Saturday Morning Tea

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Good morning, dear tea friends! The first day of fall has come and gone this week and the air has shifted from warm and sultry to crisp and cool. Great sleeping weather.

In my cup this morning is a second flush Darjeeling from the Balasun Estate, located in northeast India. This lovely tea was harvested this year. You can read my post about the 2016 first flush Darjeeling from Balasun Estate here.

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The leaf is beautiful, bold with lots of silvery tips mixed in.

The Balasun estate is located near the tiny hamlet town of Sonada, one of the stations for the heritage Darjeeling Toy train. Built between 1879 and 1881, the 48-mile narrow gauge railway runs between Darjeeling and New Jalpaiguri in West Bengal. This well-loved railway is a delight to travelers and rail enthusiasts.

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

A deep fruity aroma revealed itself as the leaves released their essence into the water.

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The bright amber infusion is rich and flavorful with ripe fruit notes, like crisp apples and juicy peaches. A warm toastiness envelops the fruity quality in both the aroma and the flavor.

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This is the perfect selection to go with a warm apple crisp or apple pie, made from an apple picking adventure, a favorite outing this time of year.

What’s in your cup today?

“Autumn seemed to arrive suddenly that year. The morning of the first September was crisp and golden as an apple.”

~J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

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Saturday Morning Tea

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Good morning, dear tea friends! It’s a sunny spring day here in my corner of the world, cool but filled with light. I have another brand new first flush Darjeeling in my cup, a lovely selection from the Balasun Estate.

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Established in 1871, the Balasun Estate spreads across rolling hills and a wide open valley with the Balasun river flowing through the lower part of the garden.

I steeped the leaves for 3 minutes in boiling point (212F) water. As the tea steeped, it gave off a wonderfully fresh floral fragrance.

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With its finely plucked leaves threaded with delicate, silvery buds, this was one of the best of the hundreds of Darjeelings we’ve tried this first flush season.

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The golden liquor sparkles in the sunlight.

The aroma is very fresh with sweet floral notes.

The flavor is sublime – smooth, sweet and very floral, with an interesting spicy kick in the finish.

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I had a great vacation with my family and so enjoyed going to the famous mouse’s kingdom. It truly is the happiest place on earth.

Until next time, dear friends, enjoy your tea!

“Although some use stories as entertainment alone, tales are, in their oldest sense, a healing art. Some are called to this healing art; and the best, to my lights, are those who have lain with the story and found all its matching parts inside themselves and at depth. In the best tellers I know, the stories grow out of their lives like roots grow a tree. The stories have grown them, grown them into who they are.”

~Clarissa Pinkola Estes

Saturday Morning Tea

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Good morning, dear tea friends! Since we’ve last shared a cup of tea together, I’ve traveled out to Michigan and back to visit with my family. It was a wonderfully relaxing time, a time to share great food and conversation and, of course, many delicious cups of tea. When I returned home, I found more flowers blooming in my garden – sunny daffodils, crimson tulips, snowy white bleeding heart, pink and purple hyacinth and the tiny purple hyacinth called muscari. Oh, joyous spring!

Of course, it was inevitable that I share a brand new first flush Darjeeling with you! This selection is from the Balasun Estate, located in the foothills of the majestic Himalayan mountains.

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Established in 1871, the Balasun Estate is located in the Darjeeling tea district amidst rolling hills and its namesake, the Balasun river. At this time of year, blooming magnolia, rhododendrons and orchids grace the surrounding moss-laden forests, the region being a popular spot for hiking and bird watching. In addition to tea cultivation, the estate also grows oranges, ginger, cardamom and broom grass. It sounds like a lovely place for growing tea.

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

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The leaf is so green! The aroma is quite vegetal with nuances of floral perfume.

I was so sorry to hear that they’re experiencing a severe drought in northeastern India, a drought that is affecting both Darjeeling and Assam. It hasn’t rained there since February and the leaves are scorching on the plants. They can’t apply fertilizer because it’s so dry and now they are worrying about pest infestations as well. Oh dear. Let’s hope and pray that they receive rain very soon in that part of the world.

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The pale golden liquor tastes smooth and very fresh with sweet notes of flowers and an overall pleasant vegetal quality. As I sip a first flush Darjeeling, I always feel like I’m drinking the essence of springtime in my cup. How about you?

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My daughter and her boyfriend recently gifted me with a lovely set of tea bowls from Japan. Japan at Epcot, that is, as they vacationed in their favorite place, Disneyworld. I love the wide mouth on this beautifully speckled bowl, perfect for enjoying my tea.

It’s a wet, gray day today with a white blanket of clouds that’s releasing a steady, gentle rain to quench the thirst of the spring plants waking up from their winter sleep. A good day to stay inside, drink tea and play with my beads.

Until next time, enjoy the spring and enjoy your tea!