A very cool church steeple in Austria
50 years ago on April 12, 1961 the first manned space flight took place. It was by the Russian, Yuri Gagarian and lasted 108 minutes. How utterly amazing that was. On April 12, 1981 the first US space shuttle orbited the earth. I often think of my grandmother, who went from horse and buggy to seeing man set foot on the moon. What an enormous change in one life time. Next Tuesday, the 12th, there are going to be many celebrations world-wide, called Yuri Nights in honor of this great achievement. I wonder if Yuri had any tea with him? It would certainly be fitting to have a tea party or two to celebrate.
Today, however, I am just raising my cup to Spring. All the snow is finally gone and my "garage" flowers are beginning to appear. These are tall yellow flowers that I seem to have only seen planted by garages. They are helio- somethings, but I have never been able to figure out which one. I got them from my grandmother's garden long ago and they have trailed around with me ever since. She had a huge stand of them and when we played croquet we were delighted to send an opponents ball flying into them.
My tea today is Upton's TC76, Cecilliayan Estate, FBOPF ExSP, which I interpret as Flowery Broken Orange Pekoe F? Extra Special. It certainly smells that way, as the dry leaves give off an aroma of very, very, good tobacco and tasty blackstrap molasses. The small leaves seem somehow very precise and are adorned with some golden buds. I brewed it for the usual 3.5 minutes with boiling water and was rewarded with an excellent cup. It was rich and sturdy, with a deep malty taste edged with the tobacco and molasses. Yum, indeed.