Saturday Morning Tea

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Good morning, dear tea friends! Today we’ll talk about the northeast of India, the Assam region to be precise, and a rich, dark cup from the Nahorhabi Estate. I have read that this tea estate, one of several owned by Jay Shree Tea, got its name because it used to be the site of a forest of “Nahor” trees, a tree native to that area of the world. The tea leaf is quite tippy, as you can see from my photo.

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The Assam tea growing region lies on either side of the Brahmaputra river, one of the major rivers of Asia. That area of the world has a monsoon period when they can receive up to 10-12 inches of rain per day. Wow, that’s a lot of water.

Speaking of water, I used boiling point (212F) water to steep this tea for 4 minutes.

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If you’re going to add milk or cream to this tea, I recommend steeping for 5 minutes. We’ve been enjoying this tea with half and half at work the past several days. What a treat!

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The aroma is rich and toasty, malty. The flavor is quite stout but with a smoothness I didn’t expect. So flavorful and complex, I am already on my second cup!

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The day outside is cold and gray with about 6 inches of snow expected to fall in our area later on. It’s one of those forecasts that change every time I watch the news – will it be rain or snow and when? Well, I’m all cozy and warm here with my pot of tea and the farthest I’m going to travel is into my studio to work on a new necklace design.

Have a lovely week!

“Being with people who warm us, who endorse and exhault our creativity, is essential to the flow of the creative life. Otherwise we freeze…When women are out in the cold, they tend to live on fantasies instead of action.”

~Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Jungian Analyst and Writer

Saturday Morning Tea

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Good morning, dear tea friends! After last week’s blizzard that dumped 2 feet of snow on us, it’s great to be back with you sharing a cup of tea. Today’s cuppa is a black tea from the Guranse Estate in Nepal. The beautifully intact leaves have been hand-rolled and processed.

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From the tea estate’s website:

“Guranse Tea Estate is situated at an altitude between 3300 and 7300 feet above sea level. Probably the highest tea garden in the world which produces one of the best teas. In order produce exquisite tea enriched with delectable ‘muscatel’ flavor with superb aroma, the bushes need to grow breathing pure mountain air, filled with just the right combination of sun, shade and rain that are abundant in the eastern hills of Nepal, below the majestic Mount Everest and mount Makalu.”

I steeped the leaves for 3 minutes in boiling point (212F) water.

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Look at this fine plucking of the top two leaves and bud. Amazing.

As I lifted the infuser from my glass teapot, a fresh floral aroma wafted up.

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The glowing amber tea liquor is silky smooth with sweet, floral notes. It’s mellow and light.

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There’s more snow falling this afternoon, flakes gently floating to earth, no accumulation, thank goodness. This is the perfect tea, the perfect moment to sit and gaze out at the world of white.

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”

~Albert Einstein

Saturday Morning Tea

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Good morning, dear tea friends! As I gaze out my window at the puffs of clouds floating across the cold, blue sky, I’m enjoying a very special tea called Sunrise.

From the 1,662 acre Steinthal Estate, located in the Darjeeling district in northeast India, the leaves were plucked at sunrise during the second flush season. I have been told that the dew that collects on the leaves overnight delays the photosynthesis process. This delay causes maximum flavor retention in the leaves so plucking in the early morning hours is desirable for optimum flavor.

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Sunrise is such a hushed, magical time when the world still sleeps and beautiful colors bloom across the sky. During the week, I rise at 5:30am so I’m able to see the sunrise most mornings. The beauty of nature is truly awe-inspiring.

I steeped the leaves for 3 minutes in boiling point (212F) water. The aroma was quite fruity as I lifted the infuser from my glass teapot.

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I have read that the Steinthal Estate is actually called the Singtom-Steinthal Estate. The word Steinthal comes from the German Jesuit missionaries that developed different areas of the tea garden.

This special Sunrise tea was handcrafted in honor of the 160th Jubilee celebration of the tea estate.

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The color of the tea liquor reminds me of the blazing dark-orange that lights up the sky at sunrise. If there are clouds in the eastern sky right before the sun peeks over the horizon, it looks like their undersides have been stroked with a paintbrush.

The flavor is quite fruity, with a dominant note of fresh apricots. The rich body is silky smooth. If you prefer your Darjeeling to be on the astringent side, I recommend pushing the steeping time a little.

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I had some fun taking photos as I poured the tea! Now the tea is all gone and I’m craving another cup…

On the studio side of things, I’ve created some polymer clay sheets with the technique I spoke about previously and now it’s time to play around with cutting some shapes for my beadwork. While I love my job, sometimes it’s frustrating having to wait for an afternoon of free time to play in my studio. Does anyone else have that experience?

As always, thanks for stopping by and sharing my tea time!

“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.”

~Douglas Adams, The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul