Thursday, June 16, 2011

Honey, Honey, Honey, Tea, and Honey

For some reason, I've felt inspired to write this month; I just realized that I've posted a blog post every single day, and I feel like writing more. So I hope I am not writing too much. I've been thinking about honey a lot lately, for multiple reasons.

Honey is my sweetener of choice:

A while back, I was sick, and drank some tea sweetened with honey. I usually drink tea unsweetened but sometimes when I'm feeling particularly bad, tea with honey hits the spot. Honey is my sweetener of choice for tea (and in general, I currently do not even have any sugar in my apartment). But I am not much of a sweetening person: although I have three separate honeys in my cupboard, I tend not to use honey that often. The three honeys I have now are a raw wildflower honey, and then cranberry blossom honey and butter bean blossom honey (my favorite) both from New Jersey.

Other reminders of honey:

Recently, one of my friends ordered a pint of Weyerbacher sixteen, a beer brewed with honey, and I tried it and was amazed by its powerful honey aroma. And on a very different note, I've been exploring my neighborhood, and I found a cute little store and coffee shop called Milk and Honey. This store is not just capitalizing on a cute name: it is actively involved in the promotion of a culture of local honey. The shop even has beehives on its roof, and one can see the bees travelling off into the neighborhood and returning.

I also was exploring Woodland Cemetery and Arboretum in this same neighborhood, and I saw this meadow of beautiful flowers (mostly chickory in bloom here, the blue flower):

At the far edge, which I did not photograph, I discovered a bunch of beehives! Someone is evidently tending bees in this area, and I suspect that this patch of wildflowers has been deliberately left to feed the bees. I can't get away from thinking about honey!

A black tea surprises me by reminding me of honey:

Greener oolongs, such as pouchong or jade oolong, often remind me of honey, but recently, I had the surprising experience of trying a black tea that has an aroma strongly suggestive of honey. As I write this post, I am drinking some Kaimosi Estate TGFOP1 (TK32) from Upton Tea Imports, and it has a surprisingly strong honey-like aroma, which stands out even through the other, bold characteristics of this tea. I've brewed this tea several times now. If you like honey, I recommend sampling that one: it is quite remarkable, and unlike any other black tea I have yet tried.

So, honey is on my mind, for better or for worse. I think for better, as I find honey to be very pleasing, both to eat and to think about.

1 comment:

  1. Alex, I agree with you and Eric Blair; "Tea should be bitter, like beer" (Essays, A Nice Cup of Tea).
    Have drunk sweetened cha in Punjab though and enjoyed it with hand ground cane sugar boioed with tea, milk,cardomom and cloves>