Saturday Morning Tea

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Happy Birthday America! I am so blessed to call you home.

I’m hoping that this weekend will bring a break out of this cool, rainy weather pattern we’ve been stuck in here in New England. The sun has peeked out here and there but hasn’t stayed for very long. My colleagues at work and I were celebrating yesterday when we saw some blue sky!

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My tea today, a hand-made Oolong called Xiang Pao, comes from a small family farm located in the Shan Ling Xi area in the mountains of Nantou County, Taiwan, approximately 1800 meters above sea level. As part of their business philosophy, this farm practices the LOHAS concept. LOHAS is an acronym for Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability and its companies promote “responsible capitalism” by providing goods and services using economic and environmentally sustainable business practices.

After graduating from college, the family’s daughter made the decision to stay and work in the family business. In an e-mail to my company, she writes:

“I told my father we need to insist on selling top quality and handmade when I graduated. Special Oolong tea is well received in Taiwan. We have paid more attention and have tried some ways to make sure our tea quality, and we got some awards from competitions in Taiwan.

We asserts LOHAS concept, to provide top teas to customers in order to make sure all customers get the nature health and nature beauty in the life. Therefore, we emphasize the quality and manufactureer processes so that our teas are high quality and good benefits.”

Just as I am happy to support small local businesses in my area, I am glad to support and share teas from an environmentally and socially conscious tea farm such as this.

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I steeped the leaves for 4 minutes in 190 degree F water. The aroma and flavor are of earth, wood and chestnuts with a mild sweetness. A hint of flowers lingers in my mouth after each sip.

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I am enjoying my cuppa with a bowl of lusciously ripe black plums. I love the velvety, dark sweetness of the fruit combined with the tang of its skin. Mmmm…

Today I am going to a dear friend’s home to sit out amongst the profusion of blooming flowers in her backyard garden. We’ll enjoy some tea and even read each other’s tea leaves using an interesting new teacup she just purchased at the bookstore recently. It’s called “The Cup of Destiny”. What fun! Stay tuned to see what the cup has to say…

“…do you think there is anywhere, in any language,

a word billowing enough

for the pleasure

that fills you,

as the sun

reaches out,

as it warms you

as you stand there…”

exerpt from the poem The Sun by Mary Oliver

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