Friday, January 2, 2009

Meditations on Keemun

I am back at home again after a weeklong stay in my childhood home. I woke up with a lingering desire to sleep in, a habit I was quickly getting accustomed to during this vacation. However, the prospect of my morning cup of tea did have the fortunate effect of propelling me out of the warm sheets. I decided on Keemun Golden Buds, an organic fair trade tea from Rishi.

I proceeded to boil the water with the trusty electric kettle and was excited at using the delicate gaiwan to drink the tea from. It was of an eggshell color, its flaring lips thin, topped with a similar hued lid. I poured the hot water into the gaiwan, spooned 1 teaspoon of the dry tea into the steaming water. It is a different experience to see tea leaves moving so freely, unencumbered from the infuser. The leaves imparted a slowly deepening rusty brown to the liquor. I inhaled the strong aroma, bracingly aromatic. I sipped the tea, maneuvering the lid maladroitly, to keep the tea leaves at bay (I was not too succesful as several stray tea leaves wandered into my mouth). The taste had hints of dark chocolate, with a nice roasty flavor.

As I slowly emptied my first morning cup of tea, I gazed at the wet tea leaves now nestling on the bottom of the gaiwan and had an irresisible urge to read my fortune from those leaves

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