Saturday Morning Tea

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Good morning, dear tea friends! On this warm summertime morning, I have a green tea in my cup, one that I haven’t had for a long time – a green tea from Vietnam.

Green tea is the most popular tea in Vietnam, accounting for a large percentage of retail sales in the country. I’ve read that it has been traditionally associated with natural or artistic activities, such as writing poetry, tending flowers and being out in nature. What a wonderful way to enjoy a cup of tea!

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This particular tea is a Mao Feng leaf style. The Mao Feng (translates to “Hairy Mountain” or “Fur Peak”) leaf style is long and wiry, created by twisting the leaves during processing. There’s a nice amount of silvery tips threading through the darker green leaf.

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I steeped the leaves for 3 minutes in 180F water. The leaf color lightened up as the leaves steeped.

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The infusion is a clear golden color. The aroma is fruity with a whisper of sweet tobacco.

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The liquor fills my mouth with fruitiness. What is it? One minute I thought melon, the next stone fruit. Either way, it’s yummy. That whisper of sweet tobacco is there as well. This tea has a lot of body for a green tea and is a great choice for those looking for less vegetal.

My vacation is starting very soon and I’ll be spending some nice relaxing time in MI with my family. Saturday Morning Tea will be back in 3 weeks. Until then, dear friends, happy tea drinking!

“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.”

~F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

Saturday Morning Tea

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Good morning, dear tea friends! Bright sunshine streams through my windows, the first day of spring is only 2 weeks away, and I have a lovely green tea in my cup today.

Life is good.

I’d like to introduce you to Jiu Hua Mao Feng, or “Nine Glorious Mountains,” from China’s An Hui province, specifically Jiu Hua mountain, one of the four sacred mountains of Chinese Buddhism. During the great dynasties of China, this mountain was home to over 300 temples. It’s also a beautiful landscape rich in pine forests, waterfalls, streams and interesting rock formations. Sounds like a wonderful place for tea to grow and thrive.

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A delicate floral aroma scented the air as the leaves steeped for 3 minutes in 180F water.

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The long, twisted Mao Feng leaves released gently during steeping, the “agony of the leaf.”

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The pale gold liquor is light and smooth with sweet vegetal notes and hints of flowers in every sip. The finish is clean and crisp.

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This is the perfect tea for taking a break from your day to sit and just be still. Let all of your daily cares and worries fall away as you savor this tea and contemplate its sacred origins.

Until we meet again, may you enjoy many cups of tea!

“It’s not what you look at that matters. It’s what you see.”

~Henry David Thoreau

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!

 

Saturday Morning Tea

PCMGreenNeedleOrgDryLeaf Good morning, dear tea friends! It’s a glorious spring day today, and I enjoyed sitting outside in the morning sunshine sipping my tea. In my cup is a Pre-Chingming tea from China, a green tea called Pre-Chingming Green Needle Organic. PCMGreenNeedleOrgSteep052315 As I’ve shared with you before, Pre-Chingming teas are harvested before the festival of Qingming (Chingming), usually celebrated on the 15th day from the Spring Equinox. Any teas harvested before that date are referred to as Pre-Chingming teas. In other words, harvested in very early spring. PCMGreenNeedleOrgWetLeaf052315 This tea is aptly named as the leaves do look like long, thin needles. I steeped the leaves for 3 minutes in 180F water. PCMGreenNeedleOrgTeapot052315 The tea liquor is a beautiful spring green color. The aroma is sweet and lightly vegetal, like a whisper of sweet baby peas. PCMGreenNeedleOrgTeaBowl052315 The flavor is complex, meaning there are multiple layers of flavor notes that intermingle in a very pleasing way. I taste light sweet corn as well as a faint fruity hint, like apricot. The liquor is smooth and leaves a buttery feeling on my tongue. There’s a quick tang in the finish. A lovely tea to slowly sip and enjoy on a beautiful spring morning. I wish everyone a great Memorial Day weekend filled with lots of relaxation and fun.  See you in two weeks!

Saturday Morning Tea

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Good morning, dear tea friends! We’ve experienced our first below freezing weather this past week, cold enough for me to pull out my down coat. Of course, nothing like what the poor folks in Buffalo are experiencing right now. My thoughts and prayers go out to them as they dig out of all of that snow.

In my cup this morning is a green tea from China, called Yunnan Silver Tip Mao Feng.

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As you can see, the Mao Feng leaf is threaded with a plethora of silver tips (new growth). It brings a taste of spring with its fresh, light dry leaf aroma.

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Located in the southwest corner of China, Yunnan province has a long and venerable history of tea growing. There are quite a few native tea trees growing wild in the forests there. A 1,700-year-old wild tea tree, called the king of the tea trees, was found growing in the rainforest. Discovered in 1961, it is 105 feet tall! That kind of age is hard to wrap my head around, wow.

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A green vegetal aroma, like fresh peas, wafted up from my glass teapot as the leaves steeped for 3 minutes in the 180F water.

As the pale golden tea liquor cooled, a fragrance of ripe apricots revealed itself in the aroma. The flavor is clean and light, with a slight citrus tang, and gentle, fruity notes of peach and apricot, which linger long into the finish.

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My tea bowl from Hawaii is perfect for showing off the delicate color of this tea. Whenever I bring this tea bowl out, I remember my dearest best friend who generously gifted it to me. Hawaii was one of his most favorite places on earth.

As we enter Thanksgiving week, I would like to express my deep gratitude for all of my dear tea friends who come and visit here. Thank you all for being there and sharing a cup of tea with me. Happy Thanksgiving!

“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”

~Marcel Proust