Tuesday, 17 January 2012

That's me to a Tea

As I sit here sipping on my cup of bagged Dilmah + milk. All of a sudden, I realize how unsatisfying and horrible life would be without Tea. To me, these words describe it perfectly. Liquid wisdom. Second to water, Tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world. (Cheers Wiki). There is something about this slightly bitter, astringent flavour that warms our insides to produce a feeling of pure bliss.

The perfect morning, the perfect cuppa.

Over the last few years tea has earned itself a sophisticated and affluent name. The range of tea available today is exceptional. A tea for every occasion, palate, country, time of day, feeling, requirement, disease, you name it- there is a tea out there that can fix it. 

The gesture of offering a cup of tea has been passed down through generations. But nowadays it is so much more complicated than just a simple ‘milk and sugar’ scenario. A person’s taste in tea, can present a great deal about their personality. Possibly even more than their coffee of choice.  I could rabbit off lists and lists of tea varieties, but that would achieve nothing more than bore you to death and provide me with a thirst for another tea. (and after my first cup, I’m already busting for the loo). It is indeed true. Tea has a natural diuretic effect.

T2- edible floating apple bits
It is only recently that it became acceptable to impart a gift of tiny wee flavourful leaves. Last year a dear friend of mine brought me a perfect example of a ‘New-age’ Tea variety. T2 – an Australian based brand, has some extravagant varieties. Flavour of choice: Strawberries and Cream. This tea had chunks of real fruit pieces, and some sort of dairy/yoghurt chunks to give off that sweet milk flavour. It was divine. Dessert in a cup.

For the classic Ceylon Tea: The debate of Bell vs. Dilmah, will be had by many. And for the time being, I will leave this question unanswered. One of my favourite things is waking up in the morning, and knowing that the first thing to touch my lips and roll down my throat will be a delicious soothing and satisfying cup of tea. It starts and ends my day. Like millions of others I am sure.

Spot my classic tea of choice (excuse the horrific Dunedin flat)

On my recent adventures to a Balinese land, we went on a tea-tasting tour. It was wonderful to examine the numerous tea-fields and appreciate the effort that is required to produce such an abundant beverage. The Ginger Tea was a highlight for me. A perfect blend of sweet (despite some serious added sugar) and spicy. Delish. Indeed it was.

Balinese tea + coffee of all descriptions

I have many Tea stories, memories, moments, thoughts, images and dreams that are locked away. Created, engraved and never forgotten by the simple act of drinking a cup of Tea. A few of my personal favourites: Dilmah (preferably leaves steeped in a pot, even better when made by my Mother), Earl Grey, Lady Grey, my newly found obsession ‘Black Adder’-Licorice Tea, T2 mentioned above, Indian Orange Rooibus (another gift from a friend), Mango Star (w. honey=even better!) and Otago Summer Fruits. I have heard rumours of a new Earl Grey, available at selected cafe's made with steamed frothy milk. Warms my heart just thinking about it.

I wish you all Joyful Sipping.

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