Thursday, September 10, 2009

Oops, sorry Darjeeling

Another lovely day. After a very rainy summer we are all
appreciating these sunny warm days.

I got my big order from Teavana today. This is a shipment I won
in a drawing for subscribing to newsletter. Being one of those people who doesn't win things, this was really exciting. I got 5 teas, a big glass mug and one of those pots that brews your tea and then you set it on your cup and the tea comes out the bottom, leaving the leaves behind. Most of what I got I had not tried before but I did get one Darjeeling that sounded really good. It is called Darjeeling Viyaranya Black, supposedly with a "crisp muscatel flavor" That's as far as I read. If I had read to the bottom of the description I would have seen "first flush". First flush and muscatel do not generally refer to the same Darjeeling. First flush is just that, the very first leaves that are plucked. Muscatel most often refers to the taste of the heavier second flush shading into autumnal Darjeelings.

I now have a new 2 part mantra - "Read the whole description, all the way to the end and when brewing, look at the tea, not the directions"

Assuming this was a black Darjeeling, in spite of its greenish looks in the dry leaf and barely discernable scent, I went right ahead and brewed it as if it were black - 212 degrees for 3 minutes. Oh boy, ick. Bitter, tannic, just awful. My husband offered to finish it if I put sweetener and cream in it - the only way he will drink tea - even iced tea - yuck. So I did, taking a sip as I gave it to him. Wow, what a difference! It actually tasted almost good. However, by then I was too yucked out to brew it up again, so I settled for very plain iced tea and called it a day. "Read the whole description, look at the tea you are brewing".

Today's picture is the gold altar in the Liebfraukirche on the Rhine that I mentioned before. It actually means Beloved Lady's Church.

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