– from a list of the Eight Auspicious Symbols of Buddhism on kalachakranet.org.
The lotus is a wonderful plant, imbued with a rich history in Eastern art and religious symbolism. The example image above shows the foot of Kuanyin (in the transitional style of Chinese/Tibetan sculpture between portrayals of the male Avalokitsvara and the later, distinctly female Kuanyin) on an open lotus flower. The lotus plant also graces some of the most stunning ponds in the world, shading the carp below with its broad, ruffle-edged leaves, distinctive seed pods and dramatic blooms. Interest in the lofty conceptual aspects of the lotus have attracted me to uses of the plant in foods and teas. So, in spite of my disappointing experience with Vietnamese lotus petal-infused green tea I agreed to taste some pure golden lotus flower (Jin Lian Hua) at New Century Tea House last weekend. I’m very glad that I gave it a chance, and I purchased one ounce of the tea, which in volume was much more than I expected, for drinking at home.
The liquor of this tisane is a lovely, bright orange-yellow with a pleasing scent. Upon first sip I noted the same distinctive lotus flavor that the tea blend has, but it is much mellower in taste. Subsequent sips revealed a very nice, warming flavor. It has no typical floral notes, but more of a vegetal fullness, unique to lotus. The tisane is made from whole golden lotus flowers, which may also contribute to the difference in flavor as the infusion with the green tea used only the petals. It was suggested that this tisane would be good to drink following a rich or very spicy meal. The day of the initial tasting it served as a nice, calming follow-up to a long sequence of caffeinated beverages.
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As someone that has done a fair amount of content on tea, I have a lot of mixed thoughts on the way information is passed. With tea reviews or discussing a specific tea I have struggled with the question: how to talk about an individual tea or tea in general in an interesting or useful way.. Whether you like or dislike TeaDB episodes largely depends on whether you enjoy watching two particular people drink and binter. This is fine enough and it is certainly fun for Denny & I to create, but I’ll also agree with the sentiment that it’s not necessarily the most substantive way to review a tea in depth. There’s some signal but there’s also a lot of noise. Writing about a specific tea also isn’t easy and I think is actually very difficult to execute in a way that is actually consistently interesting or useful for people. Most people just want to know if you liked or didn’t like a specific tea. Making something that piques interest beyond that is a challenge and even if you don’t like them a place like Mei Leaf has succeeded in creating content that really does engage their viewers. You also have to consider that the majority of people have not had the tea or are even unfamiliar with the basic taste profile (i.e. Denny & I describing a traditionally stored pu’erh, when the audience has never had one).. Here are some phrases I dislike and hear frequently enough that I find them unhelpful and sometimes even counter-productive.
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On a business trip recently, I went with my colleagues to a fantastic little coffee shop in Silicon Valley called Chromatic Coffee. My colleagues were very excited about the way they grind, brew, and pour the coffee. It turns out there is a lot more to coffee than I ever knew. For … Continue reading