Saturday, 28 May 2011

tea that flowers

I've made a point of including topical events in this blog. I continue to believe that anyone can write a blog entirely about tea, but my challenge has been to write about other things going on in the world and their thin or even questionably-existent connection to tea.

So, the Indy 500 is this weekend. I suspect some of the people sitting in their lawn chairs near the Indianapolis Motor Speedway are drinking tea. Not very many, but I could wax poetic about what the perfect tea for such a situation might be.

We also have the Champions League Final this weekend, and like last year, I could watch the match and ponder which tea I might serve each player as they play well or poorly. In addition to that exercise, I described a little about what the Champions League is in Tea Voodoo.

But instead, I'm going to do a very typical teablog post. When we were trading tea a while back, Neil from Neil's Yard gave me a few samples of flowering tea from Canton Tea Co, and I'm only now getting round to trying it. The way the company describes it is quite informative, so check it out here.

It's what they call Golden Glow Flowering Tea, and I felt a bit like the whole ordeal was like a science experiment. You start out with a little wound-up ball of what they apparently want you to believe is tea.

The crucial piece of information is to use hot but not boiling water. Sure enough after just a few moments in the water, the little bulb opened up to show a concoction of flowers and white tea leaves (See the photo at the top of the blogpost). If you see Silver Needle Tea for the first time, you know immediately where it got its name.

I should've stated at the outset that I'm not big on white tea. For a long time, I'd drink it before I went to bed. Later I found out that some white tea has plenty of caffeine. Just because the taste is subtle definitely does not mean that the tea is weak or caffeine free.

So what did I think of this flowering tea? It was tasty, but not overly so. The aesthetic of the flowers were really nice, and I can see why the company advertises that this is a nice idea for a gift. While I was drinking the first cup, I should've poured the second cup out of the glass. Because I waited, that second cup was overly strong. It was a perfect example of why one shouldn't over-brew a tea.

Although this isn't a tea I'd drink everyday, I can certainly see myself serving this to guests who find my everyday black tea to be too bitter. Light and delicate flavours that would be a nice tea after a meal. Either served with dessert or in place of it entirely.

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