Saturday Morning Tea

Can you feel it? The air is softening with a glimmer of hope as we near the month that will bring us the very first day of spring. Ah, music to my ears!

Hello March, you are most welcome here in New England where we’ve felt winter’s brutal force most keenly this season.

To celebrate March this week, I chose a fresh, bright Ceylon called Shawlands estate OP1.

Many teas from Sri Lanka and India have letters after their estate name, in this case, “OP” which stands for Orange Pekoe (rhymes with echo). It doesn’t refer to the flavor of the tea. It is simply a leaf designation. OP refers to a whole leaf tea. If you’re interested in learning more, you can read about this subject here and here.

I steeped the OP leaves for 4 minutes in boiling point (212 F) water.

The Shawlands estate is located in the Uva district, found in the southeastern area of the island of Sri Lanka. The second largest province in Sri Lanka, Uva is a beautiful place of hills and valleys with abundant wildlife, including elephants and leopards and many species of birds.

The tea liquor is as bright as a new copper penny, with quite a pronounced refreshing minty aroma. This might sound strange but the aroma reminds me of the paste I used many moons ago in kindergarten. It is a minty smell I find very comforting.

The brisk, full-bodied flavor brings notes of mint and sweet raisins to my palate. I’m not usually a Ceylon lover but I find this tea deliciously appealing.

I prefer my tea without milk but this tea might stand up to a dollop or two, if you’d like. What’s in your cup this morning?

“It is the first mild day of March.

Each minute sweeter than before…

There is a blessing in the air…”

~William Wordsworth