Today we’re going to reflect upon some vintage delights. So, in keeping with our vintage theme, I thought we would have an ol’ Aussie favorite…
A cup of Billy Tea & some freshly baked Damper with lashings of butter melting upon its deliciousness & a choice of strawberry jam or Golden Syrup!
These are treats from vintage days, when the tea was made in the Billy, an old tin with a homemade handle fitted & able to go in the fire to boil water & throw a hand full of tea leaves in for a strong brew. And the damper was baked in a cast iron pot in the hot coals of the fire.
I’ll let you in on a little something about myself, I love most things vintage! I think they have so much character & I love the history behind them.
What is the definition of Vintage?
The word actually comes from making wine. It is the season/year in which the grapes were harvested from the vine, the Vine age of the grapes or the Vintage.
The Vintage of the wine indicates the quality, age & environmental factors of that particular year the grapes grew upon the vine before they were harvested.
Our book club has had its first meeting for 2021, we are still reading Beth Moore’s book Chasing Vines & we have now reached the chapter where the harvest has begun.
This gave me much food for thought in what goes into our own personal Vintage!
How would you describe yourself if you were wine?
I remember seeing a movie where the leading lady was asked this question & described herself as wine; a wine that was bold with a hint of sophistication.
I’m not a connoisseur of wine, in fact I don’t drink it. I don’t like the taste, never have, but I do appreciate the hard work & craft that goes into making wine…from planting the vine to the aged product of the bottle.
I’m more of a tea connoisseur which actually parallels wine making. The quality & taste of the tea is dependent upon the environmental factors before harvesting & in the aging process.
Thus, I really can’t describe myself as wine but I can describe myself as a tea blend!
So how do you actually grow tea?
“Growing tea can be tricky. If the weather and ground conditions aren’t absolutely perfect, the tea plants struggle to grow properly and the tea they make is inferior in flavour. So growers do all they can to take care of their tea plants…
Growing tea takes a lot of love and attention too. They have to be pruned every 4−5 years – not just to make sure they stay fresh, but to make sure the ‘pluckers’ can reach the leaves.” Refer 2
Harvesting the leaves
“The system used for cutting the tea plants is called the ‘plucking table’. It involves pruning the plants to about waist height, with flat tops (like tables), so that the leaves are easy to reach when they’re ready to harvest.
Different places in the world have different seasons for plucking tea, when the tea leaves are at their finest and most flavoursome. These harvests are known as ‘flushes’…
And if you think plucking tea leaves is simple, think again. Tea pluckers have to know exactly when the leaves are ready, so that they only pick them when they’re tender and full of flavour.” Refer 2
Lady Grey is my favorite tea blend, it’s made with the finest tea leaves plucked in the mountains of Northern India & blended with dried orange & lemon peel. I would describe it as a refined, light & refreshing blend with a hint of citrus!
Let’s look at that tea description & see if it applies to me…
Jesus said, “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser (the cultivator). Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He [a]takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.”
So in relating this to a tea plantation,
I’m planted in His plantation, He monitors my growth through all the seasons making sure I am growing for the plucking of His purpose.
He trims the branches that get over grown & applies aged organic manure for mulching, that let’s be honest reeks when applied & isn’t really appreciated at the time!
But it’s all necessary for the needed nutrients that will produce stable mature growth for the finest harvest. He only plucks the finest shoots for His purpose for they give the greatest flavor for eternity.
You see it’s not only the harvest but the process that gives the finest flavor.
White tea are the tea leaves just dried without processing, it has a very delicate flavor.
For Green tea the leaves are aged & processed a little more which brings out a little more flavor.
But for the most robust of teas, Black tea, the leaves are aged & fermented the longest which gives the strongest flavor & can be blended with other ingredients to make a variety of tea blends!
It’s the careful & loving monitoring of the great Cultivator that produces the finest leaf vintage from the maturing plant!
How then would I describe myself as a tea blend?
Well I’m feminine & love to be treated as a lady! But I worked tirelessly in the sheep yards as a wool grower (that I once was) slopping around in sheep manure!
So, I can’t really describe myself as a refined blend but rather in the process of refinement. I can be light but I don’t shy away from the hard topics in life either (which may be a legacy from my professional life).
I have been described as robust although I always endeavor to leave a pleasant flavor behind! However, that’s not always possible depending on the receptors of the other’s tastes in how they perceive that flavoring!
I think I have to echo the leading lady’s description above in describing myself as a tea; I’m a robust blend with a hint of fruity sophistication! Lol!
While we don’t necessarily appreciate the trimming, fertilizing or the plucking (harvesting) at the time. Each is necessary to produce the finest leaves for the eternal harvest.
And it’s the finest quality leaves that can be processed & refined that give the most flavorsome & refreshing blends that linger in their influence.
How would you describe yourself as a wine, tea or coffee my friend? I’d love to hear it in the comments below.
Until next time,
You’re most welcome to join me in The Reading Nook
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