Tea 1, Winter 0

Ti Kuan Yin

Ti Kuan Yin

Winter launched another sneak attack this morning under cover of darkness.

As I zombied into the kitchen this morning to feed the cat at you’ve-got-to-be-kidding-me before 6, I glanced out of the window only to see a curtain of white, slushy looking particles zipping by from left to right, sideways on, and at great speed.

What in the name of Lu Yu…?

First things first. Water in the kettle. Set controls for 95°C, warp factor 10. Engage.

Three teaspoons of Ti Kuan Yin go into a large paper tea filter. The kettle clicks off, and I warm the pot and cup.

Filter and leaf are dropped into the warmed pot, and the timer on my phone is set to 2 minutes for the first steeping. While the tea infuses, I get breakfast on – a bowl of berries and shredded coconut flakes, and 2 boiled eggs.

Breakfast calms the hunger-beast, and the tea, a find at a local Asian supermarket, works its magic, allowing one to be both wide awake and totally focused, but also calm and collected. A plan for the rest of the day starts to fall into place.

The first pot is quickly dispatched, and more water put on for a second steeping. I’m still getting to know this particular tea, but so far it seems to be comfortable with 3 “Western” style steepings in a small to medium sized pot, and 6 or 7 steepings in a gaiwan.

The tea has a slightly nutty, biscuity flavour, almost reminding me of a Dragon Well / Longjing, but with the roasted, toasty overtones of an Oolong. Nothing earth-shattering, but a good, clean tasting cup for a fair price (fuller review to follow).

The snow covered beach and bay beyond look almost beautiful, magical, even, as they disappear under and behind an ever deeper coating of what my late father-in-law poetically called “that white effluent”, and a flat, grey, mist.

This frozen vista looks all the better for being admired from behind double glazing with a warm, delicious beverage in hand.

The people that are out and about, either slipping and sliding along on foot, or speedway skidding down the bike-paths, don’t look particularly happy. Even the cars and buses look miserable.

We can subsist by scavenging on the contents of the fridge and freezer for now.

The sensible thing to do is to stay indoors, and keep the tea flowing.

A sound plan, if ever I heard one.

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