Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Sunny Azores Isles

Did you know that Starbucks, that ubiquitous purveyor of that other hot liquid is hoping to sell top-quality premium Darjeeling? They are negotiating with the Darjeeling Tea Board for a license to do that. This is necessary in order to label it "Darjeeling". Y'all know they bought Tazo Teas way back in 1999? I guess they really want to corner the market on drinks. Is Hershey or Nestles next? Someone ought to tell them that bigger is not always better.

There is another new tea infuser out. This one apparently let's you squeeze as you infuse so the tea leaves are "massaged" and thereby infuse faster and it works especially well with larger leaf teas. If you feel you just have to have another gadget in your life, go to for more information. Personally, I probably have enough, but there's this little corner on the tea shelf.....

Who am I kidding? Tea shelf? It's more like shelves, drawers, boxes. Which is why I am getting rid of teas I don't like or are too old to be good any longer. The latter goes in the compost, which is about ready to harvest, at least from the oldest bin. Such nice black dirt. Now, if it would stop raining enough to be able to plant the rest of my trees and shrubs.... We did have sun today - from 6:58 to 7:02. Just enough for me to think "Oh boy, a planting day"

I told you I got my order from Gorreana Tea, a company that's been producing tea on the island of Sao Miguel, off the coast of Portugal, since 1883! I ordered the Pekoe and tried some yesterday. It came in a dark blue and silver pouch and smelled wonderful when I opened it. The aroma was deep and nutty - like a really good dark tobacco. My dad was a pipe smoker, so I got to smell a lot of tobacco. The leaves are quite large and a deep red brown. I only brewed it for 3 minutes, but today I am having some brewed for 3.5, with boiling water and a few more leaves.

What a smoothie this tea is. It's just like silk. It brewed up much lighter in both color and taste than I was expecting yesterday. Hence the more tea and time today. I guess the leaves were just big enough they needed both - at least for my taste. The aroma from the brewing tea is nutty and earthy, with some cocoa and floral or sweet notes in it. Even today it is a much lighter appearing brew than I would have expected, kind of a honey color. This is a very gentle tea, reminiscent of walnuts, a bit of tobacco and very very smooth. It takes cream very nicely. I think it would be excellent any time of day - sturdy enough for mornings and made just a touch weaker, perfect for an afternoon with a bit of pastry.

All of Gorreana's teas are single estate grown, using no pesticides, herbicides, etc., but their prices are competative - $13.99 for about 1/4 pound. You can read all about it at . You can purchase the tea there as well. Sororitea Sisters blog also did a review of one of their green teas, available at Put Gorreana Tea in the search box.

I do have 2 very small complaints. The bag is not resealable and there is no English on the packet. I am sure, if they grow an English market they will do so, but exotic is nice, even if I can't read it. The resealable I handled by just plopping it in one of my empty tins. Which I probably also need to weed out. For now, a lot of them are in the attic.

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