Saturday Morning Tea

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Good morning, dear tea friends! On this late winter day, I chose a real eye-opener for my morning cuppa, an Assam black tea from the Nahorhabi Estate.

The Assam tea growing region lies on either side of the Brahmaputra river, one of the major rivers of Asia. That area of the world has a monsoon period when they can receive up to 10-12 inches of rain per day. The site of this tea estate used to be a forest of the “Nahor” tree, a slow-growing, gracefully shaped tree that’s native to wet, tropical areas.

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I steeped the tippy leaves for 4 minutes in boiling point (212F) water.

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A sweet, malty aroma scented my kitchen as the tea steeped in my glass teapot.

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The red-amber tea liquor is rich and malty with a smooth caramel/toffee sweetness that mellows any astringency in the cup. My kind of Assam.

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This tea is hearty enough for the addition of milk. Its natural sweetness is so lovely that you won’t have to add any sweetener to your cup unless you enjoy your tea extra-sweet. This is a great choice when you need that extra boost in the morning. Or need to tackle a project like I do today, more unpacking and organizing in my studio.

We experienced bitter cold weather last weekend with temps below zero but I think we’ve now turned the corner towards some milder, more spring-like weather, which is always welcome. Have a wonderful two weeks and enjoy your tea!

“You must carry chaos inside you to give birth to a dancing star.”

~Friedrich Nietzsche

 

 

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Saturday Morning Tea

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Good morning, dear tea friends! I’m glad to be back with a new tea post to share with you. My poor desktop is gone, replaced by my laptop, which is actually much faster. My biggest challenge was finding a new photo editing software that didn’t break the bank. I’m trying out Photoshop Elements on a free trial and, so far, it’s doing everything I’d like it to do. I hadn’t realized how slow my old desktop was. She served me well for 15 years. Ok, on to tea…

This morning’s tea is an Assam tea from the Tonganagaon Estate. This black tea from northeastern India has been cultivated without the use of synthetic pesticides and herbicides so it’s a certified organic tea. I couldn’t find much information about this tea garden other than it’s small and located near the Namdapha National Park, one of the richest areas of biodiversity in all of India.

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I steeped the variegated, tippy leaves for 4 minutes in boiling point (212F) water. If you enjoy milk in your tea, I recommend steeping for a minute or so longer. A pronounced toasty aroma wafted up from my glass teapot as the leaves steeped.

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This tea is considered a whole leaf tea but all I saw were large broken pieces of leaf. I think that a tea can be designated as whole leaf if the leaf bits are above a certain size as they’re running them through sieves during processing.

Tonganagaon Est Assam Teapot 01-18-14The tea liquor is a gorgeous, glowing orange. The flavor is silky smooth with light notes of spice and malt, along with some toasty nuances. This is the most complex organic Assam tea I’ve tasted in a long time, quite a pleasure.

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A little while ago, it was teeming rain and now big fat flakes of snow seem to be pouring out of the sky, coating everything with an icy white frosting. I’m spending an afternoon with my family this afternoon, celebrating another birthday and looking forward to a wonderful year to come!

Have a great week and enjoy your tea!

“With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come.”  ~William Shakespeare

Saturday Morning Tea

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Happy first day of August to you!

It’s a perfect day to celebrate the start of the arrival of the 2009 Assams.

This morning I am sipping a cup of black tea, an Assam from the Halmari estate in northeastern India. The dry leaf is quite dark with a sprinkling of golden leaf tips. A beautiful, earthy variegation.

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I steeped the leaf for 4 minutes in boiling hot (212 degree F) water. The malty aroma is rich and dark.

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Although you can drink an Assam tea at any time of the day, as you prefer, they are best known as a breakfast tea because of their hearty flavor which goes wonderfully with milk and sweetener. I wrote about another Assam tea here.

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The steeped tea liquor’s gorgeous russet color speaks of harvest times and crisper fall days ahead.

The flavor of this tea is quite brisk and lively with notes of malt and a hint of bitter chocolate. As with most Assams, the astringency dries out my throat. Even though there have been reports that adding milk to tea reduces its health benefits, I am more interested in its taste so I will add a dollop of milk to my cup later to smooth out that astringency.

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My DIL and granddaughter arrived this week for a visit from their home in New Mexico. We spent a wonderful day together yesterday enjoying each other’s company. At 9 months old, Ella is a delight! She’s constantly on the move, crawling, standing, exploring, laughing. I forgot how active a baby at that age can be! I was in heaven just being in her company and seeing the world through her eyes, so new and fresh and amazing. Even though she was sitting on the floor surrounded by colorful toys, her favorite thing to do was to crawl over to her car seat and play with its fascinating buckle. I am looking forward to my next visit tomorrow.

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“Seek the wisdom of the ages,

but look at the world through the eyes of a child.”

~Ron Wild