Isn't that a cool old doorway?
Today was a really bad day for reasons not related to tea. Therefore I am not going to review any teas but I will review a book.
The book is Tea: Aromas and Flavors Around the World by Lydia Gautier. Ms. Gautier is an agricultural engineer who has done extensive work with viticulture and tea culture. The book is of the large coffee table type, with lots of very beautiful pictures. While it is beautiful, the book more than adequately covers a brief history of tea around the world, tea culture in many nations, some chemical facts etc. She compares it to wine, both in culture and drinking, as well as in cooking. There are a few very good recipes and perhaps, best of all a list of 50 "grand cru" teas with hints for brewing and serving and suggestions for pairing them with foods. In wine "grand cru" refers to the very best wineries or wines, so one can assume that is also the meaning for the teas she lists. The book has a very European slant to it, perhaps because Ms. Gautier is French. It is definately part of its charm.
I got this book as a present so I can't advise you to run out and plunk down $40 for it, but it is certainly worth getting out of the library and reading. It is an excellent book that covers a very wide range of tea information succinctly and well.
Actually, as I write this I am drinking Fujian Black from Adagio Teas. I made it in a new pot and it is too weak but it is good and it is working the usual comforting magic of a good tea. It has that clean mellow smell of Fujian/Yunnan teas, but I can't say more as I goofed on the brewing.