Saturday, March 26, 2011

By the Mighty Brahmaputra

A church gargoyle. I'm not sure why it is inside - perhaps to frighten
people into good behavior?

I guess the winds of March are upon us, winds designed to begin drying the earth from all the melted snow. We have a little problem, since we still have snow. But we have sunshine and that makes up for most of it.

I saw an ad in last week's Time magazine about technology and tea. I am always pleased to see tea ads in national magazines, I think it indicates that tea-drinking is on the rise. Always good to know.

Today I am having an Assam tea. If you remember your geography, Assam is in the far Northeast of India, near Yunnan in China. The Indians and Chinese argue over whether it is Yunnan or Assam that was the birthplace of tea. However, their teas are quite different - different types of bushes and Yunnan is mountain tea, whereas Assam is a hot humid valley - that of the mighty and sacred Brahmaputra River. I hope I spelled that right. It is more of the lot I bought from the American Tea Room and is a single estate tea - Hajua Sessa STGFOPS which means Super Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe Souchong. The last 3 words refer to leaf size.

Now that we have all that under our belts, let's get to the tea. The dry leaves are a mix of colors, ranging from beige to black. They smell of dry wood in the sun. I brewed it at about 195 degrees for 3 minutes. You can't brew Assam too long or it can be very tannic and unpleasant. The liqueur is quite dark and has a somewhat malty, nutty aroma. That is also the taste. It is very smooth with just the barest touch of astringency at the end. A very easy drinking tea.

No comments: