Thursday, February 07, 2008

Tirzah Tea Time

Tirzah Tea Time, originally uploaded by Ayala Moriel.

Escaping the wet snow outside, I entered Dawna’s cozy apothecary-kitchen. The table was already set with a bamboo tea tray and a glass plate laden with linden and tiny orange-almond cookies. Through the kitchen window, embraced with a yellow curtain, we could still see the snow falling straight to the ground, uninterrupted by wind.

Tea time with Dawna is always special. And when there is a new tea-blend involved, even more so. This time, the occasion was our shared tea-tasting ceremony of Tirzah – the new perfumed tea blend Dawna have created to accompany my linden blossom soliflore. Back in June 2007, when Tirzah was lauched, Dawna has created a limited edition blend of one tin only which she named Flora Linden (which is now available as a limited edition tea directly from Inner Alchemy Tea Co.) . It was lovely and floral, but we felt that it was time to re-visit this concept and re-create a tea that is more representative of Tirzah’s woody-floral-green freshness.

Dawna surprised me with orange-almond cookies that were made by Elsa’s Story in no other place in the world but Nahariya – a beautiful beach city which happens to be the nearest to my village in the Western Galilee… She also surprised me with some ideas for our next tea collaboration: a yerbamate-based tea blend to accompany Gaucho (to be released in Spring 2008). The beautiful dried herbs she showed me all resonate deeply with the green yet sweet coumarin qualities of Gaucho… Aside from peaking your curiousity, I will say no more.

The kettle boiled, and Dawna carefully measured the temperature of the water to ensure the delicate sencha leaves that create the base for Tirzah will not get overexposed to heat and release too much bitternesss. Moments later the clear glass teapot was filled with a gentle brew of flowers and leaves. The hops flowers blossomed in the water, floating beautifully like little ballerinas with green organza dresses…

The tea was than strained and a pure, light green liquid was poured into the delicate clear-glass tea cups. While we waited until the tea cooled down a bit in the cups (which brings out the flavours better), we enjoyed smelling the gentle steam emanating from the cups and marveling at the connection between the tea and the perfume that inspired it. Both have a delicate, lemon-woody-floral feel to them. The greenness is spring like and fresh, and delicate and gentle rather than brash and sharp as greens can often come across.

The tea is very pure and delicately smooth on the palate. Tirzah has a unique floral bouquet, interlacing linden blossoms and leaves, hops flowers and the honeyed, fruity-apricotness of osmanthus blossoms. While the lemon peel has a definite presence in the immediate experience of the tea, it is more floral and woody than being remotely similar to a lemonade… And the sencha leaves (two different kind of organic green Japanese sencha tea leaves were used) create a sophisticated, delicately-green, smooth and only ever so slightly tannin backdrop to this tea-tapestry.

Tirzah tea is perfect and pure and should be served with no additional sweeteners that will mask the subtle complexity of its floral notes. Though I might add that the orange and almond cookes served on the side were fantastic, they are by no means necessary for enjoying this beautiful tea.

And not just because I can, not just because it's the week of the Carnival in Brazil (the one I missed out on...) but also because I find this music to beautifully portray the peacefulness of the tea... And if you have Caetano Veloso & Gal Costa's album "Domingo", that would be even a better accompaniment for this tea...

Tirzah perfumed tea is a delicate floral blend based in organic Japanese sencha green tea. Ingredietns: Organic Japanese sencha tea leaf, Wild Linden Blossom Wild Linden Leaf, Organic Lemon Verbena Leaf, Organic Lemon Peel, Wild Osmantus Blossom, Organic Hops Blossoms. All botanicals are guaranteed certified organic or wildcrafted in a pristine environment and tested for chemical residues. Each tin contains 50gr of loose leaf tea. To prepare: bring water to a boil. Wait a few moments before steeping the tea leaves. Steep 1-1/2 teaspoons in 8oz of boiled water, for 1 minute (if you prefer a stronger tea, you may steep it for 1-1/2 minutes, but no more than 2 minutes to prevent the tea from becoming bitter). Tirzah tea is best served unsweetened, and its flavour improves even more when it cools down to room temperature. It is an excellent meditation tea as well as a light rejuvenating tea to be enjoyed throughout the day.
We are now pleased to offer Tirzah for an introductory price of $20 (regular price is $30), when you order it along with Tirzah perfume as part of our Tea Time Gift Set.

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