Today's tea is Upton's "Season's Pick" Yunnan ZY07 Black Snail. When I opened the packet, I was greeted with a winey, moist earth aroma, with an understory of tangy floral. Already I am intrigued. The little tightly rolled almost balls of greenish black tea resemble the "snail" Oolongs, but are not as carefully and tightly rolled. They seem a good transition into Spring teas, and the smell is intriguing.
I brewed the tea for 4 1/2 minutes, with boiling water. The result is a very dark liqueur and even with the extended time, many of the fairly large leaves have not unfurled, so I brewed them again, this time for 51/2 minutes. We'll see how it is. As it brewed, the first lot smelled wonderfully fresh, still with that sweet undertone. The tea is a tad sweet, tasting somewhat spicey and nutty and of wet bark in the spring. It takes milk really well, which rounded off some of the tannic edges. Four minutes and a little less tea would have made this ideal. The second wash is nowhere near as good as the first, but it will water plants just fine.
The Season's Pick teas are ones that Upton's packages for retail. Bigger packages mean a somewhat lower price. This one for which I would gladly pay full price.
Today is Maundy Thursday in the Western Christian world. It is part of Holy Week, the time from Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem through his "trial", crucifixtion and resurrection, celebrated on Easter day. This will be my last post until Monday, as I spend much of this time in prayer, meditation and worship. I hope that all of you will have a blessed and meaningful Easter and that you will also experience your own resurrection and re-birth.