A deep and abiding love of Oriental Beauty

A deep and abiding love of Oriental Beauty

My first Rooibos, yes, EVER!

When I posted last week that a Canadian based tea and tea wares company, Zen Tea at www.zentealife.com had sent me thirteen samples with my kettle order, one of the tea snobs I had just met, sniffed at me and said, "Rooibos is not tea". She also clearly disapproved of any teas scented with even the most honest of jasmine blossoms. So I know this fine lady represents a lot of people, the purists, and I wondered, "Will I become a purist?" Scoffing at tea bags happened almost instantaneously after I tried gongfu! My gawds, will I become a sniffer of others tastes and a looker-down-upon-er of things like Rooibos?

And the answer is, No. I will not. Just as I am known as an avid, sometimes nutty bird-watcher, pulling over to the side of the road to not miss a kestrel overhead, yet refuse to learn and document the taxonomy of the species, so too shall I drink my teas, my tinctures, my elixirs, my what-nots without worrying over-much about origins. Just be in the moment, be with the tea. Easy-peasy. I am, after all, a newbie. This is the time to explore.

The Rooibos I tried is lovely. It is Vanilla Almond and the package reads thus;
'Fruity with sweet notes, Vanilla flavouring gives the rooibos a wonderful exotic jazz depth. Exceptionally smooth herb with mysterious character and subtle notes of fresh vanilla.'
I could write it up better but that's not half bad. I don't know about 'exotic or 'jazz', for me it's very much....Well,ok, maybe some Coltrane, yeah I can see that, but no exotic locale please, for me this is a home brew. My home. A fire, a blanket, the jazz, and this tea.

I had no idea how to prepare it and of course didn't want help. First thing I did while pondering the tea in its opened package was to eat all the tiny paper thin slivers of the almond right out of the bag. (Yes, I did. You wanna make something of it? I didn't think so.)
I looked at it, weighed it out, over 6 grams, considered putting the whole thing in my 'teavana' infuser which I did not, considered halving it and doing it in my 120 ml gaiwan, but it looked too small separated from the rest of the sample so in the end I did it up gongu style. Medium gaiwan of 180 ml, the whole sample, 205 Fahrenheit, flash brewed every steep. Gorgeous color, the aroma could fill the house! With its warm tender and 'winter is coming' promises I loved every sip of it. As you can see I also didn't know what vessel to drink it out of and went for a rice bowl!