To do’s: ____________

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It has been a while since the last time I posted on my blog and I just desperately wanted to write something, as the last thing I published was a Happy Holidays message back in December of last year. I can’t believe six months have passed but it really feels like yesterday. When you have a 16 months baby time flies and months feel like hours!

Besides being a full time mum, I have been working on another important project for me (that most of you already know) and that I will soon dedicate a new post to write about it, but today’s post is more like a personal reflection that I would like to share with you.

Two days ago I was saying to Ale my husband that, instead of blaming myself for not writing with the frequency I would like to or feeling bad for not being as active as I used to, I should write from where I am now. A bit like “seize the moment” kind of drive instead of trying to find the right time to do things that never arrive and then complaining about it. To be able to use what you could feel like “obstacles” as opportunities and adapt, be creative and do things in a different way. It might seem obvious but it just clicked.

So this is how it goes…

I haven’t stopped drinking tea every day but I stick to my comfort teas and drink them as swift as possible without being too ceremonial.

I drink less tea during the day because I am still nursing and I cannot drink too much caffeine, so my one or two daily cups are sacred.

Most of the times my hot tea turns into iced tea as it sits on the table for while before I can drink it.

Gaiwans are getting dusty on my pantry as I just stick to a mug/cup or a small teapot for two cups.

Japanese greens and oolongs are my number one choices these days. Pu-erhs, white and black teas are less likely to be chosen.

Rare tea findings are very well kept for those moments where I make time to prepare them properly and that is usually when I am doing reviews. (I am actually really happy as I have just received samples from Japan and I cannot wait to taste them).

I am always thinking about new post ideas that I usually write down on my notebook and not on my blog.

Sometimes I use paper filters to make tea so I can drink good tea without the paraphernalia (which means less washing and tiding).

When I have had my limit doses of caffeine I drink a cup of decaff earl grey with soy milk and it tastes like heaven!

I have expanded my tea ware collection and still have few yixing teapots waiting to be prepared before its first use.

I follow and enjoy reading tea blogs from fellow bloggers. They keep me up to date!

I celebrated my baby’s first birthday with tea. Oh, and now when you ask her: what is mum drinking? She replies: tea!

As I write this post it doesn’t feel like one task from my “to do” list but as something that I really wanted to do. I could have taken a nap as my baby is doing right now but I think I have somehow liberated myself from my own pressure of being able to do everything at the same time or the feeling of not meeting the expectations of updating my blog as I used to. It is about acceptance, I guess. There is a time for everything and this is where I am right now. As Deepak Chopra said in one of its multiple meditation messages: “I accept where I am, here and now” and I would add “and I am thankful for it”.

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A tea toast!

Six months ago I became the mother of a baby girl named Gala. Since we got the news we couldn’t stop imagining the moment we were going to meet her and have her with us. In January the 2nd she was born and our lives have been boosted with the sweetest and most loving energy we can possibly imagine!

When I knew I was pregnant I reduced tea consumption to a minimum, once in a while I would sip a bit of jasmine green or maybe an earl grey but very little. So it was a long pause for a tea lover like me but it was something that just happened that way: I didn’t want to drink too much tea and my body didn’t ask for it either.

These days I try to have one cup in the morning when time allows me. The good thing is that my husband also likes tea and either of us will find the time to do it. Although there are not long breakfast with endless cups of teas anymore and there is less time to sit down and write about it, tea is still here.

I believe there is a time for everything and even though I wish I could post more frequently and take more photos, tea is in our lives as it should always be: intimate, simple, ours.

I was meant to write about this journey few months ago but the time is just right today, the day our baby is turning 6 months old. Today we toasted with a nice Cui Yu to celebrate her arrival and had a delicious tea us three.

Tea to celebrate, to wake up, to pause, to relax, to start the day, to think, to be happy… To toast to you Gala! Happy 6 months florecita!

Korakundah Tea

Korakundah – Organic Black Tea

Late last year I received a package with two amazing teas from India. There were given to me by Naveen Murugesan -who kindly contacted me on his trip to Barcelona- and whose brother in law owns the factory in Nilgiri. Unfortunately we didn’t have the chance to meet in person but we were in touch by email until I had the package with me.

The tea brand is Korakundah, a name given after the plantation where these teas are grown and produced. According to the Australian Tea Masters, Korakundah plantation in India is the highest altitude tea factory in the world at approximately 7000 feet and they belong to the United Nilgiri Tea estates Co Ltd (UNITEA).

The two teas that I received are an organic white tea, a rarity from Nilgiri, and a classic black tea typical of this region.

Thank you Naveen for being so kind and contacting me during your stay in Barcelona. It has been a pleasure to taste these teas and to be able to enjoy many cups just for myself. I hope you enjoyed your visit and I look forward to tasting more of these delicious teas in the future.

