Finally, I have had some time to retry the Silver Leaf Tea Company's Castleton Estate First Flush. This time I used water that was about 175 and brewed it for about 3.5 minutes. Aha, this time there is a nice fruity taste, with some muscatel [grape to us] along with it. However, the taste really is very faint. I am going to try again with more tea and see, but I am about ready to give up on it and perhaps just use it to cut some overly strong Lapsang Souchong I have.
Speaking of which I am remembering that Lapsang was one of the first "real" teas I ever had and immediately fell in love with it. When we were first married, it was our common winter tea. That's amazing to me, as it is such a strong tea that it really falls into the love it or hate it category, few people seem to be wishy washy about it. Hu Kwa is my favorite, but I appreciate some of Upton's as well. I find that as long as it is sealed well, it keeps for quite a while, too. I have some I have had for 2 1/2 years that is still lovely.
Well, I must say we have wildlife. Our doe with the week-old fawn just crossed the road in front of our house, there are owls hooting in the woods and I think I have heard a ruffed grouse drumming. Best of all, I have seen Baltimore Orioles in two different areas near us, yet far enough apart that I don't think it's the same one. It has been years since I have seen them and I am really excited to hope they may be making a comeback in this area. Our old neighbors in Greene have a nesting pair in their yard this year! Taking time to have tea on the back porch enables me to really appreciate these wonderful creatures around us.