Saturday Morning Tea

Good morning, dear tea friends! I’m back from my Michigan trip and am happy to sit down and share another delicious cup of tea with you again. It’s been a very busy week and I need to slow down, take a deep breath and enjoy some meditative time with a cuppa. Why don’t you join me?

My favorite tea for contemplation is white tea. In my teapot this morning is a China white called Organic Pai Mu Tan Supreme. The silvery buds reflect the uniform gray sky hanging over this misty, spring morning.

This tea’s plucking order is the new leaf shoot, or bud, plus the top leaves. Pai Mu Tan, or Bai Mudan, translates to “white peony,” some say because of the shape of the leaves, others because of its fragrance.

I steeped the leaves for 3 minutes in 180F water.

A common question is: “what’s the difference between green tea and white tea?” The difference is in the processing of the leaves. Whereas green tea leaves are heated up pretty much right away, whether steamed or pan fried, for example, to halt the oxidation of the leaf, white tea leaves are allowed to wither naturally in the sun, sometimes for several days. So, the leaves aren’t heated to halt oxidation. In fact, after withering, the leaves are piled and allowed to oxidize a little bit before they are baked to dry the leaves out for packing and transport. This processing contributes to a more herbaceous and much less vegetal flavor.

As I pour the golden wheat-colored liquor into my cup, I detect a honeyed fruit fragrance in the aroma. I look forward to my first sip.

My first sip reveals a very smooth, sweet flavor, with notes of fresh melon and a soft toasty hint. I breath in the fragrance and sip oh so slowly. Slowing down and slipping into the moment allows me to unwind my knotted thoughts and let them float away like the steam from my cup.

Enjoy your next cup.

“Mindfulness practice means that we commit fully in each moment to be present; inviting ourselves to interface with this moment in full awareness, with the intention to embody as best we can an orientation of calmness, mindfulness, and equanimity right here and right now.” 

~Jon Kabat-Zinn

Saturday Morning Tea

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Good morning and Happy New Year, dear tea friends! I hope everyone had a lovely holiday season. I’m feeling full of hope, with a generous dollop of joy thrown in, as we start this brand new year. How about you?

A China white tea, called Pai Mu Tan Special Grade Organic, graces my cup this morning. Its plucking is of the new leaf shoot, or bud, plus the top two leaves. Pai Mu Tan, or Bai Mudan, translates to “white peony,” some say because of the shape of the leaves, others because of its fragrance.

PaiMuTanOrganicSteep010916

Many folks ask, “what is the difference between a green tea and a white tea?” After all, look at the leaf in the photo above. It’s green, right? Well, it’s all in the processing of the leaf. Whereas green tea leaves are heated up pretty much right away, whether steamed or pan fried, for example, to halt the oxidation of the leaf, white tea leaves are allowed to wither naturally in the sun, sometimes for several days. So, the leaves aren’t heated to halt oxidation. In fact, after withering, the leaves are piled and allowed to oxidize a little bit before they are baked to dry the leaves out for packing and transport.

I steeped the leaves for 3 minutes in 180F water. A gentle, sweet fragrance wafted up from my glass teapot as the leaves released their flavor into the water.

PaiMuTanOrganicWetLeaf010916

The tea liquor is the light golden color of the morning sky right before the sun breaks the horizon.

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A ripe melon note is present in both the aroma and the silky smooth flavor. A lovely tea that’s sweet, fruity and light.

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Bits of down from the white hair on the tea leaf float in my tea bowl.

Outside my window, thick, winter white clouds sprinkle down a fine, damp mist, foretelling of the wind and rain storm expected here tomorrow. It’s a good weekend to stay inside, wrapped in a cozy blanket with a hot cup of tea in hand. I just started a new knitting project I’ll work on, a jasper green cardigan sweater with cables for myself. I love new projects!

“Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. And on a quiet day, if you really listen, you can hear her breathing.”  ~Arundhati Roy