For more information about Korakundah teas please visit:

http://www.korakundahorganictea.in

Autumn essentials

Autumn essentials by Teascopia

Autumn is definitely one of my favourite seasons, the crisp and clear air is so refreshing and invigorating!

Even though I tend to drink more oolongs and green teas all year round and perhaps more black teas during the winter, in this season any warm cup of tea is a great option. Choosing which one to have is a very personal choice and it depends of so many things: our mood, our personal preferences in general, our day ahead and the precise demands of our tastebuds. In today’s post I just wanted to make a list of my 4 autumn all time favourite teas (+ 1 rooibos), the ones I keep repeating every year and share it with you:

  • Cui Yu Oolong: creamy, luscious, floral and aromatic, this exquisite Taiwanese oolong is a great choice for every season. It is always surprising and pleasant.
  • Mao Feng: vegetal, aromatic and sweet, this green tea is light but with lots of character. A good option for breakfast, lunch or as an afternoon tea. I like to make it a bit concentrated in a porcelain gaiwan.
  • Earl Grey: the bergamot scent of this tea is so uplifting and the blend so balanced and heart warming that I just love it. This is one of the few teas that I usually drink with a splash of soy milk.
  • Second flush Darjeeling: Aromatic, light, fruity with the characteristic charming muscatel taste that makes it an all time favourite.
  • Natural rooibos: Although I am not a big fan of rooibos, it is nice as a caffeine-free option. During these cold seasons I prefer it over a light herbal infusion. I like its silky texture and vanilla-like taste.

What are your top five for this season?

Ready for winter? 😉 xo

Bontemae in Barcelona

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Few months ago I attended a Bontemae class at Matcha House Europe, in the barrio of Gracia in Barcelona. Bontemae is a “simplified” version of chanoyu, the Japanese tea ceremony, but it is still very complex, deep and difficult to perform. It is based on the same principles of the full ceremony only that it is performed in a tray on a table instead of on the tatami at the teahouse.

Our teacher was Nuria, a Japanese Spanish teacher that has been studying chanoyu for more than 20 years in Japan at the Urasenke school. We were five people around the table from which just three of us were students. Together we shared an amazing two-hour class, watching carefully, learning, practising and contemplating the grace of each movement she performed. We learnt how to clean the utensils, how to whisk the matcha, fold the “chakin” (the silk cloth) among other things, and we practised the whole routine at least couples of times. We ate our “okashi” and enjoyed every minute of the class.

One of the things I appreciate the most about the Japanese Tea Ceremony is the level of detail, the simplicity and the complexity of what seems obvious and simple; the acknowledgement of space, surroundings and the ceremony or ritual itself. The respect for everything and for everybody, the feeling of full awareness and what this all mean to you in a personal way.

I treasure every tea ceremony or class I have attended, each one has been unique and has taught me different things. I love the opportunity it provides to connect to the simplicity and the beauty of things, to share just by being there and the way it makes everything so special. It always leaves me a feeling of fulfilment and peace.

I want to finish this post with the phrase Ichi-go ichi-e (一期一会), a concept that I love that is also connected to ‘the way of tea’ that has been translated as “one time, one meeting” or “one encounter; one opportunity”. Meaning, roughly, that every moment is unique and it cannot be repeated the same way…. That always remind how important it is to enjoy life in every way possible.

Thank you Matcha House and Nuria for this opportunity, I hope we can enjoy another class very soon!

https://thematchahouse.com

 

Grey’s Teas

This month I received tea samples from Grey’s Teas, a brand that I had heard of but that I hadn’t have the chance to try so far. So, I was fortunate enough to be contacted by Richard Grey, his founder, to taste and review some of their teas. I chose samples that were new for me so I could also take the opportunity to discover the brand through teas I am not familiar with.

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Tai Ping Hou Kui

I find it light bodied, quite vegetal but also nutty and with toasted notes that remind me slightly to hojicha. Spinachy, a bit citrusy as well almost like lemon. Aftertaste quite toasted like tobacco and wood. Judging from its appearance, I never imagined these distinctive roasted notes coming out of this green tea.

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Kenya White Lelsa Silver Tip

Wet leaves have citrusy aroma like passion fruit or tamarind. The flavour is like hay with a dark chocolate long aftertaste. The color of the liquor is yellowish, not so pale to be a white tea. Quite an interesting discovery!

Formosa GABA Oolong

Wet leaves smell like dried plum. It is very fruity and heavy in the mouth, round and velvety. Low astringency, notes of pineapple and a toasted end. And, on top of that, you get all the benefits of GABA in one cup! This formosa Oolong was my overall favourite.

Thank you Grey’s Teas for the samples, it has been a pleasure to taste them all!

http://www.greysteas.co.uk