Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Favorite Autumn Things

According to the State Museum in Vienna, this nail [in the gold fame at top middle] is the one used in the left foot of Jesus during his Crucifixion. I sometimes wonder what he would think of all our gold surrounded relics.

It smells like Autumn! There are enough turned leaves, rain, fallen leaves, etc. for that lovely smell to be wafting through the air. If I walk far enough on the edge of the road I can scuff through the leaves and add sound to my list of good autumn things. And in the early morning I can see the deer herd asleep in the meadow. And, I can really enjoy my hot tea!

I ordered a big lot of samples from Culinary Teas and their Imperial Keemun Mao Feng Sacred Garden is on tap for today. Imperial is a quality grade the Chinese use and it is top quality. Since this is not listed as a Keemun Mao Feng "A" it is not the best of the best, according to some. It is considered the best quality of the second grade. I know, all very complicated. I am not sure what makes the difference, perhaps the time of the pluck. For my money, however, I have always preferred the "B" grade, so this is quite fine with me.

This stuff smells terrific! A combination of wine, old wood, and a little smoke, very Keemun. The dry leaves are long and thin, although some are in figure 8s. I brewed this with boiling water and a heaping teaspoon for about 4 minutes. The smokiness disappears in the brewing and the tea now smells of toasted wheat, wood and wine. And very very fresh. It is a very smooth tea, no astringency, but the hints present in the aroma are coming through. The barest hint of smokiness is present, but mostly a deep barrel-aged wineyness. It is a little on the weak side, so next time I am going to throw in an extra spoonful for the pot. It takes a bit of cream very well, but I think I really prefer it plain.

What are your favorite Autumn things?

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