Saturday Morning Tea


Good morning, dear tea friends! I chose another Pre-Chingming tea for my morning tea – a Yunnan black tea called Dian Hong Yunnan Gold. I have read that “Dian” is the old name used for the Yunnan province and the word “hong” translates to “red” or “red tea”. Black teas from China are often referred to as red teas because of their intense “brassy red” color.


You can see that color starting to come out in the steeping. I steeped the leaves for 5 minutes in 212F (boiling point) water. This is a great tea for multiple steepings if you’d like to try that.


The fine plucking is evident in the intact leaf sets. I opened this bud up to reveal the little baby leaves inside.

The downy hairs are visible, even on the wet leaf. When the tea is dried and packaged, the hairs will dry and turn into dust. So, if you open your tea packet and see a bunch of dust, that is a good thing as it indicates a fine plucking.


There’s that beautiful “brassy red”, which I prefer to call deep amber.

The aroma is sweet and spicy with a whisper of floral perfume and a hint of cocoa.


I find this tea to be on the lighter side for a Yunnan tea and very smooth in the cup. With flavor notes of spice and cocoa, this tea gets sweeter as it cools. I find that the abundance of golden tip lends a delicacy to the mouth feel, like the liquor is lightly dancing across my palate.

We are celebrating a wonderful family event this weekend – my daughter and her boyfriend have just purchased their very first house. Very exciting! I’m looking forward to helping them clean and paint and turn their new house into a wonderful home.

As always, thanks for stopping by and sharing a cuppa with me. I am just finishing a beaded project that has taken me almost 2 months to complete! Stay tuned for pictures soon…

“Home is the nicest word there is.”  ~Laura Ingalls Wilder

Saturday Morning Tea


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.


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.


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


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!


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

Saturday Morning Tea


Good morning, dear tea friends! In honor of the beauty of this Yunnan Rare Grade leaf, I open with a quote from one of the oldest books on tea, the Ch’a-Ching (The Classic of Tea) by Lu Yu.

“There are a thousand different appearances of tea leaves. Some have creases like the leathern boot of a Tartar horseman, curl like the dewlap of a mighty bullock, unfold like the mist rising out a ravine, gleam like a lake touched by a zephyr, and be wet and soft like fine earth newly swept by rain.”

Isn’t that so true? This beautiful golden-tip black tea is from Yunnan province in China.


Because the leaves are big, I used twice as much leaf as I normally do in my little glass teapot and steeped for a full five minutes. If you’re adding milk to your tea, you might want to consider a longer steep time.


Just look at that amazing intact leaf, evidence that a lot of care went into its processing. Many folks were joyful when this tea returned to our stock and I can certainly understand why.


The deep-amber tea liquor has an enticing, earthy sweet aroma with nuances of autumn leaf, making me eager for my first sip. The flavor is silky smooth yet very full-bodied and rich with notes of dark molasses and spice. Yum…


Samples of this tea are definitely making their way into some tea lovers’ stockings!

I hope that you’re finding some calm, quiet time to yourself during this magical yet hectic time of year to enjoy sipping something delicious and hot.

Until next week, dear friends…

Saturday Morning Tea

Good morning, dear tea friends! Wow, are we really into the month of November already? This morning I’m enjoying a dark, rich cuppa from China, called Yunnan FOP Select. Hey, there’s the letters again in the name. FOP means “flowery orange pekoe”, a leaf designation meaning a whole leaf tea with some tip interspersed. The tip is the golden-colored part.

From the mountainous Yunnan province in southwestern China, Yunnan teas have traditionally been plucked from very large, old tea trees but I have heard that some of those trees are being cut down or cut in half to make way for monoculture plantings. Hearing that makes me sad but I also know that demand is up for these teas and perhaps that is how they’re accommodating that demand.

I steeped the leaves for a full five minutes in boiling point water (212F). I’m glad I did because the longer steeping time brought out the rich cocoa aroma.

The dark-amber liquor is silky smooth and sweet with notes of cocoa, spice and a hint of fruit. This is a great tea for warming up on a cool autumn afternoon after raking leaves or taking a long hike in the woods. Speaking of which, that’s my plan for tomorrow – I love hiking in the woods at this time of year!

Well, my first cup is already gone so I’m off to refill my mug. Have a wonderful weekend and I’ll see you all next Saturday to share another cup of tea!

“Everything in the universe is within you. Ask all from yourself.”


Saturday Morning Tea

A couple of days ago, we did a Yunnan black tea cupping at work, comparing 8 of our current Yunnan selections. I enjoy the cuppings very much because I find it so interesting to taste the teas side by side and discern their similarities and differences, especially within a category. So, with that cupping still fresh in my mind, I chose one of those Yunnan teas as my morning tea today. It’s the only broken leaf one of the group, called Yunnan FBOP (Flowery Broken Orange Pekoe).

From mountainous Yunnan province in southwestern China, this black tea consists of mainly dark leaf with a small amount of yellowish tip sprinkled in. Yunnan teas have traditionally been plucked from very large, old tea trees but I have heard that some of those trees are being cut down or cut in half to make way for monoculture plantings. Hearing that makes me sad but I also know that demand is up for these teas and perhaps that is how they’re accommodating that demand.

I steeped the leaves for only 3 minutes in boiling point (212 F) water. The aroma wafting up from the steeping leaves is sweet and earthy.

The Chinese have traditionally called black tea “red tea” and you can certainly see why as the tea glows a gorgeous russet color in my glass teapot.

The flavor is so incredibly sweet with notes of pepper and earth and a whisper of smoke. The sweet and smoke linger in my mouth reminding me of sweet pipe tobacco. This tea would stand up to milk well but I don’t recommend any sugar because it is plenty sweet already.

I like my wide mouth tea bowl because it allows the tea to cool quickly, revealing the flavor notes. I find it hard to pick out all of the flavor notes when the tea is really hot. How about you?

We had a dusting of snow fall from a gray blanket sky this morning, however, it must be warming up outside because the snow is gone and everything just looks damp now as I gaze out my window. I’ve recently ordered some metalworking supplies, a disk cutter and a dapping set. I’m looking forward to getting back into my studio after an incredibly long period of drought. Way too long…

Happy tea drinking!

“Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.” ~Rabindranath Tagore