The community building in Darstetten, Berne, Switzerland, my
grandfather's boyhood home
I read a good article in Cooks Illustrated this morning. It was about the immediecy of sensory input when we are young and how it stays with you. Many of you know I grew up on a farm and many of my referrents to how tea tastes and smells come from that time in my life. For breakfast I had a small red plum that instantly transported me to Gramma 'Duffee's backyard in the hot August sun, with the mist just rising off Schoharie Creek and the grass still wet on my bare toes. It's a good memory, filled with love and thoughts of breakfast, if I would just go and gather the eggs.
This morning I am having the Chicago Tea Garden's Golden Bi Luo. This is a black tea from Yunnan Province, China. I reviewed it last year and I am interested to see how this year's crop is. This is in the style of the green Bi Luo or Snail Spring. The leaves are tightly wound and look like small snails. The can is covered in a rich golden dust from the buds. They smell of wet hay after a rain. I brewed it in one of thos bottom draining pots, so I could watch the dance of the leaves as they unfurl.
This is a tea that really deserves multiple infusions, but it is morning and I can't quite manage that, so it is 3.5 minutes with 212 degree water. The tea smells rich and earthy, a bit like fermenting corn. It is so smooth and rich , with great depth of taste, which is earthy and slightly spicey, so good. I think it may be even better than last years.
Not all of life has to be related to our personal experiences in the past and I think we should strive to appreciate things on their own merits, whether it is tea, sunrise, the downy woodpecker on the suet or friends and family. We just need to acknowledge that we are all inexorably tied to our past, good or bad and go on from there. Each day is an opportunity to enjoy what is before us. Doesn't always work that way, I know only too well, but then, tomorrow is another day. May your day be one of deep appreciation of life around you and may you find joy in it.