Sunday, February 21, 2010

Olympic Tea

The fountain in the town square in Durlach, Germany. I think I was going to translate the inscription. Alas, that has not happened.

Winter really is losing its grip and signs of spring are showing. Yes, it is still cold and gray BUT the willows are yellow, the alders along the creeks have begun to turn brown, and the maple and oak covered hills are no longer a solid gray, but beginning to turn pinkish. These are all signs of the rising of sap, as the temperatures begin a slow creep upward. An acquaintance of ours, who has kept track of the weather for years says that around the 20th of February the air begins to steadily warm. I've already seen one collection barrel for maple sap along the road and I am sure more will follow. Hooray for the return of light and warmth! Hooray for blue skies! Hooray for Spring, the promise and reward for endurance!

Speaking of endurance, have you been watching the Olympics? They are the only sports I ever watch. I am filled with awe as the athletes makes something so incredibly difficult look so easy and graceful. I just glowed with pride watching that young Swiss soar off the ski jumps with such perfection and into 2 gold medals. Likewise, as our athletes won medal after medal, amazed as always, when mere hundredths of a second were the difference between gold and bronze! Hooray for all of them, as well.

I thought I would have a Chinese tea to celebrate and my eye fell on a gift from a tea friend. This is Lipton's Yellow Label tea bags, which are made for the Chinese market. My friend says this is not your usual Lipton's tea bags, that her family searches it out and hoards it. I can see why – it's very good, especially for teabag tea. I brewed it with boiling water for about 2 minutes and it looked like tea – just the usual dark amber. But there the similarities ended, as it smelled almost floral, almost fruity. The taste was definitely different as well, not nearly so harsh as many, with an almost sweet taste and a full body to it. It was both milder and more fully nuanced with the overtones of floral and fruit the smell promised. It was good with both milk and plain. No reports on sugar in it, as I didn't want to waste a cup. I will definitely search for this at Asian markets. It might even replace my beloved PG Tips teabags. Well, maybe not.

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