Saturday Morning Tea

Good morning, dear tea friends! A couple of weeks ago at work, I took part in a cupping of some China green teas – the Chun Mees and the Young Hysons. This morning I have brewed up a pot of my favorite tea of that grouping – Chun Mee Moon Palace. I do admit that part of its charm lies in its cool name but, for me, it really shined in its flavor.

The name Chun Mee translates to “precious eyebrows”. After withering and steaming, the leaves are rolled into thin curved shapes resembling a porcelain doll’s eyebrows. I wrote about another lot of Chun Mee here.

The Chinese are very fond of naming their teas.

I steeped the leaves for 3 minutes in 180 F water as I do with most green teas. After steeping, the leaves look more like bushy eyebrows, don’t you think?

The deep yellow liquor gives off a fresh vegetal fragrance. The flavor is also vegetal, lightly so with pronounced fruity nuances, like pear and melon. It is the fruity nuances that make this tea so enjoyable for me. As my tea cooled, it got sweeter.

As I continued to sip this tea, an astringency began to flower, leading me to think that I probably oversteeped it. So with my next pot of tea, I’ll experiment by pulling back on the steeping time, probably starting with a 2 1/2 minute steep and then possibly working back to a 2 minute steep.

As I’ve talked about before, it’s amazing how different a tea can taste when you adjust the steeping time a small amount of time. I like to be open to the positive qualities of a tea and believe that I can develop a relationship with it with some minor adjustments. Too often I hear stories of folks thinking that something is wrong with a tea after just one steeping. I encourage everyone to experiment and see what works best for them. After that period of experimentation, if you still don’t like it, well, that’s just what it is – you just don’t like it. It doesn’t necessarily mean that there’s something wrong with the tea. Enjoy the journey!

Next week I will be attending my art guild meeting so there won’t be any new tea post on Saturday. I’ll be back in 2 weeks to share another cup of tea with you. Until then, dear friends, happy sipping!

“Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.”¬† ~Buddha

Saturday Morning Tea on Sunday

On this hazy summer morning in my pleasantly cooled kitchen, I’m lazily sipping a Chinese green tea called Chun Mee. Traditionally, the Chinese have always been quite fond of rolling the tea leaf into various shapes and then naming the tea accordingly. Chun Mee translates to “Precious Eyebrows”. Can you see it?

After the leaf is withered and steamed, it is rolled into a thin needle-like shape with a curve like a porcelain doll’s eyebrow.

It is a very popular everyday tea in China, especially to accompany strong flavored foods because of its astringent aftertaste which clears the palate.

Upon steeping for 3 minutes in 180 degree F water, the tightly rolled leaves open slightly to reveal their curled edges.

The golden liquor has a hint of chestnuts in the aroma and a rich, full-bodied flavor. Its astringency clears my mouth and makes it feel fresh and clean. A whisper of sweet plum rounds out the taste.

Shopping at the local mall a couple of nights ago, I stopped into a tea store there and found these interesting pottery teamugs on the clearance shelf. The coppery/sage green mottled exterior is rough and textured with a smooth, pale blue interior. I love the juxtaposition of textures and the way the mug feels slightly rough against my palm. I also love finding treasures, especially those at 75% off!

I had a lovely art day yesterday with my guild. We all do our own creative thing companionably, inspiring and encouraging each other, chatting, laughing and eating goodies. A perfect day. I made a couple pairs of earrings using stone, pearls and copper wire. After I antique one pair with liver of sulphur, I’ll share photos very soon.

Enjoy your Sunday!

The purpose of craft is not so much to make beautiful things as it is to become beautiful inside while you are making those things.