Tastes Like Chicken?

©  To me, the epitome of a perfectly brewed gyokuro tea is that it will smell like fried chicken skin.

I may have it all wrong–that perhaps this chicken skin aroma is an indication of the tea being too underdone or overdone, but I don’t think so.

Here is my trusty tetsubin that Bunnyboy gave me a kazillion years ago. I just got a new metal infuser for it this past week. The old one had worn holes with so much use. I always pour a small “rinse” of hot water over the tea leaves, and then quickly smack on the lid tight. I pour this rinse off into my cup to warm it. Then I lift off the lid and inhale deeply. If the aroma is wan, I might heat the water up a smidge more before pouring it over the leaves. By doing this, perhaps I will be able to “recover” the tea to a more suitable and flavorful drink. If the aroma comes out angry and tight, then I will add some tepid water to my electric kettle to cool the water down before pouring it over the damp green mound. Usually if the water is too hot for the rinse, the tea produced from this batch will taste harsh and be “closed”.  It seems that if the leaves are “burnt”, it is beyond recovery.

But, AHHHHHH!!!!! If I lift up the lid from the rinse and it smells like chicken skin, I know I will really enjoy this batch of tea!

No matter what the leaves divulge for fragrance, as I gently pour the water over the leaves to brew, I will think about people in my life for whom I am grateful. Sometimes I will give thanks while saying their names out loud. I think this makes the tea taste better, too!

I like how the piggy, who sits on my stove, looks like he is floating and smiling while smelling the tea.

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