Thursday, 30 August 2007

Tea for me

I'm a firm believer that a cup of tea will help in almost any stressful situation. If I'm having trouble sleeping, a rendez-vous with the kettle and teapot in the middle of the night (de-caf of course) is the first port of call. Had an argument with my mum? Tea will put it right. Yet if I'm honest, despite my unwavering faith in the powers of a humble mug of Typhoo, I've always been a little jealous of coffee drinkers.

What amazing variety greets them as they walk through their local coffee shop's doors! Millions of different types of bean, espresso or latte, foam or cream, syrups the thought of which make your mouth water (amaretto, coconut etc) - until that is you remember that they come in a mug of EVIL! Ahem. That might be going a little too far but there is no doubt that tea is morally superior to coffee and yet the only option that we tea-drinkers have is, "milk or sugar?". It's an unjust world.
In the past week however, I'm delighted to say that I've been introduced to a whole new world of tea drinking possibilities. It's all thanks to a lovely friend's belated birthday present which came from a wonderful tea shop in Cambridge. I opened the jiffy bag that contained the gift with even more excitement than usual. Which is a lot of excitement. I have a rather irrational love of jiffy bags. The reason for this increase in anticipation was the smell of this particular jiffy bag. Please don't think that I sniff all my post. I don't. But in this instance you couldn't help but smell it. It was a gorgeous orangey, fruity, nutty scent. Inside the package I found a tea strainer and two cute little packets of posh tea leaves, complete with instructions from my friend on how to drink each of them and exactly what the man in the shop had told her about each tea. Thankfully I had my wits about me that day and didn't follow her instructions to the letter. She had stated that 1tbsp of leaves were required for each cup. That seemed a little excessive to me so I had a gander at the shop website ( if you're interested) and it turned out that she had actually meant 1tsp! Quite a difference but no harm was done.

So yesterday I sampled the first tea and today the second (I have to be careful on my caffeine intake). Wow! It's difficult to describe but I guess it's a bit like flavours in wine. It's obviously wine (or in this case tea) but they genuinely have notes of orange or coconut or almond in them. They smell amazing and taste just as good. I'm a convert. Please note that I am under no circumstances recommending fruit teas. Those silly fruit tea bag things that you can buy bulk in Tesco etc are not real teas! But these teas are the real deal. I sound like quite the tea snob don't I?

My favourite tea mug

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