Friday, September 25, 2009

Italy, India, Formosa

Ah, Italian poppies. They grow everywhere, but especially alongthe railroad lines, making these often dismal areas places of beauty. Not a great picture, but when you're speeding along, with a new camera, you are happy to get anything.

I'vebeen thinking thinking of poppies as I am trying to decide where to plant the few seeds I have of some glorious double red poppies - I only got 2 plants and 3 flowers this year, so I am hoping next year is better.

I am also thinking of doing some research about tea in India, as I do love Indian teas, especially Darjeeling. There doesn't seem to be a lot on line and it doesn't appear there was "tea culture" in the ways that China and Japan have "tea cultures", but I know tea was cultivated in the Assam area long before the British made their plantations. So I am going to see what I can find - I'll keep you posted. If any of you know some good sources, please tell me.

That said, today I was tasting a very nice Oolong - Upton's Fancy Grade Formosa Oolong. In the bag it smelled faintly of woods or Fall earth or the smell of dry leaves on the sidewalk. The leaves themselves were quite large, twisted, silvery, grey and almost black. While brewing it smelled more deeply of these woods and leaves. The wet leaves were wonderful you could see the one leaf and tiny bud, I've not seen tea that clearly before. But the taste - pineapple and honey with a soft earth aftertaste and a tiny hint of astringency - I may have brewed it a tad long. The second infusion brought our more of the sweetness and a much lighter earthiness. A very very nice tea.

I've been reluctant to try Oolongs as my experiences to date have all been unpleasant. However, my mind, maybe even my palate is changing, hooray!

No comments: