It's really Wednesday
This handy little gadget on the right is the Eight Cranes Perfect Steeper.
I just received a press release from them and after reading it and viewing
the video at http://www.eightcranes.com/ I think it looks good enough to chat about. Unlike many others, it is double-walled so you can handle it easily, without burning your fingers. It operates by placing the tea in the small strainered chamber, adding hot, but not boiling water to the large one, putting on the top and then turning it over to allow the tea to steep, turning it back to keep the leaves out of your tea. Nifty idea, certainly a good looker, and available at http://www.amazon.com/ for 39.95 USD
I just received my Tea A Magazine in the mail and it is such a good issue. There's an excellent article by Jane Pettigrew about the Yagi family of Kyoto, Japan who have been making beautiful, simple tea caddies for over 100 years. There are the results and recipes from the 2009 New England Culinary Tea Competition - a few of which I may even make. Also included is a lengthy article about Yoga and tea by Cyndi Harron of Simpson and Vail , one of my favorite tea merchants. I have read Tea for a number of years and really feel it has grown over that time from a slick, but just OK magazine with too many ads to a still slick but much more informative and substantial publication.
I also just received - very quickly, I may add, some tea from a new company, Dream About Tea http://www.dreamabouttea.com/ . I ordered some Ti Kuan Yin Oolong, Hairy Crab Oolong [love that name] and yet another Yunnan. What can I say, I love the stuff.
I am trying the Golden Silk Black [the Yunnan] first. It smells delightful, woodsy and mushroomy with that special scent only Yunnan has. The leaves are very long and twisted, dark brown to black with lots of gold. The tea brews up to a beautiful red-gold color with a definite mushroom, woodland scent. The liquor itself is wonderful, very smooth - definitely silky, it just glides over your tongue. There is a hint of smoke, with some lovely woodland edges, overlying a smooth Yunnan taste - altogether a delightful tea.
THE perfect addition to today is sun and warmth - all the way up to 60. Oh frabjous joy. Fortunately I had to go down to Binghamton, which has many hills enclosing the river and those hills still have their leaves, so I felt very well-treated today