Saturday, 16 May 2009

Tea, and cake. Twice.

I’ve been trying my best to find a substitute for my beloved coffee.  The decaf is okay, but...

Anyway, the World of Tea is the new hotspot.  Unlike coffee, tea lets you get your fingers dirty.  Buy your own lose-leaf, pick your own, mix-and-match to your heart’s content.  Even just, you know, go out and pick something you like the smell of, chop it up and pour hot water over it.

I’m still in the pre-game training level, playing around with bagged stuff.  Earl Grey, Lady Grey and English Breakfast all left me rather cold.  I tried, but whenever I drank them I kept thinking, ‘what this really needs is some milk and sugar’.  That felt kind of like saying to your new girlfriend, ‘okay, I kind of fancy you, but never let me see you without your make-up’.

I’m not fond of anything which smells like cloves.  I blame that bag of clove sweets I brought last time I was in the Outer Hebrides.

There’s a vanilla chai I’m quite fond of.  It’s made by the London Tea Company, and can be found in Evis’ Amazing Box of Tea.  I’ve tried their green tea, as well as lose-leaf green tea.  It tastes a bit like those sticks of bubblegum you used to get in packets of collectable cards and stickers. 

I thought green tea might go well with mint (peppermint tea is also quite nice, if a little light for me).  I brought a box of Twining’s ‘Light and Delicate’ Green Tea with Mint, mainly because Stephen Fry told me to.  Light and delicate my hiney!  It does the same thing to my mouth that a can of Coke does.  Which is good news in my books.  The mint is a bit over-powering, though, so I may have to buy some lose-leaf green and mint, and try making my own.

I tried nettle tea today.  It made my tongue sting.  And it tasted like nettles.  Jury’s out on that one.

When it stops raining and blowing a gale, I’m going to go out to the mountains and pick some gorse flowers.  They smell like coconut, and will hopefully make a nice brew.  I’d also like to try rose petal tea.  See, the idea is that I end up using stuff straight from the plant, and ideally plants which are growing where I live.

Also, I have a tea ball.  It is awesome.  It’s a little sieve-like ball that I fill with my lose-leaves, and dunk in hot water to infuse their taste.  It’s on a chain.  The chain is going to be enlargened so it can hang from my belt, always to hand.  The tea ball is the humming, charged nucleus of Tea Land.  It is the centre which holds.


Evis T said...

I'm Glad you're enjoying the wodnerful world of tea! A word of advice on using plants you have growing around though:

You will need to use a fairly large ammount of the plant in order to get the teaste of the damn thing. The exact ammount varies by plant, so you'll need to experiment.

Also, brewing time can effect the taste of tea considerably, especially with fresh herbs. I personally find that using a large ammount of the herb for a short brewing time works better than a small ammount for a long time (which imparts a rather bitter tatse in my opinion). But mix and mach and see what you come up with!

Jo Thomas said...

Hmmm... I sense an experiment coming on. I have some dried "herbes de Povence" in the kitchen. WHat do you reckon that would taste like as a "tisane"? ;)