By A.C. Cargill
It’s early Autumn, but the afternoon has the chill of Winter, making this a great time for tea. The snaky shadows of tree limbs, stripped of most of their leaves, are spreading across the wooden boards of our back deck. Oak leaves that were once little “factories” turning sunlight into energy now lay crumpled in the corners of that deck and in wind-raked piles around the flower beds and the corners of the yard. Dark gray clouds scuttle across the sky, carrying their premonition of snows to come.
I need a tea that fits this setting and mood, one that fills me with delicious “tea-ness” and warmth, one whose fragrance and taste stir my heart and imagination. And something that won’t clash with my Red Apple Wreath scented candle.
The fruity flavor and aroma of a tea like Peach Tree Black would certainly be a good option. Inhaling the scents of peach and tea as the steam rises from the cup and sipping slowly to take in the peachy tea goodness would bring to mind languid and sultry Summer nights. Those memories would chase away the feeling of chill that makes me pull my sweater tighter around me as I see the Autumn wind swirling those dried up leaves.
Maybe a cup of Oasis Mango White Tea, its tropical fruit taste, filled with sweetness, invoking mental images of white sand beaches in the Bahamas, would lift my spirits on this day when the Earth lies napping. The delicate flavor of those tender white tea leaves combined with that fruit flavor would keep my tastebuds fluttering like the wings of a hummingbird seeking nectar from Springtime flowers.
Each of these choices I set aside. While they would transport me, albeit briefly, to a warmer clime, I embrace this Winterish Autumn day and go for the Pecan Tart Black Tea. As it steeps, I envision a crackling fire in the fireplace, its logs releasing their essence into the smoky yellow-orange flames whose heat radiates out and takes away the chill from the air.
This tea also goes well with desserts, so I think that a nice bit of apple crumb cake would be appropriate. Well, maybe not. Too many sweets…
The tea is ready, so I pour a mugful and walk over to the patio doors to look out over this afternoon of shadows, wind, and Autumn sun (a pale version of its Summer self). I inhale its sweet, nutty fragrance and shiver slightly, then feel my hubby’s hand slip into mine as he stands beside me, his own mugful grasped firmly in his other hand. Silently we sip as the sun continues westward, pushing the shadows ever closer. The birds hop among the piles of loose leaves, seeking their next meal, as squirrels forage for nuts, find some, then bury them in a spot soon forgotten. The last straggling leaves clinging to the branches lose their hold and descend in a zigzag pattern to join their brethren. All while we sip.
As the last drop passes our lips, we both sigh. The Autumn night is upon us. Time to dream. We turn from the glass patio doors that are morphing into mirrors as the darkness grows. The scent from the candle tickles our noses and sends us to refill our mugs. The taste of the new mugful of tea brings out the poet in me:
Winter’s nap yet o’er month away,
But scene I see shows Winter’s gray!
The leaves that hang are still all golden
And they do then my heart embolden.
Check out A.C.’s blog, Tea Time with A.C. Cargill, for more great writing!