Sunday, February 22, 2009

White Peony


A jangling of nerves, stretched a little tautly. This is how I am feeling now. It is not an unusual feeling that I have when on weekend-call, which is the case today. The beeper is currently quiescent, but this dormancy is temporary, I know, easily rousing itself with a musical tune of forced merriment. I had it programmed to play something musical rather that having it announce its presence with the audaciously prolonged beep that is the beeper's default. My hope that I would welcome its sound was a ruse that has never worked.

With the sunlight streaming around me through windows, warming the snoozing cats in the usurped armchair nearby, and me in the plushiest seat in the house, it is not easy for me to stir myself with alacrity in order to bolt out the door to the ER when a hospital admission beckons. I needed to calm this hypervigilance of mine and reached into my tea cache for the soothing White Peony.

This Chinese white tea, also going by the name, Bai Mu Dan, has had a hold over me ever since I first tasted it several years ago. In its dry form, the tips are silvery white and longish, flecked with deep green-hued leaves. It brews a yellowish liquor that with the first infusion imparts a clearly vegetal, slightly sweet flavor.

But it is the second infusion that has me truly in its thrall; the sweetness is now gloriously so, with honey-like notes and a full-bodied gentleness.

I sipped from the warm cup while the cats stirred themselves from slumber and commenced a flurry of mutual grooming. The beeper finally sang its tune and I reached over to quiet its tones.

3 comments:

Veri-Tea said...

What beautiful cats you have Cha Sen! :)

I love white peony also, such a complex flavour. I was fascinated reading about its production in The Story of Tea - lots of interesting information!

Cha sen said...

I love watching the cats in repose while drinking tea. It is so Zen-like!

Rebekah said...

Yin, Yang, Depth of Field, Fur :)