The English Tea Store’s Jasmine Dragon Tears tea is a steamed, hand-rolled, jasmine-infused experience that is not to be rushed. Heated in water just shy of boiling, the pearls unfurl to reveal themselves and the top bud of the plant, still bearing soft hairs, so indicative of a gentle handling and masterful touch. The tea is designed to be sipped, savored, and enjoyed with a deep appreciation for its artful result.
Which is exactly my experience in reading Michael Williams’ magical realism novel, Trajan’s Arch. The reading of the book is not to be rushed. Just shy of literary, the language unfurls to reveal the memories of the main character, Gabriel, and the strange and magical influence throughout his lifetime of his mysterious neighbor, Trajan. Through Williams’ imagery, so indicative of gentle handling and a masterful touch, the novel is designed to be sipped, savored, and enjoyed with a deep appreciation for its artful result.
But the unique quality of Jasmine Dragon Tears tea really comes through with its flavor. The highest quality jasmine blooms are picked alongside the tea plants, in the Wuyi District of Fujian Province, China. The harvest is then layered—jasmine blooms, then tea leaves, jasmine blooms, then tea leaves—until jasmine essence infuses the overall character and outcome. The intensity of the high floral notes make this truly the best of what high quality jasmine tea can be.
As well, in Williams’ Trajan’s Arch, the novel is literally layered with stories, written by Trajan, to reveal how the character infuses Gabriel’s life and love (Gabriel’s estranged wife happens to be named Jasmine). Trajan affects those who know him with an intensity that lingers for generations.
With English Tea Store’s Jasmine Dragon Tears tea, you won’t be disappointed. There’s no need for sweetener, the rich blend of green tea and floral makes for a satisfying sip. And pairing it with Trajan’s Arch is a novel and tea companion that brings to the senses an experience of magic-come-true.
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