Oh joyous day! In celebration of the arrival of spring, I have a very special treat for you today. Here’s a hint for those of you who have been reading my tea posts for awhile? What do I look forward to with great joy and anticipation every spring???
If you guessed a first flush Darjeeling, you are absolutely right! This particular selection is an early first flush offering from the Tindharia estate. It was just picked this month. Look at that gorgeous variegated leaf with white tips, green bits and brown leaf.
The Tindharia tea garden is a bio-organic estate, located in the South Kurseong area of Darjeeling district. I’ve read that the town of Kurseong, whose name means “Land of the White Orchids”, is a quiet hill station. A hill station is “a town in the low mountains of the Indian subcontinent, popular as a holiday resort during the hot season.” At elevations of 400-1000 meters, it sounds like a great destination for cooling off during the hot summer months.
Despite its leaf appearance, this tea has been processed as a black tea. I steeped the leaves for 3 minutes in water just under the boiling point (212F). The first thing I noticed as I removed the infuser basket from my glass teapot was the incredibly fresh aroma with just a delicate hint of flowers.
The tea liquor is a pale glowing amber. As I take my first sip, the fresh flavor fills my mouth with its freshness and hints of green grapes and flowers. It is surprisingly smooth for a first flush tea but there is a bright tang that lingers in my mouth. I could drink this tea all day long.
This special treat has succeeded in lifting my spirits today. I was heartbroken to learn just this past week that my polymer clay guild has been dissolved. While the friendships will still remain, I am feeling so sad that my days of creating side by side with these ladies is at an end. I’ve lost my tribe, creatively speaking. So, I will look for another local artistic group to connect and create with. Any ideas on where to start?
Happy Spring, my dear tea friends!
“Is the spring coming”? he said. “What is it like?”…
“It is the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine…”
~Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden