Saturday Morning Tea


Good morning, dear tea friends! The pollen has been quite high in our area this spring, causing all sorts of allergy symptoms with many I know. Besides the upper respiratory symptoms, it’s really been knocking me out energy-wise so this morning I’m feeling the need for some quiet, restful meditation time with a cup of white tea.

In my cup is a white Darjeeling tea called Victoria’s Peak Estate White Tea.


This tea was grown in the Victoria’s Peak section of the Steinthal Estate in Darjeeling, located in northeastern India. Even though it was grown in India, it has been entirely hand processed in the style of a Chinese white tea called Yin Zhen Downy White Pekoe. You can read about that China white tea here.


The leaf is all new growth from the tea plant, the buds, and, since it’s been entirely hand processed, it remains in pristine condition from the day it was plucked. Gorgeous. They remind me of little smiles.

I steeped the leaves for 4 minutes in 180F water.


The tea steeps up to a whisper of color in my glass teapot, like a pale winter wheat. The aroma is delicate with wisps of sweet melon.


The silky smooth flavor has a clean taste with notes of melon and a sweetness like sugar cookie, which becomes more prominent as it cools.

A perfect cuppa to slow down with, to sit with and sip gently. ..

“The mind can go in a thousand directions, but on this beautiful path, I walk in peace. With each step, the wind blows. With each step, a flower blooms.”

~Thich Nhat Hanh

Saturday Morning Tea

Good morning, dear tea friends! As promised, this morning’s tea is a white tea from the Arya estate in Darjeeling, located in northeastern India.

Called Arya Pearl, its processing is as precious as its name. The full leaf sets are plucked at dawn when the dew is still wet on the leaves. After drying in the sun for several hours they are then carefully rolled in silk cloth and then allowed more drying time.

How does this white tea differ from the China Pai Mu Tan I reviewed last week, I wonder?

Aside from the obvious – grown in different countries – I immediately see a difference in the appearance of the leaf. While both teas are composed of the new growth plucking, the Arya Pearl’s leaves appear to be greener whereas the Pai Mu Tan had more of a white-ish appearance because of the abundance of fine white hairs all over the leaves. I don’t see as many white hairs on the Arya Pearl leaf, do you?

The wet leaf is very similar, with the Arya Pearl being a little longer and thinner.

I found the most pronounced difference to be in the flavor of the hot tea. The Arya Pearl has a strong vegetal aroma and flavor when it is hot. That was all I could taste. As the tea cooled down, however, more notes came out, including that sugar cookie note I really like.

I steeped the leaves for 8 minutes in 180F water. If you plan on re-steeping the leaves, you want to reduce the time on that first steeping.

The tea liquor is the same light straw color with a hint of green.

As I enjoy my second cup, the tea has cooled down considerably and I’m discovering some tropical fruity notes.

Tea continues to amaze and delight me in my journey with it. Not only can two teas from the same category taste different from one another but the same tea can exhibit different flavor notes at different temperatures! Have you ever experienced that? If so, I’d love to hear your tea story.

My company is closed this week for our annual vacation. I’ll be heading to Michigan soon to visit with my family so there won’t be a tea post next Saturday. Enjoy your tea and I’ll see you in 2 weeks.

Happy 236th birthday to the USA!

“When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

~first paragraph, Declaration of Independence, 1776

Saturday Morning Tea


It’s a beautiful summer day (finally!) and I’ve invited a sunny daylily to join me for my morning tea. I love its golden light. It reminds me to let my own light shine through.

I’m sipping a Darjeeling white tea from the Okayti estate. Processed entirely by hand, this rare production tea is truly an art form. In the photo above, you can see the tiny white hairs on each leaf tip which give white tea its name. White tea is the least processed of all of the different types of tea – just a short wither and steam heated to halt the oxidation process which naturally occurs. The white tea leaf buds are not rolled or bruised at all so each tip looks very much as it did when it was plucked from the bush.

Close to the border with Nepal, the Okayti estate is located at approximately 6000-7000 feet in Darjeeling district’s Mirik Valley of northeastern India. They have been growing tea since the late 1800s.


I steeped the leaves in 180 degree F water for 3 minutes. As I removed the basket, the tea’s sweet aroma lifted gently from my teapot.


I delighted in sifting through each intact leaf to create this fun design. The tea itself is a light buttery color, a paler version of my daylily. Its flavor is delicate and smooth with an amazing sweetness that lingers after each sip.


I purchased a new teacup this week and enjoyed pouring my first cuppa in its smooth, rounded shape, a perfect fit for my small palm. Created at Cornwall Bridge Pottery in CT, a beautiful dragonfly has been painted onto its side.


I found this amazing information regarding their symbolism:

“Dragonflies are reminders that we are light and can reflect the light in powerful ways if we choose to do so. “Let there be light” is the divine prompting to use the creative imagination as a force within your life. They help you to see through your illusions and allow your own light to shine in a new vision.”