Ah, the Ravenna Church. Can't remember which one at the moment, but
I loved it. Strong and beautiful and over 1,000 years old.
It is a gorgeous day - cooler, sunny, low humidity, perfect! Yesterday, when I got in my car, the car's thermometer said 106 degrees. Good grief, that is tooooooo much!
I saw a really cute idea for those of you who like to do crafts. It is a wreath made from teabag covers - those interesting individual wrappers. Pictures and instructions can be found at http://kojodesigns.blogspot.com/2010/03/kojotutorial-tea-tea-tea-kitchen-wreath.html . It looks to be quite simple and it would make a nice gift for a tea friend.
Ticolino Tea has a clever idea for a tea infuser. It is called a tea stick, comes pre-filled with tea and you just stick it in your cup of water, stir around for 2-3 minutes and Voila! a cup of tea. They look like metalisized carboard with holes in them. Go to http://www.ticolino.net/ and click on "shop on line" to see the full line.
I usually never buy bottled teas, but every now and then, in the interest of blog topics, I do. The one I tried is Black Tea Drink, from the Tung-I company. I should've read the label - sugar is the second ingredient. It includes barley and perhaps that is what gave it such an odd taste. It was also so sweet, my teeth threatened to fall out in protest. After about 3 sips, down the drain it went. I have no idea what sort of tea it was, the sugar totally obliterated it.
I shall have some hot tea this afternoon and report on that.
Life In Teacup specializes in Chinese and Taiwanese tea. Today I am trying one of the latter, Dong Ding (sometimes called Tong Ting) Oolong Traditional Medium Roast. I used boiling water to first rinse and relax these tight little balls, with a piece of stem. You can go to Gingko site to see a picture. Their dry scent was green, floral and straw. I infused them 3 times, but for a lot longer than recommended - 1, 1.5 and 2 minutes. Gingko says if you do shorter times, you get many more infusion. The first tasted kind of straw like.
The second began to smell a bit like osmanthus, with a hint of summer squash. This came out in the taste as well, mixed with dry grass and some greenness. The third infusion was very pale and had little scent or taste, it was much more vegetal than the others. I expected this to have more of a roasted character and I am just as glad it didn't - heavy roasts are not my thing. I think next time I have this I am going to try doing it for only a few seconds at a time, with more tea. I have so much to learn about both Oolong and green teas. Well, really, all of them. I need one of those T shirts - (So many teas, so little time).