Maya Angelou died today, and I’m feeling kinda blue. She was an icon… a rock star poet… an inspiration to me for most of my life. When I was a teenager, I saw this unknown woman on TV, reciting a poem which stopped me dead in my tracks, grabbed me by the throat, and left me whirling dizzy with its power and passion and glee. I never knew mere words could do that. It took me about 8 years to track down the writer. Pre-Google, you see. Nobody could help me. The poem was “When I Think About Myself”. Today I remember Maya Angelou as “Phenomenal Woman”. RIP.
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
It’s in the reach of my arms,
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
So, today’s tea is flowers. Flowers for all the Phenomenal Women out there. It’s a Flower Tower by Canton Tea Co, and it’s gorgeous! I drop the ball in water, not knowing what will unfold. Every one is a surprise!
It opens slowly. I see two colours coming out.
As it opens, the lovely aroma makes me giddy. It smells exactly like corn syrup. It’s sweet, but gentle. As a kid, a favourite treat was white bread dunked in a bowl of corn syrup (I can’t even imagine eating this now), and this tea smells exactly like that! It’s almost like honey… but not quite as pungent. More like honey mixed with butter.
It takes a while, but finally, the glorious tower reaches its full size. It’s HUGE!! It’s TALL! It’s shocking how much flower is in that little ball! How did they do that?! My teapot is only 11 cm tall (4 and 1/2 “) and the Flower Tower fills it completely! On the bottom, there is a nest of green tea leaves (Mao Feng), then 2 large yellow chrysanthemums, 3 white jasmine flowers, and on top, a bright pink globe amaranth. It. Is. Stunning!
The smell is enticing and sweet. The taste is extremely surprising! It tastes like gingerbread! No kidding!! I have no idea which flower tastes like ginger, but this is sweet, buttery, and gingery!! Weird! Delicious! Addictive! I cannot believe it, so I keep drinking more and more. I refill the pot. The second steep is a little less gingery, and a little more floral. But it still tastes like gingerbread to me. The aftertaste is floral and clean. No bitterness. This is amazing! Truly a tea for a Phenomenal Woman (Man, too… and anyone in between).
Thank you Maya Angelou for inspiring me.
Thank you Canton Tea Co for providing me with this Phenomenal Tea!