Saturday Morning Tea

Qing Zhen Dry Leaf 06-21-14

Good morning, dear tea friends! Today dawned cool and bright with low humidity (thank goodness!), the perfect first day of summer here in New England. In keeping with the theme of my last few posts, I’ve brewed up another Pre-Chingming tea this morning, a green tea from Hunan province. It’s called Qing Zhen, which translates to “dark green needles.” As you can see from my photo, it’s the perfect name for this tea leaf. For you GoT fans, I’m reminded of Arya’s sword.

Qing Zhen Steep 06-21-14

I steeped the tea needles for 3 minutes in 180F water. A whisper of flower fragrance drifted up from my glass teapot as the tea steeped.

Qing Zhen Wet Leaf 06-21-14

The wet needles have a sweet, softly vegetal aroma with an underlying hint of tobacco.

Qing Zhen Teapot 06-21-14

The tea liquor sparkles a pale yellow in the morning light. The flavor is fairly robust with notes of sweet tobacco and a faint hint of melon. There’s a slight nuance of fruitiness in the finish, which lingers for quite awhile in my mouth.

Qing Zhen Tea Bowl 06-21-14

The gentle breeze coming in my window is abuzz with the sounds of lawn mowers and weed wackers as my neighbors tend to their landscapes. I myself am headed out into my garden soon to see what new blooms have opened in the sunshine. Have a lovely tea-filled weekend, my dear friends. I’ll be back in two weeks!

“The festival of the summer solstice speaks of love and light, of freedom and generosity of spirit. It is a beautiful time of year where vibrant flowers whisper to us with scented breath, forests and woodlands hang heavy in the summer’s heat and our souls become enchanted with midsummer magic.”  ~Carole Carlton

 

 

Saturday Morning Tea

 

PCM Fairy Oolong Dry Leaf 06-14-14

Good morning, dear tea friends! For those of you in my part of the world, I hope you’re enjoying some beautiful, warm late spring weather. It’s been rainy this week in my area, and my garden is in full blooming glory, soaking up all that moisture. Watching flowers bud and come alive in bloom is so rewarding and healing.

Speaking of flowers, my morning tea today is a floral tasting Oolong called “New Style” Fairy Oolong, a special Pre-Chingming production from Hunan province in south-central China. The name Hunan translates to “south of the lake”, the lake referring to Dongting Lake, a floodbasin for the famous Yangtze river. Dongting Lake is famous as the place of origin of Dragon boat racing, a watersport with ancient roots going back 2,000 years. The boats are decorated with Chinese dragon heads and tails for competition events. So much rich history in China!

PCM Fairy Oolong Steep 06-14-14As you can see, the leaves of this tea are enormous and filled up the infuser of my little glass teapot. I steeped the tea for 4 minutes in 190 F water. The aroma of lilacs wafted up, its fragrance filling my kitchen. Lovely.

PCM Fairy Oolong Wet Leaf 06-14-14

After steeping, this leaf released its tightly rolled shape to reveal an amazingly intact leaf.

PCM Fairy Oolong Teapot 06-14-14

The pale yellow-green liquor has a soft floral fragrance reminding me of lilacs and orchids. This floral aspect carries over into the taste as the main flavor note. The taste is also rich and buttery smooth with some creamy hints. There’s a whisper of vegetal quality, like fresh greens, in both the aroma and the flavor.

PCM Fairy Oolong Tea Bowl 06-14-14

I’m sipping this fragrant tea out of one of my favorite tea bowls, purchased here. The birds are singing merrily outside my window, and I believe I spy a few peeks of blue as the clouds slowly clear. The promise of a walk on the bike path is in the air.

I’ll be back again next week with a new tea to share with you as my daughter is having her house warming party in two weeks. I hope that you all have a wonderful week filled with many cups of delicious tea!

“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.”  

F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby