Monday, March 25, 2013

winter's last hurrah.

winter stays.

I was very surprised this morning to see heavy snowflakes falling as the sun rose this morning. Nothing had stuck to the grass or roads yet, but I got to watch the snow accumulate through my little window at work. All day people complained about the weather, but I'll admit that I found it pretty and peaceful. We got very little snow this winter so I was glad to see it despite the first day of spring having passed us by.

I took dayshift hours at work and have found myself struggling with the fact that I cannot have tea after 5pm if I want to get to sleep at a reasonable hour. I figured it didn't affect me so much ... until I was laying restless in bed at midnight. Having to get up at 6am daily is a rough transition, and because of that I've had little energy to take photos or write much. I think that period of rough transition is coming to pass, and I'm so relieved.

[instaxmini] tea time.

I'm finally getting around to getting my instax mini shots uploaded to my flickr account. I'll shamefully admit that I was too lazy to take a photo of a physical photograph. Having no scanner makes getting a nice import of my instant shots a bit of a pain. I hope to post many more in the future. :D

I forgot how fun instant cameras were ... but then I also forgot how expensive each exposure is. I wasted quite a few shots trying to figure out how to manipulate the settings. Picked up an extra shift at work, and that will help justify buying another set of film packs (maybe.)

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

laoshan black - summer 2012.

warming the teapot.

Yesterday I decided to brew up some of Verdant Tea's Laoshan Black in my beloved little yixing set. It was a particularly sunny and mild day outside, and the warmth coming in from the windows reminded me of the first summery day I brewed tea in this set. I've mentioned this tea before, but I figure I should talk more about it since I really do love it so! It is so interesting and has a very unique flavor profile.

It is a small harvest tea from an ocean-facing slope of Laoshan Mountain in Laoshan Village. The leaves are very curly, dark, and glossy. When I open the bag I am hit with the distinctive scent of dark chocolate. Smooth, sweet, and strong. The scent is not overly cloying, but it really does make me think of a chunk of chocolate!

The flavor is mild and smooth at first, and leads way into a nutty caramel note from which I get an aftertaste of cocoa. It brews a lovely golden red cup, and carries an impressive amount of flavor despite the color appearing so light. I've never really had a tea that accurately tastes like chocolate without flavoring added! When I oversteeped accidentally, I got a toffee note instead of bitterness. This tea is very forgiving if you are a little bit absentminded after you pour hot water over the leaves! (Thank goodness...)

Verdant Tea instructs the leaves to be brewed for 2-3 seconds at a time, and increasing the time by 3 seconds per each infusion after the third steeping. It seems like a meticulous process, but once you sip at the tea you'll realize it was well worth the attentiveness. I lost track of how many times I infused this last session, but the flavor remained strong and refreshing until my large tetsubin ran out of hot water. 


Verdant Tea recently offered a free trial of the Tea of the Month club, and I signed up! I can't wait to see what they send out to members -- I'm super excited to try teas I might not normally buy!!

This entry is also in memory of my little bamboo tea table. It decided it couldn't bear to live a moment longer and developed a monstrous crack at the bottom. I went away for a moment amidst the brewing and returned to find a pool of tea-water underneath of it, dripping down onto the floor. I've already ordered a cha chuan, but it has yet to ship, and my gongfu time has been put on hold until it arrives! :(