The tower in the distance was erected in the 1200's and it is still
guarding the village entrance.
Woo Hoo, it is Spring somewhere in the world. I have heard it on the tea vine that in China the first flush harvest is beginning and in Darjeeling it is about to begin. I sure hope they all have better weather this year.
Also, a fellow blogger, Tony Gebely and his partner, Erin Murphy, have opened an on-line tea store to be found at http://www.chicagoteagarden.com/ . Early reviews of his teas are very, very positive, so you might want to check out his offerings. So far, there are only nine, so it won't take long. I personally have my eye on those little clementines stuffed with Pu-erh. Shipping is free until April 2. You can check out some reviews at http://www.steepster.com/
I gave my sister-in-law a tea gift for her birthday. I had read some good reviews about Madam Potts and her PersonaliTeas, so I thought I would give her a whirl. What she does is send the lucky person a questionnaire and then blends a tea just for them. For E. she made one called Sweet Sweet Hawaii. As a bonus, the person ordering the gift gets some samples, in this case, me.
Sweet, Sweet Hawaii is a blend of white tea, lemongrass, hibiscus, stevia, pineapple, papaya, peppermint, cardamom, ginger and coconut. Mine came in teabags. The scent was definitely a fruity floral with just a hint of mint. There were nice big pieces of fruit and coconut. I brewed it at about 185 for 3 minutes and it was the prettiest light green I've seen in a tea. That is, until the hibiscus gave up it's color and then it was murky. If it were me, I'd leave it out, because the green is so attractive. This is a pleasant cup, sweet, fruity and with the barest hint of mint. Towards the end of each sip, the coconut really comes out. This is a very well done blend, as it is difficult to keep mint from taking over anything it is in and except for the coconut kick, nothing stands out so much that everything else is dwarfed, it just all very smoothly goes together. I really liked that tag-a-long of the coconut. I never would have thought of adding the peppermint, either and that is another nice, unusual touch.
If you would like to try Madam Potts' special PersonaliTeas you can find her at http://www.madpotsoftea.com/ You will also find access to her blog and signature blends. Happy Hunting!