Yesterday I mentioned going to the Agway farm store. I think next to libraries, they are my favorite places. So full of possibilities, the mere aroma of feed and dirt and fertilizer starts me dreaming of what might be. There is so much there that is useful or even fanciful. Libraries are so amazing, also - all that knowledge, free for the taking. Again, just the smell of one fills me with satisfaction. All those worlds and times to explore.
Tea is like that. All those countries, all those varieties, all those different processes, different years. The cup of tea may be one that has many nuances that change from moment to moment or from infusion to the next. A tea store or even one's own tea stores are so satisfying.
Today I am going to expand that a bit and discuss 2 teas I have from Life in Teacup. The first is Tong Chang, Small Orchid. This is a green tea with flat leaves, some of which are wavy or 2 leaves and a bud. Their smell is of butter and they have such a good feel in my fingers as I measure them out in my little pot. I tried brewing it for a minute, but that didn't seem long enough, so I pushed it to two. Even so, it is very delicate and reminds me of the taste of the first slivers of grass in the spring that have just barely turned from yellow to green. The second infusion I pushed to 3 minutes and its is still just barely green, but now it has a bit of a floral aroma, along with something like asparagus or celery and that is how it tastes, very refreshing.
The second I must apologize to Gingko for not trying it sooner. It is a 2010 Pre-Qing Ming Weng Jin Shan, Shi Feng Long Jing. I love Long Jing leaves, they so silky, slippery smooth, flat, as though each one was ironed by the very best ladies' maid. They were hand harvested and hand-processed, so that is very close to their treatment. The first infusion, for a little over 1 minute is ethereal in color and scent. It is grass-like, flowery, but ever so delicately. Truly a tea to be savored. The second wash was about 1.5 minutes and the color has just barely come up to pale green. The aroma is still flowery but very crisp, almost flinty, if that makes sense. Not a soft floweriness. The flavor is right there with that also. More flower than grass, but crisp and clean. I certainly see why such a fuss is made over Pre-Qing Ming teas!