Tea on Sunday

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This morning has been busy with trying to catch up on everything from the week, especially cleaning. Now that it’s all accomplished, I can sit down with my cuppa and meditate on yesterday’s experience…

I’m enjoying a cup of Formosa Black tea, a very unique tea developed by the Taiwan Tea Research Extension Station. They crossed a Taiwanese tea bush with an Assam (India)/Burmese tea bush to create this particular tea.

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The leaf is very dark and twisted into long thin strands. Now that all of the plumeria and hibiscus plants have made their way out onto the backyard deck, it uncovered this beautiful little tile table perfect for showing off the black leaf and steeped dark amber colored tea.

I steeped the leaves for 5 minutes in 212 degree F (boiled) water.

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After steeping, the leaves plumped up and unfurled into quite the pile of wet leaf. This is only half the leaves!

With my first sip, I detected the slight maltiness of the Assam along with some astringency. That’s where the similarity ended. There were also Oolong flavor notes (sweet, woody) with an interesting hint of chocolate. Despite the astringency, I drank this tea plain and, as it cooled, it smoothed out.

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I love this little table. It’s so colorful.

Yesterday his Holiness gave 2 talks, one on the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism and the second on the Path to Peace and Happiness. Throughout his talks, he emphasized that we are all human beings together, all 6 billion of us on this planet. We all have the same goal – to be happy. And we all have the same capacity for kindness and compassion. We learn from our mother how to be warm-hearted. He used that term a lot. To have a warm and open heart recognizes the connection we have with all living beings. I could go on and on with all that he said but I am still absorbing the experience. As I listened to him talk, I felt something shift inside of myself. The message is so simple yet so very profound. Wow. I cried when he walked out and I cried when he left.

There are quite a few books out there written by his Holiness. I highly recommend any of them. I am currently reading “The Art of Happiness”.

Here are some links to learn more.

The Office of H.H. the Dalai Lama

Books in English authored by H.H. the Dalai Lama

From The Government of Tibet in Exile

His Biography

“Whether they be a president, a king, the royal family or a beggar, all human beings are the same.”

“Let us strive for religious harmony, mutual admiration and mutual respect.”

~H.H. the Dalai Lama


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Saturday Morning Tea

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As I write this, I consider myself very blessed. The night before last brought a dangerous ice storm north and west of here and there were many power lines and trees brought down causing a lot of damage. Many folks are without power and will be for several more days, I’ve heard. My thoughts and prayers go out to those people. I hope that power will be restored for them very soon.

This morning I am sipping a very unique black tea from Taiwan called “Sun Moon Lake tea”. The enormous twisted leaves have a very wiry appearance, reminiscent of a Keemun Mao Feng tea. This tea is grown and all hand processed in the Sun Moon lake area of Taiwan. Sun Moon lake is the largest lake on the island of Taiwan and is named so because the eastern side is round and the western side is crescent shaped. It sounds like a very beautiful area surrounded by mountains.

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I steeped the leaves for 4 1/2 minutes in 212 degree F water. This produced a very dark tea liquor with a toasty aroma.

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Here is the tea steeping right after I poured the water in the teapot.

tt54cup121308The tea is silky smooth without a trace of astringency. The taste is full and somewhat malty, reminiscent of a very smooth Assam tea. Notes of nutmeg and cinnamon are present with a whisper of mint in the finish. Mmmmm, I am enjoying this unique tea very much!

Each cup of tea represents an imaginary voyage.

~Catherine Douzel