Sunday, August 22, 2010

A Tea Tasting

Deep into summer and notwithstanding the bounty of Michigan blueberries around here, I have not made one clafoutis this year. By this time last summer, I was churning them out and eating them with abandon. I'd devour this dish as it came out of the oven, still steaming and scalding, and have it cold for breakfast the next day. It was my fruity strata, a sweet take on this originally savoury dish.
So I remedied this clafoutis-less situation, and with midnight-blue stains on my fingers, a piping hot blueberry clafoutis soon emerged from the oven to accompany a tea tasting of Silver Needles.
Side by side, I brewed the Fuding Silver Needles and the Zhenghe Silver Needles.

Each yielded a straw-colored liquor, the Fuding more deeply shaded.
I sipped from each cup and let the liquor linger in my mouth. The differences between the two teas were subtle. The Zhenghe was roundly honeyed, without a jarring note. In the Fuding, however, I detected an artichoke-y flavor, a not unpleasant puckering in its otherwise sweet nature.
With the duel between the Silver Needles satisfactorily at an end, I dug into my slice of the clafoutis.


Marilyn said...

Silver needles and blueberry claufotis, yummm!

Alex Zorach said...

This is great...when I read Rishi's description on the Zhenghe Silver Needles it made me want to compare them...but honestly? I am not much of a fan of this style of tea so I would be a poor choice of a person to make the comparison.

It's always exciting when you can detect such a noticeable difference in two similar teas produced in different regions. I'm often amazed at how much I notice when I taste things side-by-side like this.

Anonymous said...

White tea is a summer staple. I have found it to be an antidote to the heat and humidity. When fall comes I lose my desire for white teas.