A church in Sorrento, Italy.
I can hear a lot of new birds in the woods and the red-bellied woodpecker finally has at least a girlfriend, if not a mate. It is supposed to rain all day and all night and where all that water will go is a mystery, as there are no ditches and the streams and rivers are full and the ground is frozen. We are only in "those d******n potholes" season and not yet into mud.
I made a discovery - if your cup is very full, you can't really smell the fragrance of your tea - it dissipates too quickly in the air. I really like the relatively tall and thin Chinese scent cups - they kind of look like a small juice glass. They do capture the aroma.
I had another interesting tea. This is Arya Clonal Exclusive Autumnal Flush '09 from Darjeeling, India via Thunderbolt Tea. Generally one thinks of Autumnal Flush teas as having a fairly high dose of muscatel grape aroma and taste. Not this one. First of all, it smelled like peanuts, yes, peanuts. I never had a tea smell like that. The brewed tea, as you might expect had a full, rounded nutty, toasty taste. Definitely different, but delightful.
I decided to clean out my teas, giving away or composting the ones I either don't like or are too old. That should take a while. I found some Bolivian Long Leaf from Simpson and Vail, which I reviewed last on Nov. 29, 2009. Then I said it was floral, astringent, vegetal. This time around, with a different year's tea, I found it to be mostly malty and tasting definitely of walnuts. It is earthy, but has a sweet edge that is very tasty and smooths out any roughness you might get from the walnuts and earth. It is always interesting to me to see how tea changes from year to year, even though I want my Prince of Wales to forever be unchanged. I guess I expect blends to be the same but tea from particular place I want to reflect that harvest's conditions.