Saturday Morning Tea

It’s been raining here all week in New England, in fact, the whole northeastern part of the country has been wet. We seem to be stuck in one of those circular weather patterns that just keeps spinning round and round. Much like life when we can get stuck in a certain belief or thought pattern and it keeps going round and round in our mind.

Ah, you wonder….now what the heck does that have to do with a cup of tea? Well, as with anything else in life, we can also develop certain opinions about different types of tea even if we haven’t fully tried them. I’m guilty of this myself.

When I started working for my company back in the mid 90s, I didn’t like green tea at all. Yup, that’s right. I didn’t like green tea. I thought it had a “funny” taste, one I wasn’t used to, one that didn’t match with what I thought of as the beverage “tea”. As with a lot of Americans, I had grown up with just black tea and then pretty much only had a cup when I wasn’t feeling good. And yes, there was a string and a tag sticking out of my cup.

All that changed when I started working at a tea company that has the philosophy of providing the finest loose leaf teas to its customers. I slowly learned to appreciate all of the different types of tea for what they were and yes, I finally opened my mind and my heart to green tea. I learned to stop comparing its flavor to black tea and love it all on its own. I invite you to do the same.

This morning I introduce you to a green tea from China called Green Mao Feng Imperial. “Mao Feng” translates to “Fur Peak” or “Hairy Mountain”, referring to the downy white hairs on the leaf when it is plucked and also to the location where it is grown and harvested. During its processing, the full leaf is rolled into long, thin strands, characteristic of this style of tea.

And just look at the gorgeous intact plucking of this tea. Wow! I find it amazing how the leaves can stay together like that despite all of the rolling around during their processing. I would guess that this leaf has been entirely hand processed.

The tea liquor is a pale straw color with a slight tinge of green. The aroma is sweet and floral which carries on into its flavor.

More sweetness bloomed as the tea cooled, making this an excellent choice to explore as an iced tea. This tea is only slightly vegetal.

As you can see from the reflection in my teabowl, the clouds are finally parting to reveal patches of blue sky. That makes this gardener very happy.

Have a wonderful weekend, dear tea friends!

“Today a new sun rises for me; everything lives, everything is animated, everything seems to speak to me of  my passion, everything invites me to cherish it.”  ~Anne De Lenclos

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.

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8 comments on “Saturday Morning Tea

  1. Kevin Knox says:

    Another fine post – thanks Karen!

    Have you seen this movie:

    http://movies.netflix.com/WiMovie/All_in_This_Tea/70095114?trkid=2361637#height1498

    Really worthwhile if you haven’t, and reinforces what you say about green tea, by far the favorite in tea’s native land.

    Kevin

  2. Judy Shea says:

    Nice Karen. Well, we had our teaser of a beautiful day this weekend; now back to rain this week.

  3. artandtea says:

    Thanks Kevin! Yes, I have seen that movie and enjoyed it. Reminds me that I’d like to watch it again!

    Thanks Judy! Oh yes, the plants will be happy this week. 😉

  4. Amy Crawley says:

    Green tea has been a favorite of mine. Black tea, however, was not one I liked to drink. Perhaps because I was raised on Lipton or Red Rose or any of the brands we were exposed to as kids. Blech! No wonder I wouldn’t drink tea for
    many years. I’ve learned over time to be open to new things. It is easy to get stuck in a rut or routine. The nice thing about our favorite beverages is that they’ll (hopefully) be around for a while.

  5. Scott from Ohio says:

    This tea will probably be in my next order. I tend to drink more greens and whites in the warmer months. I try gongfu style with most of my greens using more leaf and shorter steeping times. Will this tea work for that?

    Love the “imperfect” edging on your teabowl. It reminds me that even with the imperfections in life, it is still possible to experience perfect moments of joy, love, and yes, tea!

    I too, drank tea when I was sick as a child, and for years I stopped drinking tea, but I wanted to enjoy tea, so after a LLOOOONNG hiatus I began drinking black teabag tea with sugar. My tea always had sugar in it, until I tried green & FF Darjeeling tea. Now…for the last ten to twelve years… I drink tea neat, with the occasional drop of milk (& very rarely sugar) in some more stout black teas.

    Thanks for a great post Karen. 🙂

  6. artandtea says:

    I think that multiple steepings will work for this tea, Scott, as long as each steeping is short. Enjoy!

  7. Monique says:

    nice essay and photos. much appreciated. i am still learning how to brew green tea. i find them to be very scientific due to combined factors: my personal taste and how green tea is being processed. i think i found my formula in making my preferred green tea. some people like them strong, some people like them lukewarm… have a wonderful 2012.

  8. […] (translates to Hairy Mountain, hairy referring to the downy white hairs on the leaf) leaf was with a green tea and then with a black tea. Traditionally, Mao Feng, which refers to the large leaf’s […]

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