Saturday Morning Tea

Good morning, dear tea friends! I’m still wondering when spring will bloom here in my little corner of the world. Last Tuesday, we got a foot of snow dumped on us in a, hopefully, last blast of winter. With frigid temps all week, we’re living in a world of large white piles of snow and ice. Thank goodness for tea! For my morning tea today, I’ve chosen a China Oolong with a venerable pedigree, Da Hong Pao Oolong. Da Hong Pao translates to “Big Red Robe.”

Are you wondering what big red robes have to do with this tea? Well, there’s a legend that the mother of an emperor fell ill and was cured by a certain tea. The emperor sent big red robes to clothe and honor the bushes from which the tea originated, in the Wuyi mountains of Fujian province. The legend goes on to say that three of the four bushes still survive today and are highly venerated.

I steeped the large leaves for 4 minutes in 190F water. It’s always a good idea to use water under the boil when steeping an Oolong tea.

The aroma is rich and complex, with notes of fruit, honey and sweet tobacco.

The leaves yield a gorgeous amber liquor that reflects the sunlight streaming in my kitchen.

My first sip fills my mouth with a silky buttery feel, followed by layers of flavor: honey, chestnut, aromatic wood, stone fruit and a lingering whisper of smoke in the finish. Amazing.

This tea will lend itself to multiple steepings so you could drink it all day long. mmmmm…

The day is drawing near when my granddaughter will enter this world, hopefully, within the next few days. I so can’t wait to meet her. I’m looking forward to sharing the special news with you the next time we meet. Until then, happy sipping!

“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”

~Mark Twain

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Saturday Morning Tea

Happy first day of fall, dear tea friends! The gray blanket sky has broken up into wisps of cotton fluff revealing a deep blue sky and the promise of a warm day. This morning I’m enjoying a cup of China Oolong tea. Harvested this past spring, it’s called Pre-Chingming Da Hong Pao. Da Hong Pao translates to “Big Red Robe” and I’ve written about it before here.

Are you wondering what big red robes have to do with this tea? Well, there’s a legend that the mother of an emperor fell ill and was cured by a certain tea. The emperor sent big red robes to clothe and honor the bushes from which the tea originated, in the Wuyi mountains of Fujian province. The legend goes on to say that three of the four bushes still survive today and are highly venerated.

As you can see, the leaves of this tea are huge and mainly intact. I steeped them for 4 minutes in 190F water. Because of their immense size, I used 3 teaspoons of tea leaves in my glass teapot.

Right away, I could smell the orchid fragrance as the tea leaves steeped. As I poured my first cup, I also detected honey and a slight vegetal fragrance as well.

The golden-colored tea liquor is smooth and buttery with notes of orchid, peach and honey. Ambrosia! It is suggested to do multiple steepings with this tea as the flavor develops even further with subsequent steepings. Wow, I think this tea is bursting with flavor on the first steep.

This is a lovely tea.

Today will be spent signing up for a hosting plan for my new website, downloading WordPress and starting to learn how to design it. I’m excited and nervous at the same time as I venture into this unknown territory. I know that I eventually want to sell some of my jewelry online. The question is: where do I sell it? On my own website? On Etsy and provide a link on my website to the Etsy shop? I do know that I want to do this but also know that I want to take the route that is less maintenance work so I can fit it in with my full-time job. If anyone has any experience/feedback about this, I’d love to hear from you.

Thanks for visiting and enjoy your week and your tea!

“All our dreams can come true – if we have the courage to pursue them.”  ~Walt Disney