We have had a lot of rainy and dark days in Seattle this winter (not much for news, I know). This morning, I was awoken by sunshine in my room and I knew it would be toasty warm at the tea shop today, which made me happy. The tea shop faces south. When it's very sunny during the winter, the sun will come into the shop directly. Today is one of those days. It's bright and warm inside. I suddenly thought of the Baozhongs that I haven't had much of in a while. I have been drinking darker Oolongs and high mountain teas for the past few weeks.
I decided to taste Farmer's Choice Baozhong and Hon. Mention Baozhong side by side. The rinsed leaves of Farmer's Choice has a hint of seaweed and those of Hon. Mention carry that typical Baozhong floral note. As I proceeded to drink the teas, I found Hon. Mention Baozhong to be very pleasant, light, and floral. When I sip the Farmer's Choice Baozhong, there is a new flavor that I haven't noticed before, some sort of special and nice prune taste. It reminded me of a specific type of dried plum that I can get in Taiwan. It's extremely dry and hard and tastes salty, sour, and sweet. As kids, we would take one and put it in our mouths and slowly suck the flavor out. On hot summer days, I liked to take a couple of them and soak them in a glass of water until the flavor infused into the water. Then I would add some ice cubes to make a refreshing drink.
While I was thinking all of this, I noticed that I was drinking Farmer's Choice Baozhong really fast. I suddenly realized how much I was enjoying it. I was enjoying the simpleness of the flavor, the cleanness of the liquid, and the well-balanced texture and feel of it in my mouth.
I was sitting in the shop, sipping the tea, looking at the people and cars going by. I thought about how most people must have grabbed at the rare chance to enjoy sunshine today, and I was enjoying the sunshine from inside, thinking of some place very far away. Taiwan, I'll be back soon..............