This is a scene from the World Tea Expo in Las Vegas last spring that we will see repeated in just a few weeks in Philadelphia at the World Tea East. MarketSpice is one of the many vendors who will be there showing off their wares. Can you tell I am excited to be going? I am like one of those wind-up dolls you can't turn off. The photo is by Albert Chau.
Even so, this is a big deal. So many of the larger tea events have taken place out West, especially in areas like Seattle, Portland and San Francisco that it is exciting to have this be in the East again. It is an affordable journey for many of us and an affordable business expense for the small business owner.
It was incredibly beautiful out back last night. The sky was a luminous silver tinged with gold and there was a mist behind the green/black of the trees, all seen through a silver sheen of rain. A moment in time, gone in less than a minute, when it all became just regular.
All you fans of Laura Childs’ teashop mystery series now have a tea to go with at least one of her books (Blood Orange Brewing). Today I am brewing Wegmans’ Blood Orange Black tea. It’s been going for 4 minutes at just under a boil and smells wonderful. Makes me wish I had made scones.
The dry leaves are small and dark brown, enlivened by bright orange peel and what looks like some of the inner orange as well. Perhaps it will whisper secrets to the inner me. I guess I am being made silly by all the noisy machines we have around here, now including driveway pavers. Always something new in the neighborhood.
Back to the tea, which smells as luscious in my cup as it did in the pot. It is a very attractive golden amber. Oh my, it is good. None of the harshness or odd tingliness that can come from some flavorings. Just an honest to goodness orange. A wee bit bitter, which to me is blood orange. Perfect with some dark chocolate or a blueberry muffin or some pecan sticky buns. Maybe a great way to wake up as well. Very well done flavoring.
Having said that I must say that it was not until I added cream that I could taste the tea base. So there I was with a liquid tea flavored Creamsicle. Pretty good actually. They should market these for adults. I also discovered the orange flavor lasted a little too long after I was done with it. I just wish the tea base were a little more forward. Otherwise, as good as this is, it is a waste of tea when all you can taste is the flavor.
Gosh, nothing like making myself hungry. A walk will help.
The blue chicory is making clouds along the roadsides, punctuated by the tall brown of some unknown weed, and the little yellow flowers of butter-and-eggs, which we loved as children. The daisies are gone, but the brown eyed susans are flourishing. There are still a few white clusters of wild roses in the woods and the reeds have nice fat brown seed heads.
This morning I was thinking about filling the suet feeders when along came a tiny downy woodpecker. They are usually quiet souls, giving a sharp chirp now and then, but this little girl - no red on her head - let loose a long loud tirade about how I’d best get right out there and feed her. Such a lot of noise from such a tiny being, who only weighs about 2 ounces. Once the suet was out, peace was restored until the ever-noisy jays arrived. They, however, are a bit shy of the red-bellied woodpeckers, who are bigger and have a really, really BIG bill.