Wednesday, November 10, 2010
a cuppa tea
Alright, so not being English, or an avid tea drinker, I'm a little slow in jumping on the tea bandwagon. Mostly because tea is, in my mind, the thing you drink when you're cold or have a cold. This is not helped by the fact that my husband drinks some pretty foul concoctions.
Mom drank coffee black, Dad drank tea, sweet with milk. I like my tea black... or did, until I started creaming & sugaring it into submission, much the same way I do with coffee that isn't mixed in with my hot chocolate. That also might be because I started off drinking only fruit teas--mostly Lemon Zinger, and a peach something. Of course, there was green tea with Chinese food too.
Now I've branched out and drink all of the "regular" teas: Earl & Lady Gray, Irish & English Breakfast, Constant Comment and the rest of the standard Twinnings. I still don't care for chamomile or warm mint, but I'm usually game to try most of the other flavors.
See, my friends like tea. They like lots of tea. They like good tea, and they like a wide variety of tea. I'm still learning the language, so I don't always know just by the name whether a particular tea is black, green, white or red. I'm not sure what an Oolong is, but I like it. I don't yet own a tea ball or other method of preparing loose tea, but it's on my list.
My favorite tea is still a little gem from a place in San Jose called Lisa's Tea Treasures. My mom's friend Anne, who's been like an adopted aunt my whole life, took me to Lisa's one summer, and I bought this delicious vanilla jasmine tea. Fast forward ten years to the kitchen of my friend Kathleen, who is one of the many tea-lovers in my world, who introduced me to a beautiful vanilla caramel tea. So, we're standing there, and I'm browsing her teas, and I get a whiff of something deliciously familiar... I look and see the bag and think, "no... can't be!" But it is. There in her kitchen is my favorite tea... and I have no idea how she managed to get it all the way from California, but I'm intrigued and excited and want to do the same. Sadly, turns out it was nothing more than having a friend from the area bring some back for her.
This past weekend, Kathleen brought out another Lisa's gem... champagne raspberry oolong... with cream and sugar and a little 43, it was the perfect thing to take the edge off a chilly morning.
After throwing a tea and cake baby shower, I've got a craving to host another tea party. The last one I had was when I was about 13, and my mom was awesome enough to track down crumpets for my girlfriends and I.
So, next time I have a free weekend, I'm gonna gather some girlfriends, enable us all to wear frilly dresses, gloves and hats, and drink tea, eat tiny cakes and sandwiches, and talk about the weather.