It's not every day something arrives via Turkish Post. In fact, I'll go ahead and admit this is the first time anything has arrived for me via Turkish Post.
Kedoçay - The name itself is so deliciously mysterious for a Westerner such as me. And the timing couldn't be better. Rocktober is finally over, but the aftershocks are still being felt. My daughter's upcoming surgery, a "Test" program that I'm overseeing at work, and on and on. The daily grind feels like an hourly grind. Being whisked away from craziness via my new friends in Istanbul is very, very welcome. They thoughtfully gifted me with three of their teas. And being a day like today, I decided to indulge in all three.
First, Milan Dancong, which if I recall correctly, is a favorite of +Geoffrey Norman of @LazyLiteratus fame.
This oolong from Feng Huang, China, is much less floral than many oolongs I've been introduced to and has a rather nutty flavor. Very pleasant and rather robust without being harsh. Even as it cooled, it did not take on the bitter quality that I sometimes find. A good find. A good friend.
Next, Huang Shan Mao Feng, a green tea from Anhui, China. As you've learned from my travels through green teas, these have become an acquired taste. It's not always an easy introduction. And yet, every once in awhile, I get an amazing surprise, as I did here. Smooth, smooth, so smooth. Sometimes green teas almost feel like there is a slight texture to them as sip, but no so with this. Lovely, lovely.
Jasmine Pearls from Fuding, China, I saved for last. I've grown an appreciation for Jasmine infused teas since we moved into our current home. Outside my office window is a large jasmine bush that scents the air around our home. It's an aroma that has become familiar and comforting. And Jasmine Pearls, the process of steeping involved all of the senses.
First, feeling the little rolled pearls of tea as I drop them by hand into my cup. Smelling the hint of jasmine. Pouring the hot water over the pearls and watching as very slowly they start to unfurl.
The scent of jasmine increases, and the resulting liquid is a sunny yellow. The flavor, mellow, slightly floral without feeling like you're immersed in a bouquet, smooth and substantial. I steep and resteep.
In a whirl of madness that just isn't quite ready to die down, I am grateful for this moment of Turkish delight, and I look forward to becoming better acquainted with the beautiful minds of Kedoçay.