Spring is starting to bloom and colours of the moment are green and yellow; daffodils and crocus bulbs shoot up along roadsides to beam at you from under sullen clouds that burst with sunlight as unexpectedly as the softly pleated grey rolls overhead and cloaks the sky.
There's a fascination at this time of year, every year, that we have emerged from the winter. Buds on the trees couldn't be more exciting, especially the woolly yellow of the mimosa, the sun couldn't be brighter, even though there's a decided nip in the air, and when blossoms and catkins swell, hanging on the branches, we will rise earlier to greet the day and smile at the sight of them.
Despite urban gardens and greenery, it can be a struggle in the drudgery of the city to see as much of the seasons change as I would like, taking pleasure in scattered sprays of flowers and cool, crisp air in the moments that I can. In fact, for this reason, I've been working from home more. The quiet, the peace and the sunshine poring through the sash windows is perfectly conducive for concentrating and enjoying myself.
Having given up coffee however, I have been struggling to find my next 'thing' to fill the gap that it has always so plentifully filled in the mornings. And it seems in JING's Jasmine Silver Needle Tea, I am sold.
A white tea, while it still can potentially contain levels of caffeine, it is light and fragrant and champagne-like in colour. From the Fujan Province of China, the story of how the tea is processed really evokes spring-like scenes that I like to think of when I sip it.
Picked at very first bud, the leaves are laid out to wither in the sun and dried slowly, typically around four days. Once ready, they are layered with jasmine flowers for seven consecutive nights, during which time the sweet floral scent impregnates the tea and gives it that subtle but unmissable quality of cucumber and melon.
Not only delicious, the leaves are lovely to look at and feel, with delicate hairs and an earthy scent that becomes only more pronounced once brewed. I quite enjoy watching them unfurl in the glass, especially on the second or this infusion. JING makes the perfect tea gift for those who appreciate quality and beauty.
A long-time sufferer of migraines, I have also found this jasmine tea to be just the ticket when I feel an encounter approaching. Just taking ten minutes to switch on the kettle, prepare the leaves (with a little cold water in the bottom of the infuser mug to stop from scalding the leaf) and take a seat on the sofa to gaze out of the window profoundly helps me refocus and relax. Even my boyfriend asks for the 'lovely tea' when he's feeling fraught, which I like to hope really helps him with his music.
In a world full of distraction, how do you find a way to bring yourself back down to Earth?