Sunday, November 27, 2011


Darstten Village 
Joy to the World,
The Lord has come!

The season of Advent has begun, the joyous waiting for the celebration of the birth of Christ.

What tea shall I celebrate this with? I don’t like most of the holiday teas because they have too much clove in them, although Stash does a nice one that tastes like those chewy peppermints. Upton’s ZK55 wins for today. It comes from Sichuan Province, Zao Bei Jian Congou. The small black leaves look nothing like the picture in the on-line catalog, which are quite long and twisted - perhaps a shipping issue.  They are black, however, and give off a sharp, winey smell, almost like a Keemun.

I brewed it up for 4 minutes with boiling water. The liquor is a dark, golden amber, with an almost malty smell. Indeed, the first sip reminded me of an Assam. However, there was much more going on here and the further I went in my cup, the more intrigued I was. There was the edginess of dark chocolate, followed by butter brickle and caramel, with a hint of an oak finish. Good grief, I sound like one of the snooty wine tasters, or snooty tea tasters. Well, that is what it tastes like to me. When I added milk it seemed to settle into something reminding me very much of good, homemade butterscotch pudding.

The sun is heading towards sundown and the lovely light is turning the bog trees a misty gold. It is kind of an enchanted moment, with the slim darkness of pitch pines before it.

The nature beat:

I saw a forsythia in bloom today, perhaps in celebration of this time of year? I wish, but it really is because our weather is so peculiar, the poor thing is confused. It was over 60 today - about 25 degrees warmer than it should be at this time of year. We are enjoying it, but we are concerned about the plants and animals.

We were visited by a very lazy bear - it only ate one suet holder, but left a very rank smell behind - even the bears are confused. - They should all be tucked up in their dens, hibernating until spring.

I also saw a flock of Canada geese taking a nap in the sun. There were about 30 of them, with 4 “watch geese” at compass points, alertly viewing the surrounding scene.

1 comment:

Alex Zorach said...

I found this tea, the Sichuan Zao Bei Jian, really interesting as well. I also found woody tones in the aroma, you can see what I wrote on RateTea's page on this tea. I came up with a similar description, it was very complex and I wanted to use a lot of different words to describe it.

Your post made me laugh! =) I also found myself sounding like one of those "snooty tea tasters".

I've seen a few odd things here, a few buds on a magnolia tree looking like they were about to sprout. The weather has definitely been unseasonably warm, although today it's cooler, and back to the normal range for this time of year.