In a few days time we’ll reach an important point of the year as far as our typical working day is structured.
I like to call it “crossing the 7s“, which refers to the fact that sunrise comes after 7 am, and sunset comes before 7pm, which in turn means that both breakfast and supper are going to be eaten sans daylight in this household for the foreseeable future.
This has already had an impact on my tea drinking habits. The Bai Mu Dan I’ve been drinking first thing since the early Spring has started to feel overly sweet and lightweight, and disconcertingly out of place with darker mornings so cold that you can’t lean on the balcony rail with bare arms.
I’ve fallen back to shu Pu-erh as my “first of the day“, a hard and heavy Western style steeping, 8 grams in 400 ml pot brewed for 4 minutes, a real 100,00 volt jump-start for the system.
Come mid-morning the Japanese greens are just about hanging in there in the shape of Hojicha, thanks to its roasted, darker, beefier character.
Darjeelings are acting almost as a bridge between the light and the dark, with the red tea liquor hinting at Autumnal colours, and the sweet floral notes glancing back over the shoulder at the rapidly retreating summer.
The local geese will be on their way South shortly, and I’m starting to think about letting the greener Oolongs slip towards the back of the stash cupboard, and ordering something with a heavier level of oxidisation that was given a longer whirl in the roasting basket.
These are magical evenings. As we take our evening cup on the balcony the sun drops into the sea Hawaii Five-0 style, and then we light the lantern, and wrap ourselves in blankets.
The sea air is still pleasantly crisp and cool, not yet the sharp and brittle congregation of cutting, slashing, icy needle vapours it will relentlessly morph into all too soon.
Old Man Winter will soon wake from his slumber in the far North, and begin his annual southerly trek.
We’ll be ready for him. I hope he likes Wuyi Oolongs…