Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Whoopie, WuYi

A first glimpse of Amalfi, my husband's ancestral town. Amalfitano basically means "from Amalfi"

Oh, my friends, Spring is coming! The creeks have started to run, my neighbors snowdrops are about to bloom, and I heard some birds calling this morning I haven't heard all winter! The average daily temperature is rising, the days are longer and I am a happy camper because of it.

We do have to keep a weather eye, however, as some of our very, very worst storms have been in the middle of March. One I remember, it was illegal to be on the roads for several days. Couldn't get there anyway, so it didn't matter to me.

I am a genealogist and was reading the latest issue of Family Tree Magazine, which this month is concentrating on the Civil War era. Before the war, tea was 75 cents to $2 a pound. Right after the war, when the economy was out of control, it was $20-$40 a pound. This was when people were making tops, about $2,000 a year. You can get very good teas for that price today and there aren't any of us making such little money.

This week I have gotten two of my tea magazines, both announcing the World Tea Expo. This is again in Las Vegas, June 24-26. You can find out all about it at http://www.worldteaexpo.com/ . Sadly, the 40% off on educational seminars ended Feb. 11. A bit of a disjunction in timing. I wish there was something comparable in the East.

If you like Laura Childs' books, she has a new one that has just come out, Scones and Bones. For those of you not familiar, these are cosy mysteries whose heroine owns a tea shop in Charleston, SC. The tea info is pretty good, as are the recipes in the back of the book.

On to today's brew! Again, I am fortunate in having a very good tea to sample. Hand Processed Wuyi Shui Xian from Life in Teacup hails from the Wuyi Mountains in China. It is a Heavy Roast, Grade 1, which means it is of good quality. The dry leaves have a roasty/toast smell, I brewed them for about 11/2 minutes with boiling water. The aroma came out even more. I need to say up front that generally I am not a great fan of heavy roasted Oolongs. However, I was very pleasantly surprised by this one. The roasted scent moved right on into the tea, along with some pine. There was also, some smokiness and a bit of tarriness. None of it was unpleasant or at all strong, in fact, I quite liked it. The second infusion, for about 2 minutes did away with some of the smoke and replaced it with a slight fruity aroma and taste. By the third infusion, there was more fruit and perhaps still the barest hint of pine. I wish I had had time for more, as it was so interesting to taste the development of flavors

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