This is the exterior of the church with the mosaics and stone work.
Note how small the windows are and how the building conveys, at
least to me, great strength and solidity. Remember how old it is.
I finally am getting around to trying the tea I bought from SERRV a few months ago. This is billed as Himalayan Mountain tea or Ilam Black Tea with mint. I must say upon opening the package, I nearly threw it out. It did smell gently of mint, but it also smelled odd, sort of moldy, sort of something else I couldn't identify. The leaves were all chopped and varied from pale green to brown. As the tea brewed for 3 minutes, I thought it smelled more and more like a green tea – very vegetal. The liquor is a very light amber.
Well, I would hardly call this mint tea or black tea. What it is is either a very poorly processed tea or poorly stored tea. There is no mint flavor and the tea doesn't taste very good. I am sorry to give a really negative report, as SERRV helps many people to make a decent living. I buy many things from them, mostly as gifts, but it doesn't look like tea will be one of them.
On the other hand, I needed to fill out an order from Spices, Etc http://www.spicesetc.com/ and so I bought a sample of their Keemun Tea. It came in a standard spice bottle! In the jar, the tea smelled fresh, but that was about it. The leaves were small and black. I brewed it for 3.5 minutes in boiling water, a heaping spoon of the measure that came with my teapot. The liquor is a very nice straightforward amber. The tea tastes fresh, with a very small hint of smoke, some licorice or sarsaparilla taste, and a kind of woodsiness; lots of flavor action. Lest you think this is surely awful, it isn't, it's good. It just has a lot of nuances to keep your mouth busy trying to figure them all out. They work well together and I would say Spices Etc. did a good job.
It is the most gorgeous day today; blue sky, sun, warm but not outrageous, no humidity, birds singing, cats purring and a new book to read with my new tea. Life is good.
A quick bit of info - the Tea Review Blog www.teareviewblog.com is back! I find the bulk of their tea reviews are thoughtful, well written and cover a wide range of teas. It is worth your checking out.