On the Fifth Day of Christmas My True Love Gave to Me
five golden rings!
Unfortunately, not the kind you wear on your finger. Sigh.
Rather, another gift of food, as in ring-necked pheasant, according to C. Nugent (2016). Which may not be nearly as appreciated by your true love, no matter how sincere your gesture.
But here’s another golden choice: China Golden Yunnan!
This black tea comes from China’s Yunnan Province, the birthplace of tea. Plucked from ancient plants that have thick soft leaves and large buds, Yunnan is also known as hongcha or “red tea.”
The umber and olive leaves are interspersed with golden slivers, making a very pretty loose leaf tea.
The dark copper-colored brew yields an intriguing cup. It’s a bit toasty, a bit smoky, with definite tones of truffle or mushroom. It has a smooth finish with an enduring woodiness.
More on Those Pheasants
Ring-necked or common pheasants are native to China and East Asia. It’s not clear exactly how or when these beautiful birds were introduced to England, but Phoenician traders or the Romans are possibilities (Yardley 2015).
Either way, pheasants are first recorded in 1059:
[with] an order of King Harold who offered the canons of Waltham Abbey a “commons” pheasant as an alternative to a brace of partridges as a specific privilege of their office. (Yardley 2015)
In 1465, the inauguration banquet of the Archbishop of York included 200 pheasants (along with porpoises and seals no less!), and in 1532, Henry VIII “appears to have kept a French priest as a ‘fesaunt breeder'” (Yardley 2015).
Today, ring-necked pheasants are still prized as game birds, golden rings are still prized as tokens of love, and Golden Yunnan is still prized as an intriguing tea.
China Golden Yunnan is available at TeaHaus.
Nugent, C. “On the fifth day of Christmas,” Hub Pages, December 22, 2016.
Yardley, M. “The history of the pheasant,” The Field, October 9, 2015.