Saturday Morning Tea

Good morning, dear tea friends! As I opened my front door this morning, the sunshine had that sparkling quality that comes as August starts to make way for September and the breezes turn crisp and refreshing. In my cup is a black tea from the Putharjhora Estate, an organic tea garden located in the alluvial floodplains of northern India. This area is known as the Dooars (translation: doors), a gateway between the the plains of India and the hills of Bhutan.

An alluvial plain is a flat landform created from sediment (alluvium, or silt) that has built up over time from the flooding of nearby rivers. Floodplain land is rich in nutrients, making it valuable for agriculture.

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

The golden amber liquor has a creamy almond fragrance with a hint of apricots, inviting me to take my first sip.

The cup is smooth and light with a full, round mouth feel. Notes of flowers, almonds and a pronounced sweetness all linger into the finish. The apricot hint makes another appearance as the finish winds down.

I wonder what it would taste like at 4 minutes? Enjoy!

“People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don’t even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child — our own two eyes. All is a miracle.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh

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Saturday Morning Tea

Good morning, dear tea friends! I’m sitting here savoring my morning tea, as the sky bruises with a threatening storm. In reviewing my posts of the last several months, I noticed that I had been visiting China teas quite a lot. It’s time for a change and I’ve now turned back to India teas.

This lovely selection is from the Temi Estate in Sikkim, a tiny state in northeast India. Sikkim is surrounded by 3 countries: China to the north, Bhutan to the east, and Nepal to the west. Nestled in the Himalayan mountains, this high-altitude area is ideal for tea growing. Sikkim is home to the third-highest peak on Earth, the majestic Mount Kangchenjunga (28,169 ft).

As you can see, the leaves are well-made with silvery tips peeking out here and there.

Originally a Sherpa village, the Temi Tea Garden was established by the Sikkim government in 1969 and is the only tea estate there. Its gently sloping hills cover about 440 acres.

I steeped the leaves for 3 1/2 minutes in boiling point (212F) water. I use Poland Spring water from Maine, my favorite natural spring water, for steeping all of my tea leaves.

The wet leaves have a rich, honeyed fruit aroma. This inviting fragrance carries over into the tea liquor’s aroma.

With its dark, rich aroma and flavor, this tea reminds me of a second flush Darjeeling. That said, the cup is quite smooth without any “bite” to it. I’m tasting honey as well as many layers of fruit: first, a dried fruit/raisin aspect, then stone fruit/peaches, and lastly, a muscatel flavor leading into the crisp finish. With all of its fruity flavor, this tea would taste wonderful iced.

Hopefully, this storm will pass by quickly and the sun will break through and shine once again.

Until next time, happy sipping!

“By early evening all the sky to the north had darkened and the spare terrain they trod had turned a neuter gray as far as the eye could see. They grouped in the road at the top of a rise and looked back. The storm front towered above them and the wind was cool on their sweating faces. They slumped bleary-eyed in their saddles and looked at one another. Shrouded in the black thunderheads the distant lightning glowed mutely like welding seen through foundry smoke. As if repairs were under way at some flawed place in the iron dark of the world.”

~Cormac McCarthy, All the Pretty Horses