Saturday Morning Tea

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Good morning, dear tea friends! It’s a chilly, overcast autumn day here in my corner of New England. On a day like this, I’m happy to warm my hands as well as my spirit with a hot cup of tea. Or two. Or three. Today’s tea is a second flush selection from the Castleton Estate in Darjeeling, northeastern India. This renowned estate produces high quality, classic Darjeelings every year.

Here’s some interesting information about the estate from an article by Shyamali Ghosh on World Tea News:

Castleton Tea Estate, perched in Darjeeling’s misty Kurseong South Valley, actually has a castle of sorts, as well as a history colored by storybook details. No one is sure of the castle’s origin, though it’s probably just a building left behind by a long-ago money lender.

Originally planted in 1885 by an enterprising Englishman, the estate has passed through the hands of Calcutta royalty, and still uses names rather than numbers to designate specific areas in the garden. The original name of this garden was Kumseri. The various sections of this gardens are known as Bhalu Khop (bear cave), Jim Basha (the erstwhile manager’s domain), Dhobitar (washerman’s clothes line) and Baseri (resting place).

I love reading stories about tea and its history.

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

A marvelous fruity fragrance greeted me as I poured my first cup.

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As you can see, the liquor is a beautiful amber color. The flavor is rich with that characteristic Darjeeling “bite” awakening my palate.

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I detected notes of muscatel, a warm toastiness and bright highlights, reminiscent of citrus, in the flavor. This tea is definitely strong enough to add a splash of milk but I encourage you to try it plain first and see what notes you find. This would make a lovely companion to a rich dessert.

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I’m going to relax today and work on a new knitting project, a rosey pink cardigan for someone special. How are you spending your day?

The next time I join you for a cup of tea, I’ll be moved in to my new home. Until then, enjoy your tea!

 

 

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Saturday Morning Tea

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Good morning, dear tea friends! Since we last shared a cup of tea together, I’ve moved again. This is my fourth move in a little over a decade. Moving does seem to be a part of my life’s path, and I’m trying my best to embrace it. Again. That’s a story for another time, however. Today’s story is about a well-known and well-loved tea from China, a green tea called Pi Lo Chun Imperial.

The name Pi Lo Chun translates to “green snail spring”, so named because the leaf is rolled into spiral shapes resembling snail shells. I have read that they roll the leaf this way to retain its freshness.

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I steeped the leaves for 3 minutes in 180F water. The water turned murky as the silvery dust released from the tippy leaf.

As I lifted the infuser from my glass teapot, a sweet, vegetal fragrance was released.

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The leaves were loosely rolled so steeping released them into their original leaf bud shape.

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The golden yellow tea liquor has a fresh buttery mouth feel with notes of sweet melon and flowers and sea-grassy vegetal hints.

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As I sip my tea, I gaze out the window at the colorful autumn leaves swaying in the breeze and think about change. The change of seasons. The changes in one’s life. The change from a spiral shaped leaf to a delicious cup of tea.

Thanks for your patience with my sporadic tea posts as I get used to this newest change in my life. Enjoy your tea!