Saturday Morning Tea

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Good morning, dear tea friends! On this warm summertime morning, I have a green tea in my cup, one that I haven’t had for a long time – a green tea from Vietnam.

Green tea is the most popular tea in Vietnam, accounting for a large percentage of retail sales in the country. I’ve read that it has been traditionally associated with natural or artistic activities, such as writing poetry, tending flowers and being out in nature. What a wonderful way to enjoy a cup of tea!

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This particular tea is a Mao Feng leaf style. The Mao Feng (translates to “Hairy Mountain” or “Fur Peak”) leaf style is long and wiry, created by twisting the leaves during processing. There’s a nice amount of silvery tips threading through the darker green leaf.

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I steeped the leaves for 3 minutes in 180F water. The leaf color lightened up as the leaves steeped.

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The infusion is a clear golden color. The aroma is fruity with a whisper of sweet tobacco.

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The liquor fills my mouth with fruitiness. What is it? One minute I thought melon, the next stone fruit. Either way, it’s yummy. That whisper of sweet tobacco is there as well. This tea has a lot of body for a green tea and is a great choice for those looking for less vegetal.

My vacation is starting very soon and I’ll be spending some nice relaxing time in MI with my family. Saturday Morning Tea will be back in 3 weeks. Until then, dear friends, happy tea drinking!

“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.”

~F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

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Saturday Morning Tea

The month of December blew in this week with a tropical rainstorm. Wait a minute, this is New England, right? The following morning, the wind hurried the clouds along to reveal a brilliant blue sky and temps soaring up towards 70. Hmmm, New England? Today snow is in the forecast. Ah yes, New England.

This morning I am sipping from a cup of green tea grown in the Northern Highlands of Vietnam. The tea is called Shan Tuyet Snow Green.

As Vietnam borders Yunnan province at the north, tea trees have been growing wild there, as in Yunnan province, for thousands of years. More formal tea cultivation started in Vietnam at the beginning of the 20th century. You can read more about the history of Vietnamese tea growing here and here.

I steeped the leaves for 3 minutes in 180 degree F water. As I lifted my teapot lid, a rich floral aroma wafted up from the leaves. The liquor is a warm, buttery hue with a hint of fruit and malt in the flavor. I didn’t detect any vegetal quality at all, unusual for a green tea. The cup is quite smooth with an interesting pungency which appears and then lingers in the finish.

The dry leaf is highly twisted, only opening slightly when steeped. The wet leaf above is clinging to one of my Picasso marble stones. I love their striations.

The liquor is crystal clear and quite pleasant as it cools.

I am really enjoying my first experience with a Vietnamese green tea. Time for another cup!

Something opens our wings

Something makes boredom and hurt disappear

Someone fills the cup in front of us

We taste only sacredness

~Rumi