Sunday, April 26, 2009

Silver Needle

Pleasantly sun-drenched, we strolled through Rittenhouse Square, surrounded by lolling springtime revelers. A tuneful "I am the Walrus" unfolded from a motley trio of musicians, lulling me into a welcomed torpor. My mind -sated from newly-acquired knowledge garnered at a medical convention in this city- gladly soaked in the brilliantly green foliage and the fully-blossomed pink.

Turning into a quieter side street, E and I were greeted by the Remedy Tea Bar tucked into an inconspicuous corner. The tea list was not long, peppered with many blended concoctions. My eyes scanned the list: melon-flavored black, a "dirty" chai, various greens, and finally, Silver Needle. This traditional-style white tea from the Fujian province is harvested in early spring when the plump buds have not unfolded themselves into leaves, and I felt it was only fitting for us to choose Silver Needle on this glorious spring day.

Using cooler water (180 F), I dropped the long, white-greyish leaves into the teapot and inhaled the pleasant vegetal aroma. The downy leaves unfurled in the now pale-golden liquor.

As I sipped from the thin glass cup -the bright sunlight playing with the hues of the liquor through the translucent walls- I felt bathed in a delicate piney and fruity wave. A small cookie -buttercream amidst chewy oatmeal with raisins- did not overpower the more nuanced tea.

We lingered in the waning light, surrounded by the diaphanous red curtains while my mind, mellowed by tea and sweet, was envisioning a benevolent Egg-man.

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