The skies may be gray outside my window but I am inside enjoying sunshine in my teacup – a first flush Darjeeling from the Tumsong estate.
I have read that the Tumsong tea garden was first planted in 1867 around a temple devoted to the Hindu goddess Tamsa Devi. Devi is the Sanskrit word for goddess.
When I opened the tea packet, an aroma of fresh flowers and sugar cookies greeted my senses.
I steeped the bright olive tea leaves for 3 minutes in boiling point (212F) water.
From the Tumsong tea estate:
“Tumsong’s teas are known to be among the best in the Darjeeling area and command high prices at auctions. Perhaps the first credit for this should go to the goddess, on whose land the garden grows. The goddess Tamsa presides over this serene and surreal landscape and fills the atmosphere with harmony. In the area, Tumsong is often referred to as the garden of happy hearts.”
The leaves may be intensely green but the liquor they produce is a golden yellow, creating pearl bubbles of light in my glass teapot.
I have also read that the entire tea garden faces some of the highest ranges in the Himalayan mountains and receives a constant, cool breeze sweeping across the tea bushes. This breeze causes the plants to grow gradually, allowing them to slowly develop their flavor.
And this tea is positively bursting with flavor! Notes of nut (almond), tropical fruit and citrus pungency sweep across my palate as I slowly savor each sip from my teacup.
All I can say is – yum, and let me go make another pot right now!
I’m headed out to my garden this afternoon to do some more planting – 2 peonies with flowers of raspberry sorbet, tipped in yellow, a lavender for my herb garden, some olive/eggplant-colored coleus for a shady spot under a tree, and some cheerful daisies for the morning sun side of the house.
Have a wonderful weekend, dear friends!
“How to be happy when you are miserable. Plant Japanese poppies with cornflowers and mignonette, and bed out the petunias among the sweet-peas so they shall scent each other. See the sweet-peas coming up.
Drink very good tea out of a thin Worcester cup of a colour between apricot and pink…” ~ Rumer Godden
Unless otherwise noted, all text and photos are the property of Karen Park Art and Tea, copyright 2007-2011. Please do not “lift” any of my photographs or blog posts for use on your blog or website. Thank you so much for your respect and kind attention.