Hmmm.. 6am and I'm wide awake. I'm staring blankly at the ceiling and listening to the cars go by my bedroom, where are all those people going to so early? I live in sleepy Warwick, it's not exactly Time Square.
I have seen an opportunity though to have another look at an old friend of mine, the American Hao 901. Under artificial light, with its yellow hue, I unwrap the bing to be met with a rather pungent melon aroma. I bludgeon the cake with my cha dao and remove about five grams of leaf, pop it into my pot and rinse the tea. In the meanwhile I set up my table, fill my iron kettle and sit patiently whilst my induction heater whizzes and whirs itself into a stupor of heat.
The rather broken leaf in the pot, no doubt the victim of my attack, releases its notes rather quickly. For all of the floral perfume and ponce of a lot of my other fresh sheng this particular tea stands apart. It's not really a case of bitterness but more of an anise perhaps, as usual I'm stuck for adjectives.
There is something so marvellous about being up so early, before the Sun even, and drinking tea. You really can apply your concentration to the moment, it's just so serene.
I do miss waking up early in Hong Kong though, taking a walk outside past the legions of old folk performing their morning exercises, some with swords, heading down to a cafe that's already busy despite it being 5am and having a pot of dubious generic tea, not for drinking but to wash your plates with.
Anyway, back to the American Hao, it's still under a dark shroud. It's like something is holding back the fireworks. Perhaps I should use a different water?
My little session has been interrupted by Michelle, my absence has been noted and joins me by the sofa. With my concentration broken I think I might have some breakfast. Thanks to Adam from The Sip Tip for inspiring me to revisit this tea.
Oh, the Sun's up.