Saturday Morning Tea

I experienced sheer joy in taking photos of this morning’s tea, a green tea from the Yunnan province in China. It’s called Yunnan green Snow Dragon.

I don’t think that anyone rivals the tea artisans of China in their tea leaf rolling techniques. Corkscrews? Unbelievably amazing, huh?

With such an auspicious name, I wondered where this tea came from so I looked up if there were any mountains called Snow Dragon in Yunnan.  Here’s what I discovered.

Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, located in northern Yunnan province, is the southernmost glacier in the Northern hemisphere. It consists of 13 peaks, the highest one being 18,360 feet. It’s never been climbed. Wow. You can see photos of the area and read about the legend of the creation of Snow Dragon mountain here.

I steeped the little corkscrews for 3 minutes in 180 degree F water. Their shape relaxed considerably towards the end of their steeping time.

As I removed the infuser basket from my glass teapot, I was struck by an intense aroma of fresh pear. This distinct note carried on into the flavor.

These steeped leaves remind me very much of a white tea, consisting of mainly leaf buds, the newest growth on the tea plant. That said, the further manipulation of the leaf into a shape is the mark of a green (or black or Oolong) tea, not a white tea.

The straw colored liquor is as pale as a white tea though.

The flavor is very soft and delicate with notes of pear and fruit. As the tea cools, its sweetness becomes more defined and lingers in my mouth.

As I watched the leaves steep and release their shape, I thought of how we all have a tendency to hold on to things – people, situations, even sickness and emotional wounds – because we get so comfortable with them, even if it is time to move on and change our shape. Even though the unknown is scary, if we are just able to release and let go, we can discover the beauty in a new way of being. Just like the corkscrew tea leaves released their shape and transformed into a delicious cup of tea.

“People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh