Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Tuesday Grace Notes – Tea: Lovely, Soothing, Life-Giving Tea
I can hardly believe that a week has flown by since I introduced Grace Notes. I hope you enjoyed last week’s introduction!
One of the teas I associate most with my mother is Celestial Seasonings Mandarin Orange Spice. This wonderful herbal tea is naturally sweet and blends the juicy oranges with clove, coriander, and other spices that transport you – if not to the Orient – to someplace inviting and slightly exotic. That scent and flavour will always transport me home – curled up on the corner of my mom’s bed, sharing a cup with her and trading stories and memories under a gently twirling
It’s not much of a leap to go from my childhood favourite to one of the teas I absolutely adore these days. When Teavana opened its doors, I was immediately enchanted by the teacups, pots, and the oversized apothecary-like wall with all of the teas. Golden Monkey black tea is one of China’s finest; originating in the Fujian province, its full-bodied flavour is deep, rich, earthy, and hints at cocoa.
After moving to the Pacific Northwest, I discovered the wonderful store now known as the Metropolitan Market. I started shopping there when it was still Queen Anne Thriftway, but it remains a wonderful destination for food adventures and splurges. And of course, tea. I discovered Harney & Sons Paris tea first in their coffee shop, and then in the tin in the aisles. This is a fruity black tea that doesn’t need much additional sweetening. One sip suggests vanilla and caramel and just the slightest hint of Bergamot. And maybe that’s why I love it so much.
Though not quite the same, it has the familiar undertones of my all-time favourite tea: Earl Grey. Even before I heard Jean-Luc Picard ordering his cup “hot” from the replicator on the Enterprise, I was completely over the moon for this unique drink. This distinctive black tea is woven through with the scent of Bergamot – a small Italian orange that blossoms in the winter and is completely irresistible – at least to me. As a tea-drinker at heart who loves the idea, if not the actual experience of coffee shops, I was thrilled when the London Fog (or Earl Grey latte) made its way to the scene in the early 2000s. Combined with a little vanilla and a lot of steamed milk, this tasty treat is sure to please.
So here you have it – one of my favourite things to indulge in. A cup of tea – usually warm (but I love it iced as well). A little history. A little story. And a little bit of my mother too – to whom I owe my complete romance with the teacup.
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