Sunday, November 13, 2011

Spring In My Cup

One of my favorite places - a monastery in Sorrento, Italy.  The pillars are all reclaimed from other monasteries that closed, some are quite ancient.

Yesterday was a beautiful day in every way.  Some good friends called and wanted to play hooky - of course we would join them.  Downtown Owego was having a "Grand Reopening" of all the stores that are able to and there were sales and music and jugglers, cats and dogs all prettified and the streets crowded with shoppers, not repair trucks.  The shop keepers looked worn, but happy to be functional again and people, including me, were buying presents and other stuff.  It is wonderful to have our town coming back.  There were also a raft of benefits for various churches, the theater, etc. who still need renovation.  The sun shone on a happy day. I noticed in our very local paper, that the Briar Patch, home of some very nice teas, has also re-opened, sadly not here, but she is open and for that, I am thankful

Speaking of tea, Tea Sommelier Cynthia Gold has received a top award from the organization of Women Chefs and Resterauteurs for "Women Who Inspire"  Cynthia has written a cookbook using tea, developed a tea program at one of Boston's big hotels and teaches about tea extensively at culinary schools and conferences.  She was thrilled to receive this award, which usually goes to women in the wine industry.  She feels this is a recognition that tea has come of age in the food and drink world, receiving the recognition we know it deserves.  I am impressed and excited and I hope you are, too.

Alex Zorach has made major changes to his website over at  You might want to go over there and check it out.  This is a really good site and if you haven't checked it out, go and read up on your favorite teas.

Oops - I described yesterday's tea as green, but it really is an Oolong.  I shouldn't make assumptions.

On tap for today is Serendipitea's Forever Spring Oolong.  These tightly wrapped little green pellets give off an orchid aroma, crossed with a whiff of white kindergarten paste, so I know right away this will be a comforting tea. lol  It is from the Song Bo region of  Nantou, Taiwan, where it is harvested on a nearly year-round basis.  I brewed it with water about 190 degrees for about 2 minutes.  As it brews a more lilac aroma comes out.  This is one of those teas you should use a glass container to brew in - it really is fun to watch these little pebbles stretch and unfold into long stems and leaves.  You find yourself unable tobelieve such big leaves could ever be rolled into such tiny-ness.

The liqueur is a very pretty pale yellow green and after 2 minutes the leaves are not yet fully unfurled.  Oh gosh, I'll have to do a second brew!  The first is a lovely delicate sip, but no clear flavors discovered yet.  I think I will let it cool a bit.  Hmm, that is worth it.  It is subtle tea, honey like with a bit of an astringency, like you might get from eating fresh pineapple.  I think there is definitely some lilac flavor there as well.  The orchid seems to have disappeared.  It is one of those teas that keeps beckoning you onward, to have more and more, as each sip seems to be a bit different from the last.

The second cup has brewed for 2.5 minutes and is a pure, clear, light green, with a faint orchid scent, combined with a plain steamy one, which I can't describe.  There might also bee the barest hint of rose on the far edges.  It is a subtler, more orchid rendition of the first cup, and like it, it calls you onward to have more and more.  So I am going to leave you all and go indulge myself.  If you would like to, go to and get some, it's worth it.

1 comment:

Alex Zorach said...

(I'm still quite behind on blog posts and catching up reading now.)

Thanks for the kind words about! =)

I have not tried this particular tea you mention from SerendipiTea, but I recently tried a bunch of teas from them (I haven't yet posted most of my reviews) and I was solidly impressed. SerendipiTea definitely has their own sort of characteristic or signature quality...they seem to have a lot of unique blends that are both well-executed and unlike what most other tea companies offer, but they seem to have good pure teas as well.

I really like the floral fragrances that a lot of greener oolongs have, and I especially like ones that exhibit the lilac-like quality that you describe, I think it's a lot rarer than the orchid-like quality that I've found in a lot of Dong Ding, Qi Lan, and some greener Tie Guan Yin.