Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Jasmine Tea

The apartment next door is lit with in that clear late afternoon light that only comes on a slightly overcast day. It makes all the edges and corners of things look a little sharper than they usually do.

The radio is on. Not headphones, but speakers and subwoofer.

This is why I work from home some days.

I have a tin of Jasmine Downy Pearls from Peet's which is among my favorite teas (do I have any teas that aren't favorites?). The pearls are tightly-curled whole tea leaves; put a few in the bottom of a glass, and you can watch them unfurl in the hot water. Because the leaves are whole, there's no need to use a teaball or filter to keep from swallowing bits of leaf. The leaves are good for several brewings -- I'm on number five with this batch -- and the taste changes with each successive cup.

The floating leaves are wonderful to watch, too. It's amazing how a small amount of dried tea unfurls to fill such a large volume: it makes the cup look like it's full of seaweed. Perhaps it's a Sargasso tea? Except with no eels.

(If you didn't catch that last reference, go find a reference that describes what we know about the life cycle of the eels. I recommend the description in the section titled Slippery Maketos at the beginning of part 3 of The Basque History of the World by Mark Kurlansky; if you follow this recommendation, don't stop with the description of the life cycle and culinary history of the eel -- the rest of the book is fascinating, too. If you did catch the last reference, I still recommend the book.)

  • Currently drinking: Jasmine Downy Pearls green tea