Sparrow's Tongues, SCOBY, and Sweet Cherries on Week 10.

No 65 takes me to one of my favourite tea-growers: the Rukeri Cooperative in Rwanda produce this lovely organic and fairly traded F.O.P. The long leaves produce a dark russet brew which is strong, but not so much that it feels like a battle (more a good-natured tussle?) Like all Rwandan tea it's rich, nutty and a little biscuity. It works equally well both with and without milk (although it really benefits from a much shorter steep time if you're taking it black) I used 100°c and steeped for 2.5 and 3.5 minutes respectively. 

Rwanda Rukeri tea with and without milk

 This is another of those instances where I wish I could make this post 'Scratch & Sniff'. You're just going to have to take my word for how gloriously scented no. 66 in my ‪#‎yearoftea is. It's Sweet Cherry Rooibos and it tastes as good as it smells. Not only that, it's super-healthy and choc full of anti-oxidants; I started out this morning with a mini-lurgy and after drinking this all day I genuinely feel loads better (and my throat isn't sore anymore.)

Cup of Sweet Cherry Rooibos

 Think I may've spoken too soon on the lurgy-busting decided on the 'big guns' of Kombucha Sencha. To be fair there is little scientific evidence to support any health claims so it's a good job it tastes nice innit? Kombucha is also known as a SCOBY (a Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast) That sounds quite ropey whereas it's actually really tasty - sweet and fruity mixed with the fresh grassy taste of the sencha.

Cup of Kombucha Sencha and spent leaves.

#‎teaoftheday 68 is Chrysanthemum Tea . It's widely used in Chinese Medicine for it's health benefits such as alleviating cold symptoms. It tastes very similar to Chamomile - unfortunately... Maybe if I added a shedload of sugar it might be a little more palatable but that kind of defeats the object of a healthy tea. I may be in a minority as here at Gently Towers it's quite a popular tisane. It's a bit like me: quite fragrant and a little bitter.

Cup of chrysanthemum tea and flowers


I don't know why but I expected this Georgian tea to be proper hefty. It's actually remarkably delicate with a lovely aromatic woody aftertaste. Brewed at 100°c it needed a good 5.5 minutes mashing so if you like tea you can stand your spoon up in, this one's not for you. 
You don't need to be particularly eagle-eyed to spot that I took this with milk; I think next time I'll do it without.

Mug of Gruziya Orange Pekoe with milk.Gruziya orange pekoe brewed leaves.

90°c and 5 minutes steeping was the method for ‪#‎teaoftheday 70 'Red Rosepetal' Absolutely gorgeous IF you like Turkish Delight (which I do because I'm normal...) It's obviously a perfumed tea but doesn't taste 'soapy'. It has the added advantage of being super high in both Vitamin C and anti-oxidants. Apparently it does something with free radicals too but in truth I stopped reading as I got distracted (really?) If you have a yearning to know, Google is your friend. I was just concentrating on how delicious it was and how I'm looking forward to using it for an iced latte. (ooh yes it's also really economical too )

Red rosepetal tea and petals

Oh my, this is a bit spesh. Day 71 comes from Jeju Island a self-governing province of South Korea. A green tea 'Seogwang Woojeon 1st Flush FOP',the 'sparrow tongue' leaves only needed a steep-time of a minute and a half at 60°c to produce five infusions of an aromatic greeny-yellow brew. No astringency but a slightly grassy, and pronounced umami flavour. The particular production methods are specific to Jeju and the Japanese island of Kyushu.

collage of Seogwang Woojeon 1st flush tea and leaves 

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