I guess this is a tasting note as much about a style of serving tea as it is about the tea itself.
I read a review of East Frisian, which led me to look at some links (you know how that goes) and one article that I have been unable to find since mentioned that in East Frisia, one serves the tea by putting rock sugar in the cup, pouring the tea over, and lowering a spoon of cream into the cup without ever stirring at any point. This is called the “cloud in the tea.”
I am out of East Frisian so I chose Panyang Congou to try this. This is mostly for fun, since I really like to drink all my teas plain with the exception of a strong, astringent tea.
We have no German rock sugar, a problem I plan to remedy soon, so I used sugar cubes instead. Now, I may have gone a little overboard on the cream. Instead of buying regular cream, I went to the fancy-pants grocery and bought English Double Devon Cream.
The first sips did not feel like I was drinking tea at all! My cloud of cream kept drifting to the side and I was getting a mouthful of the rich dairy. This was yummy, but a little odd since my body was expecting tea!
This is not a way that I think I would prefer to drink my tea, especially with all the added calories in this, but if I get invited to a traditional German tea time, I know I will be able to participate without fear!
The Panyang Congou held up well throughout, and the next cups I drink out of this pot of tea will be in my usual manner – plain and unadulterated. The rest of the cream will be used for strawberries, blueberries, and cherries!