Saturday Morning Tea

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Aaaahhh, the first day of a 3-day weekend with nothing planned. It feels great after a very busy week of work and the buying property process.

I have a confession to make. The tea I chose for my morning tea today is one I had reviewed back in March when it first arrived. Oops. I apologize to those of you looking forward to reading about a new tea! This is the first time in 2 years that I’ve done this. Anyway, it is a marvelous tea that is definitely worth writing about and photographing again. You can read my first review here.

Say hello once again to Keemun Mao Feng Imperial.

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The Mao Feng leaf style is a fine plucking of the top two leaves and bud, all of equal length. The leaf is rolled into long wiry threads during processing.

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

The aroma is rich and sweet like a thick, dark sugar.

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China Congou or China black teas are often referred to as “red” teas, not to be confused with South African Rooibos, or “redbush” herbal tea. I can see why.

The taste is smooth as silk with a cocoa flavor note reminiscent of a bar of dark chocolate. Mmmmm…

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My cup reflects the low gray sky threatening rain any minute. A dear friend of mine loves to drink Keemuns on rainy days. Their rich aroma and flavor is comforting and warming.

I think that this is going to be a “puttering” weekend filled with art journaling, beading and, hopefully, some gardening.

“Puttering is really a time to be alone, to dream and to get in touch with yourself….To putter is to discover.”

~Alexandra Stoddard

Saturday Morning Tea

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A shell cradling some tea leaves. Both once living, now both transformed. One is part of my nature collection and one will be further transformed into a delicious hot beverage to drink. Both give me great pleasure.

Change. It is woven into the fabric of our lives and is a constant by which we can guide our lives. Some do not like change. Or, I should say, too much change all at once. I’m raising my hand on that one. However, it is the change in our lives that brings us to new and wonderful places.

Because the last year of my life has been filled with so much tremendous change, I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately. I’m sure that there a lot of folks experiencing the same in their lives. I find that when I embrace the change that it flows so much easier. Embracing it means that we have to move beyond our fears and that is sometimes a hard thing to do.

So, this morning I sip my tea and think about these things.

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My work colleague (thanks Dan!) gifted me with a sample of a brand new Keemun called Mao Feng Imperial. I’ve reviewed Keemun tea before and you can read more about it here. The leaf style is called Mao Feng which means “Fur Peak” or “Hairy Mountain”, referring to the downy white hairs on the leaf when it is plucked and also to the location where it is grown and harvested. During its processing, the full leaf is rolled into long, thin strands, characteristic of this style of tea.

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I steeped the leaves for 5 minutes in 212 degree F water. The tea liquor is a beautiful deep russet color with a sweet, dark aroma. The steeping leaves reveal a reflection of the deep blue spring sky today.

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You can see how the leaf uncurls slightly after steeping.

The flavor is silky smooth with a lot of complexity, meaning many layers of flavor. I taste wine, fruit, smoke, chocolate, earth. Keemun is called the “burgundy” of teas. Sometimes when a customer is looking for a new black tea to try, I ask them if they enjoy a full-bodied red wine. If so, I think that they would love a Keemun.

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I am going to spend this first full spring weekend out in nature and enjoying the company of some dear friends, embracing the change of the season.

Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.

~H.H. the Dalia Lama