Saturday Morning Tea

The sun is shining in a clear blue sky today, sparkling all of the mounds of snow, now 7 inches higher since yesterday’s storm. Here in New England, we’re already above the snowfall norms for the season and more is coming our way next week. We seem to be stuck in a pattern of white.

Good times to be snug inside with a hot cuppa.

Today’s tea is called Jasmine Fannings Organic. Now I am not a fan of scented teas to begin with and even more not a fan of the fannings style of leaf, very finely cut particles of tea leaf so you might be wondering why I chose this tea. The fine bits fall right through my glass infuser basket and even through my strainer when I try to strain it further. With this type of leaf, I think it’s best to use a tea filter paper or really fine mesh infuser, if you have one. Ok, I like a challenge.

After steeping the leaf for 1 and a half minutes in 180 F water, boy, was I pleasantly surprised. Smooth, sweet and lightly jasmine-y, it reminds me of the tea served in Chinese restaurants. It fills my mouth with an almost creamy feeling. There’s no bitterness at all.

Another point to remember with this style of leaf is that it steeps very quickly in a minute or so. So, if you’re the type of tea drinker who likes to pour your water and go fold some laundry for awhile, this tea might not be for you.

As I’ve talked about in previous posts, most jasmine tea leaf is processed first as a green tea and then later that green tea leaf is scented with jasmine blossoms. Tea leaves will absorb the scent of anything placed in close proximity to them so they are perfect for scenting with flowers. Jasmine tea is the most famous scented tea in China, originating from the time of the Song Dynasty 800 years ago.

As I sip my tea, I think about how long its history stretches back. Wow.

I think that the reason I’m not a big fan of jasmine tea, or any flavored teas as well, is that they can be so cloying and overwhelming in their flavor and hide all of the tea flavor. Not so with this tea. The taste of the tea comes through and is caressed gently by the light notes of jasmine.

This tea is teaching me an important lesson. Even if you’ve had an unpleasant experience with something or someone, give them another chance. You might be pleasantly surprised.

Stay warm, dear tea friends!

“One of the secrets of a happy life is continuous small treats.”

~Iris Murdoch