Rainy Days and Earthy Tea

It’s raining today. Right now, it’s really coming down. I can hear the rain pelting my office window, coming down constantly, with little bursts of potency occasionally. The whole landscape is grey and chilly and dreary. It’s a wonderful day to be inside. If I were at home, I would be curled up with a blanket or shawl, probably one of my cashmere shawls, on my favorite chair, with a cup of tea, maybe a book or television show, and a lovely snack that I made because it’s a dreary day and dreary days require snacks.

Sadly, I am at work. While I still have a shawl and a chair, neither are as cozy as being in your own spot at home. And there is no lovely complicated snack. But I do have a cup of tea.

This week is also tech week, which means late nights after long work days, and little sleep in between falling into bed and rising the next morning as the alarm blares so much earlier than one expects it. Little sleep and long days ahead call for fortification and the light oolongs and green teas that enticed me when the weather was warm just are not satisfying me now. So I was pleased to see a sample of Pu-erh black in my Simple Loose Leaf box this month. Today simply called for it.

Pu-erh is certainly an acquired taste, and it has been a while since I enjoyed it, but I love the earthy richness. This Pu-erh has a subtle dirt smell to the dry leaves, but blooms into a complex medly of scents and flavors in the brewed cup. The aroma has a note of fish almost, like really good gardening soil, and opens into a soft, round richness on the tongue, with absolutely no tannin, but a nice mineral quality that makes it feel comforting and uplifting. While Pu-erh is supposed to be high in caffeine, I get no immediate jittery buzz like I do from coffee or some strong black teas. Instead, I get a rising warmth and energy as it works its way into my system.

All in all, a lovely way to greet what promises to be a long day.