I am feeling a little bruised and battered by my schedule right now and I thought I would take a few minutes to unwind with a tea break. I really enjoy pairing a green tea with a sweet, in this case a white chocolate truffle, and I find that it only takes a very little of the sweet to satisfy me when I pair it with tea. The bonus is that tea is good for me and is rejuvenating.
This is a Nepalese tea, and I believe it is the first tea from Nepal I have ever tasted.
The aroma of the dry leaves refreshes me immediately and I can’t wait to taste it. In the pouch I could have sworn I detected the barest hint of smoke, but definitely wood and leaves and crisp fall scent. It is the scent of wood newly laid for a fire on the ashes of an old campfire. Maybe the scent of wood was so strong that I imagined the smoke. Out of the pouch, I hold the leaves in my hand, breathe on them, and smell the new aromas released. Now there is a sharper scent, grassy, root vegetables, and an overlying black tea scent, of all things, perhaps a hint of low grown Ceylon.
The leaves are rolled into balls somewhat like oolong tea, but a little looser and softer. They are dark green with silver stripes here and there. When steeped, they unfurl into large deep green leaves.
The first steep is smooth and sweet, really nice with the truffle. Some teas don’t hold up well with food. This was a gem.
The second steep was strong, so strong that the next time I make it, I will cut the second steep short, keeping it around 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Even though it is on the strong side and has an astringent bite, it is just how my daughter likes her greens. This is good to know, because the tea is more versatile to adapt to your moods and personal preferences. If paired with a full meal, I would probably want it more like the second steep to cut through the heaviness of the food and to cleanse the palate.
Third steep – I cut the time back to two minutes. Ah yes, there it is, the woods in fall. Sweet and smooth again. This is a good warm up for a drizzly day like today. The rest of the dry leaves will be my aromatherapy for the day!