By Anne DesBrisay
It means ‘beautiful eyebrow’ when translated from Japanese and I’m on my fourth cup from a third steep. The first steep was brewed yesterday afternoon. I left the spent tea leaves in the pot on the kitchen counter and three times now, have poured boiled (cooled to 80° C water — not just-boiled water: there’s a difference don’t ya know…) over the leafy brown mash. I allowed the brew to steep two minutes (as per directions) and then poured out another coppery cup.
There’s not a titch of bitterness and the flavour — smooth, toasted, a bit honey-sweet, and all-comfort in the finish — just keeps on giving.
Kimiko Uriu assured me this tea would — that I could, in fact, get seven steeps out of the leaves, but I suppose I didn’t believe her. You might say I raised my eyebrow at the idea. But she was quite right, and I have found my perfect afternoon tea: gentle and forgiving.
Kimiko is a Certified Tea Specialist, teacher, taster, blender, owner of Kimicha Teas and founder of the Ottawa Tea Festival. I’m drinking her award-winning Jin Jun Mei, a pure black lapsang Souchong tea made from the young, early Spring buds (only buds) harvested on the stony slopes of Wuyi Mountain in China.