24 August 2012

Tea on the Beach

Phoenix Honey, while dipping my feet into the Atlantic: one of the best parts of August.

16 August 2012

First Up

Sometimes, tea is just tea. I don't mean to diminish its existence or enjoyment, but instead of laboring over its relationship to my conjured childhood memories that are interesting to approximately three other people, it's good to simply drink it. And tell you to do the same.

This Darjeeling First Flush is from the Thurbo Estate, and you can find it from the lovely Camellia Sinensis- along with a slew of other Darjeelings. First Flush has such a clear floral note over its characteristic subtle spiciness; it's become one of my favorite ways to open the day.

"Tea is nought but this: 
first you heat the water, then you make the tea. 
Then you drink it properly. That is all you need to know."

-Sen Rikyu

09 August 2012

The Beauty of Sencha

This year, I've been sitting down to drink with an old tea friend, from back in my compulsive-shopping Ito En days. He's arguably more into Japanese greens than I am (and not arguably far more knowledgeable about them). He also has a tea company of his own now- from what I've tasted, it's some lovely stuff- but one of my favorite things about drinking tea together is how approachable he makes it. (And the fact that he will wait patiently as I ogle his endless photos of tea fields and those gorgeous emerald leaves.)

I've been following his latest journey to the farm in Yame and throughout Japan this summer, and the photos make me want to go there even more.

Sencha is like an another old friend to me. It and gyokuro are the teas that opened my senses, allowing me to actually taste tea. The groundwork for the obsession had been laid years earlier (more on that soon), but it was these particular leaves that lit the match.

04 August 2012

Bailin Gongfu, Again, Part II

I just can't seem to stop drinking Bailin Gongfu. I'm usually able to be magnanimous with tea (much more so than with people), but I've been brewing this one every day lately. Recently, it was the only tea I drank the entire day.

That may not sound extreme, but usually I'm all over the place- black, green, pu-erh, oolong often all have been made, tasted and enjoyed by midafternoon.

So when I had a rare moment last weekend, on a gorgeous summer morning, to sit with one of my sisters- who unfortunately I only get to see once or twice a year now- we of course had some Bailin on the porch while the rest of the house was quiet.

The whole weekend was lovely, but I think that was my favorite part.