Friday, April 9, 2010

The end of (my) Ten Ren

This lovely old barn is from the Ballenberg Outdoor Museum in Switzerland. The Swiss have gathered up over a hundred old structures and preserved them in a huge park which would take days to see. They have costumed folk who interpret and are busy doing old crafts, making foods, caring for historical breed animals. It is a lot like Williamsburg in that respect. There will be number of pictures from there to follow.

I guess our flirtation with summer is over. We went out last night at 81 degrees and came home to 47! It is cold, damp and gray today. It is supposed to freeze tonight, so I cut some of the half-open magnolias to bring in so I can enjoy them. If it does freeze, they will be brown slime in the morning. It absolutely poured, so I brought in bunches of squashed daffodils as well and they perked right up.

Naturally, when one is chilled, one's thoughts turn to tea. I had 2 more Ten Ren tea bags from my swap friend, so I thought I might as well finish them. The first is called Ten Wu. Again, it is a paper bag, but there is no gusset. I brewed it as usual at about 190 degrees for 3 minutes. I loved the smell, vegetal with a floral and cream overlay and what I can only call an Asian base note – that scent that reminds me of Asian markets. This seemed like a heavy Oolong, with acidic or bitter notes along with the creamy ones. I liked that about the tea. Sometimes oolongs are just too light-weight and today was cold enough a sturdier tea seemed better.

The last of these Ten Rens for the moment is a Ti Kuan Yin. There is a definite smell of orchids from the brewing tea, which I love. The liquor is a medium amber – much darker than I expected. It is also a much more heavily roasted Oolong than I care for. It tasted heavily vegetal, with some sort of nutty tanned leather accents. Not for me, although I know many others prefer these more roasted Oolongs. I guess a medium roast is as far as I want to go.

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