Saturday Morning Tea

Good morning, dear tea friends! On this misty, late spring morning, I’ve chosen a dark, rich China black tea for my teapot. Meet Pre-Chingming Yunnan Black Snail. As I’ve shared with you before, Pre-Chingming teas are harvested in China on very early spring days when the tea bushes start to flush with new growth after their winter dormancy.

From Yunnan province, this tea is produced from a large leaf varietal. The leaves are rolled into spiral shapes, reminiscent of snails. After a 5 minute steeping in boiling point (212F) water, take a look at these unfurled and partially unfurled leaf sets. This tea would do well with multiple steepings.

The fragrance reminds me of powdered unsweetened cocoa with a hint of malt.

The red-amber liquor is rich and oh so smooth. Pronounced notes of cocoa are embraced by a dark honey sweetness that lingers into the lightly spicy finish.

This tea would make a terrific iced latte with a little milk and sweetener, a great refresher for the hot summer days to come.

I remember when I received my Nikon’s micro lens. It was about 4 years ago, a gift from the love of my life who passed away 3 years ago. Anyway, I remember the joy and delight I felt when I opened this lovely unexpected gift and I entered a whole new world of closeup photography. I could now shoot closeups of my beloved tea leaves! It’s hard to believe that I’ve been sharing tea with you on my blog for over 10 years now. As I look back over all of the tremendous changes I’ve experienced since I started my blog, I see the one constant thread that has stitched my days together with strength and purpose – my tea journey and my deep passion for sharing it with others, through my cupping notes and my photography. I’ve been honored to do so and hope to continue for many more years to come. Whether you’ve been with me for years or have just joined, thank you for sharing the journey with me!

“I began to realize how important it was to be an enthusiast in life. He taught me that if you are interested in something, no matter what it is, go at it at full speed ahead. Embrace it with both arms, hug it, love it and above all become passionate about it. Lukewarm is no good. Hot is no good either. White hot and passionate is the only thing to be.”

~Roald Dahl

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Saturday Morning Tea

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Happy New Year, dear tea friends! I hope that everyone had a great time over the holidays and now here we are in a brand new year with many wonderful tea moments to look forward to. Shall we get started?

I have some exciting news to share with you! One of my dreams came true when I received the most amazing gift on Christmas – a micro lens for my Nikon camera. I’ve enjoyed photography for many years, starting out by taking loads of pictures of my kids as they were growing up. Over the years, I found myself drawn more and more to the closeup shots, especially when I started taking tea pictures almost 6 years ago. This morning I share with you my first shots with my brand new lens – a China black called Yunnan Black Snail.

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From Yunnan province in China, this tea is produced from a large leaf varietal. The leaves are rolled into spiral shapes, reminiscent of snails. After a 5 minute steeping in boiling point (212F) water, take a look at this gorgeous unfurled leaf.

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You can see how it was twisted as it was rolled and curled.

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The deep dark amber-colored tea liquor has a spicy aroma with hints of cocoa. The flavor is smooth and rich with a sweet caramel-y nuance along with notes of spice and cocoa. For its beautiful leaf and depth of flavor, this tea is an amazing value. I’m already on my second cup!

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Speaking of cups, I received this beautiful, handmade teamug as a gift. The blue glaze drips down a brown background in a lovely pattern, which I’m so enjoying looking at as I sip my tea and contemplate the new year.

I’ve already set some goals for myself this year, one of them being to move on beyond the portfolio website I created in my online class and create a new website where I can sell my jewelry. Another goal is to share my art much more often here on my blog. What goals have you set for 2013?

As always, thanks for stopping by and joining me in a cup of tea!

“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.”  ~Henry David Thoreau