I finished The Disappeared by Kim Echlin on this past Sunday’s return flight from Chicago and was aghast to find that my next shipment of literature had yet to arrive from my favorite online bookseller. (The El Paso Pony Express must’ve come upon a sandstorm between here and Wichita.) But this delay is probably for the best as I am working the final copyedits on my own novel The Baker’s Daughter before she goes to press. Are there rules against reading your own work at the Thursday Tea Party? I’ll throw down the tea party hostess card and declare reading your own work permissible. So here I sit, on the edge of my seat, heart slightly racing from the caffeine, the plot and the fact that my gorgeous second daughter (in the book baby realm) is nearing the end of her gestation and about to be born into the world.
In Chicago, I had the good fortune to stumble on the Teavana shop in Water Tower Place on Michigan Avenue. My husband, dear Virginian friends, and I were taking cover from the torrential rain outside when I spotted the glorious sign and wall of airtight tea tins. They even had free samples of Oolong. Heaven. So for the next 20 minutes I interrogated the Teavana host, Tucker, about his favorite brews. He graciously obliged and pulled five tins for me. Two green and three black. After a good wafting, I decided on a new black leaf this season, the Capital of Heaven Keemun. Here’s the scoop on it:
Keemun, known as ‘The Queen of Fragrance’, is a Top 10 competition-grade tea in China. With gently curled firm and slender leaves, this coveted tea brews copper in color, and has a rich smooth honey-fragrant cup with a sweet and mellow ending.
True to the description, the tea doesn’t brew as dark as say, the Orange Pekoe of last week, but the smell and taste are incredible—like drinking the scent of spring honeysuckles. You sense the sweetness, but it isn’t cloying. There’s an herbal, earthy quality that nicely balances. Teavana Tucker described it as “velvety” and it does have that luxurious sip at the back of your throat. Coupled with the unbelievable aroma, the Keemun has quickly become one of the best and most memorable teas I’ve ever had. I wish I would have bought more!
Sarah’s Sipping Summary:
Since this tea is new and unlike anything I’ve ever had before, I believe it aptly fits my reading today. It’s a tea I would drink in celebration just as soon as I would cuddled in summer pajamas on the porch. Currently, I’m having an iced-tea version (in 80-degree El Paso), and it’s a wholly original and equally delicious brew. I could drink this a dozen different times and discover a new flavorful experience in each cup. I think both Reba and Elsie (my main characters in The Baker’s Daughter) would approve.