Monday, April 12, 2010

S&V does the Earl

Ballenberg Museum, Mountain Cottage.

What a gorgeous day. The hills are almost as colorful now as they are in the fall. There is the yellow green of the birches, the pink of the maples and redbuds, the white of the shadblows, the deeper green of evergreens. Then there is the understory with the acid green of skunk cabbage – really quite beautiful, the yellow dandelions and the blue of gill-over-the-ground, plus the blues and whites of other tiny flowers I don't know and the deeper blue of the first violets. Lovely fresh scents of daffodils and hyacinth and the first grass cuttings. We won't mention pollen or allergies, will we?

I still have Simpson and Vail samples to taste – I didn't realize I had bought so many. I love Earl Gray tea and I am always looking for a new one. Today's is Earl Gray Extra and when I opened the package I wondered what I had done to myself with this one, it is so strong. It almost smells like pine tree cleanser and I wondered if I really wanted to drink it. However, as it brewed, the scent moderated a good bit, although it remained very strong and sharp. I brewed it for 3.5 minutes with boiling water. It is a beautiful bright red-orange color. The taste was a pleasant surprise. While it was a bit on the sharp side, over all it is quite mellow and pleasant, especially with my usual splash of milk in it. The tea was nothing extraordinary. Not bad by any means, but if you are looking for a top-notch tea, this is a middle of the road selection. I'm not sure if one really looks for superb tea in an Earl Gray, anyway. This was good, but Upton's still has my heart in the Earl Gray department.

We accepted the offer on our house and our new one is now officially ready to move into, so packing will now be speeded up and all sorts of list-making will have to begin! We still need to get rid of stuff – ick – decisions. It is a good thing that lots of tea is quite small in the over-all scheme of things.

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