Thursday, February 19, 2009

Organic Monkey Picked White

Greetings, fair TeaSpot blog followers.

While graduate school and a move across the country to Boston has taken me away from the warm clutches of the TeaSpot’s arms, I have been fortunate enough to convince the powers that be that I’ll never turn down an opportunity to blog for tea.

So, without further ado, welcome to my next blog installment. It’s good to be back, in a fashion.

Tea Tasting: Organic Monkey Picked White

Round One: 3-minute steep, approx. 190°, ‘round about 5:30 p.m., Saturday, February 7, 2009

My day was spent writing, homeworking, going to the gym, and observing a rather dramatic incident with a crazy man on the train—an incident that caused tears for a fellow female passenger, and a rather saddening but justified throwdown on the perpetrator. Needless to say, I was more than happy to have myself a wee tea party after the lactic acid abated and the sun went down. I recruited my roommate Tony to participate, who was more than happy to oblige.

The first thing that surprised me about the leaves was how brown they were--I was definitely expecting your typical downy white tea leaves a la Snowflakes. In any case, this tea is the essence of lightness; smooth, with a subtle and sweet aftertaste. Tony’s word was “silky,” which is probably better than any of the other word combos I will come up with. This tea was confusing to me at first, because I couldn’t detect a noticeable smell, which caused me a bit of worry because it has also recently come to my attention that I seem to be losing my sense of hearing (too many rock shows) as well as memory (I swear, I forget everything. I blame it on my urban environment and constant media exposure). However, I think this had more to do with the water temperature, as I noticed the tea increased in flavor and scent as the temperature of the water cooled.

Round One Steepage: Buttery Golden Liquor

Round Two: 4-minute steep, approx 180°, 11:45 p.m., Saturday, February 7, 2009

After indulging in an amazing and completely unexpected “dessert” of cheese fondue, red wine, and great company (my roommates so awesome you don’t even know), I gave the tea leaves a bit of a sniff, and they were surprisingly fragrant. I convinced my second roommate and former TeaSpot employee Mr. Ross Wrangham to get in on a late-night re-steep with me. The leaves, as well as the re-steeped tea had an amazingly light floral taste and smell. I can’t for the life of me pinpoint what flower it is…something like orchids, but not quite. Light, honeyed, refreshing, with no trace of tannins whatsoever (as one would expect). I have to say, I much prefer the second steep to the first. I was also happy that the low-caffeine content (especially after a second steeping) didn't keep me awake--keep in mind it was almost midnight--I can barely drink a cup of brewed coffee without getting twitchy, and if anything this tea helped me relax before hopping aboard the S.S. La La Land.

Overall, this tea is extremely rewarding in its subtlety and flavor, and of course I must also appreciate its intrinsic ability to keep me healthy and chock full of antioxidants--an absolute must for my current commuter situation, which requires that I share public bus and train space with hundreds of strangers nearly every day. Thank you, TeaSpot!

I heart my Steeping Mug

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