Last night we watched the fireworks from our driveway. They were spectacular. Lots of colors within individual ones, lots of shapes and 2 or 3 storey ones. The cats guarded the underside of the bed.
This am there was no tea as we were late for a meeting and this meeting only serves coffee. Oh well.
This afternoon I am having an Upton's sample - Meleng Estate Assam FTGFOP. The dry leaf is very attractive, with a nice dark brown leaf accented with plenty of golden tips. While it's brewing it has a very clean fresh smell of good tea. Instantly reminded me of all the church suppers I went to or helped at when I was a kid, growing up in a small town/rural environment. Unusually for me, I followed directions and brewed this for 4 min. instead of my usual 3. I am glad I did, I don't think the flavor would have been as apparant otherwise. Next time, I may push it to 5 and see how it is. It brews up into a nice robust brown with tinges of goldy red in its color. The taste is much sweeter and cleaner than many Assams I've had. There is a maltiness and some good apricot and cocoa to it. It ends sort of slowly with almost a winey tinge. I really like this one and it is from a top Assam garden. It is $16.95 for 100 gms.
I think Assam may have faired better weatherwise this year. Many, many tea gardens really suffered from drought or typhoons, mud slides, tornados, hail, all sorts of bad weather. As did we. The farmers market this am had very little - we've had almost no local strawberries, tomatoes, potatoes, blueberries, blackberries, etc. We don't realize how dependent we are on weather for our food. It can really make or break any farmer, especially those who have only one crop, such as tea.