Shall we rain or snow or shine the sun or sulk? It's been one of those days when you really have a choice. The snow is melting a bit, refreezing. Very undecided. The not-so-dear deer are now raiding the birdseed and peanuts in the daytime, not just the evenings, so I guess I will have to get after them.
Before I get to my tea I want to tell you about some websites that you may enjoy. The first is http://the-leaf.org/ , which is an online tea magazine. It is primarily concerned with Chinese and Japanese Tea culture and is very informative and interesting.
There are 2 tea review blogs that I can highly recommend, very different in character. The first, Rate Tea at http://ratetea.net/ is the brainchild of Alex Zorach. Anyone can sign up to rate teas they have tasted and then go on and read his very interesting and thoughtful blog. The second is http://www.teareviewblog.com/ in which teas are rated by staff. You can sign up for a weekly review of the best teas of that week and you may even win a gift certificate for some free tea.
There are some blogs which participate in Teacup Tuesday and Teacup Thursday. These are days when folks show off their pretty china and some is lovely, indeed. You can get to the former by going to http://www.friendshiptea.net/ which is a very nice blog all on its own, as is the one for Thur days, http://www.missspencersblog.blogspot.com/ . Make sure you put in the three "s".
On to the tea! Today I am going with an old favorite company, Upton Teas. I am having their #TK40, Milima Estate Kenya FBOP1, a black tea. If you recall, the FBOP1 stands for Flowery Broken Orange Pekoe, probably Best - the 1. The leaves are broken and there are golden buds amongst the small black leaves. Dry, there isn't much scent. I brewed it for 3.5 minutes with boiling water. There is a definite, almost earthy aroma that I finally can identify as chestnut before it is roasted. The tea is strong with a solid nutty taste and something that reminds me of wet tree bark. I made it somewhat over-strong as I wanted to use up my sample, but it is a gentle giant, and not overwhelming. It is a smooth, appealing tea that compels me to keep drinking. It takes cream well and Frank thinks it is fine with sweetener. It is wonderful to see that Kenya is finally getting her good teas back.