Saturday Morning Tea

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Good morning, dear tea friends! It’s a bright, cold November day today as we near Thanksgiving, a time to gather with family and friends to give thanks for all of the abundance in our lives. I think it’s especially important to focus on all that’s good in our lives what with the frightening events happening in the world. I’m thankful for a hot cup of tea on a cold morning and for all of you to share it with.

In my cup this morning is a China black tea from Yunnan province, called Yunnan Rare Grade. Composed of downy, golden tips, this tea is rich and inviting.

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I stepped out of the box a little bit and steeped the leaves for 6 minutes in boiling point (212F) water. I love how you can see the fine golden hairs even under water.

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The twisted tips release slightly after steeping, giving off a warm aroma with just a hint of cocoa. The tea itself has a toasty aroma.

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The beautiful dark-amber liquor is sooooo smooth with notes of biscuit/toast and hints of cocoa, which reveal themselves more as the tea cools. I feel this tea is inviting me to experiment with how long I can push its steep time.

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I’m comfortably settling in to my new home, one unpacked box at a time, and am looking forward to creating a special area in my dining room to display my tea bowl collection.

Until our next cup of tea, I leave you with one of my favorite poems. Have a lovely Thanksgiving!

Morning Poem

Every morning the world is created. Under the orange

sticks of the sun the heaped ashes of the night turn into leaves again.

and fasten themselves to the high branches—and the ponds appear like black cloth on which are painted islands

of summer lilies. If it is your nature to be happy you will swim away along the soft trails

for hours, your imagination alighting everywhere. And if your spirit carries within it

the thorn that is heavier than lead—if it’s all you can do to keep on trudging—

there is still somewhere deep within you a beast shouting that the earth is exactly what it wanted—

each pond with its blazing lilies is a prayer heard and answered lavishly, every morning,

whether or not you have ever dared to be happy, whether or not you have ever dared to pray.

~Mary Oliver

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Saturday Morning Tea

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Good morning, dear tea friends! I’m happy to be sharing a cup of tea with you from my new home. After unpacking all week, it feels great to sit down and savor a cuppa. This morning’s tea is a second flush harvest from the Teesta Valley Estate in Darjeeling, India.

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Teesta Valley Estate was named for the nearby Teesta, a turbulent mountain river. Along with the Gielle Estate, Teesta Valley was laid out gradually from 1841 to 1856, using carefully selected China bushes. Stretching upwards from 2500 to 6500 feet above sea level, this lovely garden is located at the highest point above the valley and blessed by cool mists, bright sunshine and crisp winds, the perfect growing conditions for great teas.

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

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The leaves steeped up to a beautiful amber color. The aroma wafting up from my glass teapot is sweet and floral. This tea is a bit lighter and smoother than a typical second flush selection. With that in mind, I think I’ll experiment with increasing the steeping time and see what happens.

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The flavor has a pronounced sweetness, especially as it cools, with notes of fruit and flowers. A suggestion of apricot lingers in the crisp finish.

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I’ve enjoyed this peaceful respite with you. Now it’s time to return to the stacks of boxes piled up in my new space.

Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy your tea!