Saturday Morning Tea

Good morning, dear tea friends! This morning I’m venturing off the tea path and onto the herbal path. In my cup is an herbal that is grown in Australia, called Lemon Myrtle.

As you can see, the leaf is chopped very fine, and causes a murky look to the steep. I think I’m going to use my filter papers the next time I make this. I used boiling point (212F) water and steeped for 6 minutes.

Found in the sub-tropical rainforests of Queensland, Australia, Lemon Myrtle is a tree that may be cultivated in a home garden where it will grow to about 1 1/2 – 2 feet. It grows a lot larger in the wild.

The aroma is fresh and lemony with a vegetal whisper. The flavor is quite lemony and tart with a smoothness that I wasn’t expecting in a citrus beverage. Personally, I might add a little sweetener to lessen the tartness.

Lemon Myrtle is a wonderful source of citral essential oil, known for its anti-microbial action.

This is a great caffeine-free herbal tea to enjoy when you don’t want the kick of caffeine!

As always, thanks for visiting and sharing a cup of tea with me. Next week I’m going to share a cup of a rich, chocolate-y China black.

Have a great week!

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Saturday Morning Tea

Hello, my dear tea friends! Today started out with more camera problems, this time with the batteries. It’s not my month for smooth camera operations, is it? Anyway, I managed to get my camera to work after a half hour of charging a battery which appeared to be fully charged. I’ll have to investigate further later. Now it’s time for a cup of tea!

This week’s tea looks like a white tea and even tastes like one, however, it is a black tea, specifically a second flush Darjeeling from the Margaret’s Hope estate called “White Delight”.

As you can see from the photo above, the lovely, variegated-colored leaf is enormous. I steeped the leaves for my normal 3 minutes in boiling point (212F) water but I think this tea could stand a longer steep time. It’s incredibly smooth with none of the characteristic Darjeeling “bite”.

You can read more about the well-respected Margaret’s Hope estate in my post here.

I tried to capture a full leaf set so you can see what is meant by a “fine plucking”, two leaves and a bud. The bud is the brand new growth and, as you can see above, there are 2 little bud leaves there. Think of when you pinch a plant to encourage branching. I do this with my coleus plants. Pinch the tip and 2 branches will grow where there was once one.

The color of the tea liquor is amazing, a deep golden yellow with a tinge of peachy-pink, like the blush of a ripe fruit.

The fragrant aroma smells of apricots which carries into the flavor, along with hints of melon and muscatel. The muscatel is the only hint that this is a second flush Darjeeling. The rest of the flavor notes speak to me of high-quality white tea. I have been told that the estate Manager decided to name it “White Delight” because it is so reminiscent of a white tea.

Sometimes I recommend a second flush Darjeeling for those who like to put milk in their Darjeeling cuppa. This would not be a tea for that. Even though it’s bursting with flavor, it’s just too mild for anything beyond a drop of honey.

The sky looks like a soft gray blanket today and rain has been falling softly on and off all morning. It’s a great day to curl up inside with a good book and a pot of tea.

As always, thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful week!

“The only noise now was the rain, pattering softly with the magnificent indifference of nature for the tangled passions of humans.”

~Sherwood Smith

Saturday Morning Tea

Good morning, dear tea friends! I hope that everyone had a wonderful week. This morning I am finally able to return to that Mangalam estate Assam and share a cup of it with you.

This is a clonal tea which means that it came from a tea bush created from cuttings of a superior tea bush. Have you ever clipped a cutting from a friend’s houseplant, placed it in water until roots started growing and then planted it in soil in its own pot? I would imagine the process is very similar to that.

You can read more about the Mangalam estate as well as how the tea bush is indigenous to this part of northeast India in my post here.

This broken leaf tea has a lot of yellow tip, making it a higher grade offering and also giving it more complexity of flavor. I steeped the leaves for 3 minutes in boiling point (212F) water.

The fragrant aroma is rich and malty, enticing me to take my first sip. The flavor is thick and stout with a lovely smoothness that allows the sweet, dried fruit notes to come forward. The fruity nuance lingers in my mouth.

The dark-amber tea liquor would stand up very well to a longer infusion and the addition of milk and sweetener, if you like that.

I tend to shy away from the sometimes pronounced astringency of an Assam tea. I find this cup to be well-balanced with just a hint of astringency. It’s the perfect cup of Assam for me!

We are deeply entrenched in the long, hot and hazy days of summer still, however, I have noticed that it’s not as light out in the mornings anymore. The days grow shorter but there’s still no hint of the cooler weather to come. My garden is bursting with blooms – hydrangea, coneflower, roses, hibiscus, petunias and snapdragons. Even the chrysanthemums are starting to show a peek of their rusty bronzes and burgundies. I just love this colorful time of year!

As always, thanks for joining me and sharing a cup of tea. Have a great week!

“Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.” 

~Henry James

Saturday Morning Tea

Good morning, my dear tea friends! My camera is finally up and running with a new memory card so I can now share a new cuppa with you all. I’m a creature of habit and when my routine encounters a snag, I find it very discombobulating. Thank goodness for tea, right?

I was going to brew up a pot of that Assam from a couple of weeks ago but this tea caught my interest. A 2012 second flush offering from the Castleton estate called “Moonlight”. The leaf is incredibly bold and the color variations are gorgeous. If you’re interested, I reviewed last year’s second flush offering from this estate here.

I used 3 times as much tea as I normally do (in other words, 3 teaspoons for my little teapot) and steeped it for 3 minutes in boiling point (212F) water.

As I lifted the infuser from my glass teapot, the aroma of fresh apricots filled my senses. Mmmm….

The whisky-colored liquor is smooth and delicate, not at all your typical second flush Darjeeling. The apricot aroma followed through into the flavor along with some nuances of melon and a gentle floral note that lingers.

I found this tea unique for a second flush offering. I wonder what flavor notes might be revealed if I steep it longer? Hmmm…

As always, thanks for joining me on this weekly tea adventure. Have a wonderful week!

“Art must take reality by surprise.” ~Francoise Sagan