Saturday Morning Tea

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Good morning, dear tea friends! Welcome to the month of spring! Here in New England, we have become weary of the cold and snow and are looking for the signs that spring is on its way. A cheery robin’s song, some pale green shoots poking up through the sodden earth, watery sunshine melting the piles of snow.

This morning’s tea, called Fujian Green Needle, is a beautifully handcrafted green tea from China. The leaf is a fine plucking of the upper two leaves and bud, processed in an artful way so that the two leaves envelop the inner downy bud. The leaves look like tiny peapods to me.

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I steeped the leaf for 3 minutes in 180 degree F water. Most of the leaves floated on the top of the water but some hung down vertically from the water’s surface. They looked like little sea creatures.

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After steeping, the leaves stayed tight in their outer leaf so I opened one up to look inside. A perfect little leaf came out of the outside leaf, like a nested doll. There is a bud inside of that leaf but I decided to go no further because as gentle as I was, I still tore the outer leaf a bit.

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The tea liquor is oh so pale – a light straw color with a faint spring green tinge. The aroma is fresh and sweetly vegetal with a hint of flowers. The flavor is delicate and sweet with a whisper of flowers and vanilla cookie.

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This is not the tea for you if you’re looking for a robust green tea, however, if you enjoy the delicate subtlety of a white tea, you will love the experience of this gentle cup.

I’m making progress on my beaded necklace, whose color palette is reminding me of a visit to New Mexico a couple of years ago to meet my brand new grandson, Landon. Hopefully, I can share my creation with you soon and share that story.

Have a wonderful week and enjoy your tea!

“Gentleness, self-sacrifice and generosity are the exclusive possession of no one race or religion.”

~Mahatma Ghandi

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Saturday Morning Tea

Even though we are on the cusp of autumn and the temps are dropping rapidly here in New England, especially at night, I’m still in the mood for a light tea.

I introduce you to Huangshan Mao Feng Supreme, a beautiful, spring harvest Chinese green tea. Perhaps springtime in a cup can banish away the gloominess I feel on this dark, cloudy day.

The leaf is from a very fine plucking and careful processing resulting in an amazingly intact leaf set. I loved watching the leaves dance in my glass teapot as they infused.

Just the tips, the very new growth, are plucked to create this special tea.

I have read that Huangshan is another name for Mount Huang, located in the Anhui province of China. It’s a place of  granite peaks, hot springs and beautiful sunsets and sunrises. An optical phenomenon known as Buddha’s Light occurs a couple times a month there with the sunrise. Sounds like an amazing place.

This tea is quite pale in color with a vegetal whisper in the aroma.

I chose this particular teabowl because the pale liquor allows me to see the beautiful texture inside the bowl. The flavor is light yet fills my mouth with its soft, fruity sweetness. Mmmm….

As I sip my tea, I watch the gray blanket of sky and contemplate the seasonal changes to come. My cup of springtime seems to hold back the thickening clouds as it releases the scent of new growth with every sip.

“Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love.” ~Rainer Maria Rilke

Saturday Morning Tea

I’m up very early for a Saturday morning because I’m preparing to go down the Cape to Hyannis to visit a very dear friend. We’ve known each other since freshman year in high school (many moons ago!) and have experienced many significant life events together – weddings, births, deaths, divorces, moves. As our kids have gotten older, our visits have become more and more infrequent, I’m sad to say. It has now been a whole year since we’ve last seen each other so I’m really looking forward to our visit. And Hyannis has a wonderful bead shop, too.

After the stormy weather of the past few days, today has dawned clear and bright. And quiet. No rumble of thunder in the distance. The birds are even quiet this morning. Speaking of birds, this morning’s tea is a China green called Phoenix Eyebrow. Harvested very early in the spring, the leaves are processed and shaped into tight points on either side and curved to resemble eyebrows.

I found some intact leaf sets. Gorgeous!

With a fresh vegetal aroma, the liquor is very light in color and taste. It tastes smooth and full with a slight sweetness in the finish. As the tea cooled, more sweetness was revealed in its flavor. I think this would make a very nice iced tea. Mmmm…

Saturday Morning Tea

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On this bright, cold late winter morning, I am slowly savoring a cup of Chinese green tea, Tian Mu Qing Ding, and daydreaming about a hauntingly beautiful, misty mountain far far away.

This tea is named after the mountain upon which it was grown and harvested, Mt. Tian Mu. Its tightly rolled leaf opens up and reveals a fresh spring green color after steeping. Tian Mu is also the name of the Chinese Goddess of Lightning. I wonder if the mountain was named after her because it was believed to be her home. I couldn’t find any more information on her aside from a couple of sentences and a print.

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The liquor is a very pale straw color with a light, fresh vegetal aroma and taste. The vegetal quality of this tea is so mild that it would be another great choice for those trying green tea for the first time.