Darjeelings then definitely give it a try. I didn’t think you sounded harsh. You just want to make an informed decision. I understand that. Thanks for visiting my blog!

  4. Judy Shea says:

    Yay.. more art from Karen again… can’t wait to see. I love the look of these leaves and the background you chose is gorgeous.

  5. Howard Marder says:

    The sample sizes from Upton offer a wonderful way to test teas. As a matter of fact a sample size of the Thurbo Estate was already in my basket when I read today’s blog. I’m still waiting for a great Castleton 2nd flush. Right now I’m working through Upton’s Sungma Estate, 2nd flush (DJ-133) and Makaibari Estate, 2nd flush (DJ-142). Both are really nutty and I find that the flavors really evolve if you over brew the tea and let it cool off. I make a big pot full and let it sit (after taking the basket out after about 4-5 minutes) and drink it through the morning and sometime into the afternoon. When choosing which tea to drink my experience (at least with the Darjeelings) is that, unfortunately, the more expensive the tea, the better it usually tastes. The online descriptions are extremely helpful but the true test comes when hot water hits the leaves.

  6. acrawley63 says:

    As someone has reminded me, make art for pleasure, not out of obligation. I look forward to seeing your Turrets & Towers pendant when you’re ready to reveal it. We all have changes in life that take us in different directions. The art will come back in time.

  7. shibori girl says:

    I’m a tea lover too. I’ve been thinking lately of flavors I haven’t seen in a very long time, since childhood, truth be told. Wonderful flavors like Lady Grey Tea, Smokey Russian Caravan, Gunpowder Tea, oh, the list goes on…

    I wish I knew where to find these old treasures!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog today and leaving such a nice comment. I hope you’ll come by again…


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