Saturday Morning Tea

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Good morning, dear tea friends! August is winding down and it’s back to school this week in our area. The summer skips by much too fast, especially when it hits August. I’m looking forward to the vibrant colors of fall.

An interesting black tea from Sichuan province graces my cup this morning. The leaves have been shaped into small pearl shapes, giving it the name China Black Pearls. Its artful form makes this a truly special tea.

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As the pearls steeped for 5 minutes in boiling point (212F) water, they gently unfurled to reveal long, twisted leaves.

The aroma is fragrant with toasty notes and hints of cocoa.

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The leaves infuse a deep dark amber cup. The cocoa hints in the aroma become more pronounced in the flavor, a sweet cocoa rather than bittersweet.

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A warm toastiness enhances the cocoa flavor. A suggestion of spice presents itself in the finish and lingers in my mouth. This tea is medium-bodied and very smooth. I wonder what a 5+ steeping time would reveal…

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I bet this tea would make a wonderful iced latte, in a tall glass with a splash of milk and a smidgen of sweetener.

My family is coming to visit from Michigan for the long Labor Day weekend. We’ve planned some fun activities, including a trip to Boston for a day of touring and, of course, a seafood dinner. I’m so looking forwarding to it!

Have a lovely two weeks and enjoy your tea!

“This miraculous living gift from the sea–the only gemstone to be produced from a living entity–is the creation of beauty from adversity, of art from irritation. It illustrates that even the worst and most painful invasion can become something of healing artistry. The pearl is a glowing example of a mortal threat transformed into magnificence.”

~Mary Olsen Kelly, Path of the Pearl

Saturday Morning Tea

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Good morning, dear tea friends! It’s a hot and steamy August so far, the kind of weather where the air is so thick you can taste it and towering dark clouds build up in the afternoon sky. I love this time of year.

I’ve traveled to the Ruhuna district of southern Sri Lanka with my cuppa this morning. This selection is from the Lumbini Estate.

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The Lumbini Tea Estate was founded in 1984 by Mr. Dayapala Jayawardane. It’s located in the hilly village of Pallegama, close to the Sinharaja forest reserve, a small national park that’s home to many endemic species, including the purple-faced langur monkey.

The leaves are small with a profusion of beautiful golden tips. I steeped them for 4 minutes in boiling point (212F) water.

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The aroma is fragrant and sweet. The liquor has a rich, syrupy quality with notes of dried fruit and hints of cocoa and spice. There’s a crispness that identifies it as a Ceylon black tea, however, I’ve always found this “spider leg” leaf style to be more reminiscent of a black tea from China. I love the mouth feel, thick and sweet.

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I have a lovely afternoon planned with my grandkids. With more thunderstorms on the way, it’ll probably be best enjoyed indoors, maybe a movie and popcorn, which is always fun.

Enjoy your tea!

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass…It’s about learning to dance in the rain.”

~Vivian Greene