Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A Green Afternoon

This is a tiny church on Ischia Island, where the statues have real hair.
It is the church of St. Francis and I wonder if it is the one my grandfather-in-law was christened in. The main body of the building is round.

Have any of you used a tea sock? Not t-sac, sock? These simple handy gadgets are basically a sac of something like stockinet attached to a ring with a handle, for brewing tea. No little bits escape and they are very easy to turn inside out, rinse and reuse. I first saw these in Puerto Rican bodegas in NYC, used for coffee brewing, but they woork equally as well for tea. Isn't it amazing the number of gadgets there are for getting our tea out of the packet and into our cups?

I just used an ordinary Finum filter to make my cup of Temple of Heaven Gunpowder green tea from Golden Moon - another one of those samples. The tightly rolled little balls smell mostly of hay, with a tiny whiff of smoke. I used water at about 180 degrees for about 2.5 minutes. It is a pleasant pale gold. As it brews, the tea smells more vegetal, but still with that slight hint of smoke. This strikes me as unusual in Green teas. Maybe it's the leftover gunpowder. I hope you know that's a small bad joke. Supposedly the tea is called "gunpowder" because it is in such tiny balls, that is what it looks like. I would say more like fine guage shotgun pellets. Anyway, the tea itself is quite refreshing, tasting very green, with no seaweediness or fishiness, for which I am thankful. Amazingly enough, the hint of smoke has carried through to the taste. There's almost a hint of asparagus and there is definitely a full mouth feel to it. Nicely done.

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