Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Jasmine Tea and Strawberries

Today I am having Jasmine Tea.  This one hails from Sichuan Province, China, via Life  In Teacup, one of my favorite vendors.  It's a good thing the packet says green tea, as the tightly rolled leaves are almost black.  They have a very delicate scent of the flower and there are a few petals scattered throughout.  I brew it with water about 190 degrees, as Gingko recommends this.  The resulting brew is a strongish yellow and now smells more like paint than jasmine.  Odd.  The flavor is rather odd as well, it just isn't what I think of as "true" jasmine. It is flowery, but not overdone, more a jasmine bass note.  It is really only as it cools that the flavor comes true and then is one of those with a light taste, but a substantial mouth feel.  I am going to put it in the fridge and see how it is as ice tea.  What ho, gang, it is wonderful ice tea!

At the World Tea Expo, George and Kim Jage were presented with a special award by members of the world-wide tea community for their efforts in  founding and continuing to guide the Expo, as well as their efforts in promoting tea drinking.  Raise your tea cups high in gratitude!

Some very sad news is that the Chicago Tea Garden, run by Tony Gebley and purveyor of some very fine teas, is closing.  He is conducting sales of all teas and tea products.  They will be missed.

This has been quite the day for bird watching.  There was both a golden eagle and a bald eagle fishing in the river, as well as a great blue heron in the shallows, also searching for lunch.  A kildeer was flying over the meadow while an American kestral was seated in a tree.  Brown thrashers were all around, always amazing to me with their true rust color.  We now have not 2 but 3 rose-breasted grosbeaks at the feeder. The blander birds are either both female or one is a young'un.  They are such likeable birds, quiet and business like in their feeding..  There are more single turkeys wandering around!  Ours is recognizable by her oddly colored pale grey wings.

The mammal family was equally interesting as I spotted a couple of gray squirrels with golden tails, highlighted with cream.  We haven't seen much of "our" deer, only one or two once in a while.  last year there were 11, counting the fawns.  The clean up from the tornado was so loud and long, I think they went deeper into the woods.  They are lovely critters, but very destructive.

Oh Happy Day!  Local strawberries have arrived.  This first lot is not the best - too much rain and cold this past week, but by Monday, after a warm week, they should be wonderful.  Of course we had strawberry shortcake for dessert and strawberries on the pancakes for breakfast and strawberries plain and this next 2 weeks will be a glorious pig out of berries, including freezer jam.  Sometimes I love summer.  The farmers market opened and one of the people is offering herbal teas.  Sadly, I had run out of funds by then, so I didn't get any, but they'll be there next week and so will I.

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