Saturday Morning Tea

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Good morning, dear tea friends! June is such a lovely time of year with warm days, not yet too hot, and a landscape of colorful, blooming growth. In my cup this morning is a first flush Darjeeling from the North Tukvar estate. If I had to describe this tea with only one word, it would be refreshing!

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This tea estate was first planted in 1852 and is nestled in the foothills of the Himalayan mountains near Kanchendzonga peak. With altitudes ranging from 1,500 to 6,500 feet above sea level, it is one of the highest elevation tea gardens in Darjeeling district, in northeastern India.  Its tea plants consist mainly of clonal bushes and China jat, meaning tea bushes with origins from China.

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

The aroma is fragrant, fresh and vegetal with a whisper of flowers.

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The golden tea liquor wakes up my mouth with its refreshing flavor. Floral notes are complemented by a citrus zest tang, which lingers long into the finish. It would make a delicious iced tea.

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My son and his girlfriend gave me a gorgeous pink orchid plant for Mother’s Day. It’s a beautiful accompaniment for my tea table, don’t you think?

I’m off to Michigan next weekend for a 2-week visit with my family. I’ll be back with another tea post in July. Enjoy your tea and this great summer weather!

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Saturday Morning Tea

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Good morning, dear tea friends! On this cool, overcast morning, I’m enjoying another Pre-Chingming tea in my cup, an Oolong called Fenghuang Dan Cong. This tea has been plucked from centuries old “single trunk” tea trees in China’s Guangdong province, rather than from cultivated tea bushes. Also know as Phoenix Oolong, this is a venerable tea indeed.

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I steeped the large, twisted leaves for 4 minutes in 190F water.

A sweet, fruity aroma wafted up from my glass teapot as I removed the infuser. The wet leaf smells like peaches and lemon. Mmmmm…

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The long leaves stayed twisted even after steeping. They lightened up to an olive green from the dark brown color of the dry leaf.

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The light golden tea liquor has a fruity flavor, like fresh juicy apricots and peaches. There’s a slight vegetal note with a silky smoothness that lasts into the finish.

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On the oxidation scale, I think this Oolong falls between the more oxidized chestnut/woody Oolongs and the less oxidized fragrant, floral Oolongs. It would be a great choice for multiple steepings, if you like to do that.

I’m off to my granddaughter’s softball game this morning. Watching the little ones play and have so much fun gives me great joy.

See you in 2 weeks. Enjoy your tea!