Thursday, August 9, 2012

Nice Cuppa Tea

That old taste for tea has returned. When I was nine years old I decided that I would most likely turn out a coffee person. This caused much consternation from my grandmother, especially when I asked for a second cup at the farmhouse table in Ohio. She would warn me that it would likely stunt my growth, ignoring the fact that at that time I was probably two feet taller than my peers.

My dear departed father LOVED tea. He would have a cup or two to wake up, made in a tiny two cup pot, another late morning, one in the afternoon and the occasional random cup would strike him on an occasional random day. He kept such a store of the stuff that I am still drinking from his hoard when I visit their home despite a considerable stream of tea drinking guests of my mother. Her own morning habit mirrored her husband's. Their tea was always brewed in a pot to a very strong dark oily point, and creamed with a dash of milk in the cup. I always needed a lot of milk to get it down with a scant teaspoon of sugar. They keep Royal Gold Yorkshire Tea and Taylors of Harrogate which friends from Thirsk and The Yorkshire Dales bring them. Personally my own favorite is Fortnum & Mason's Royal Blend, which can be found at Williams Sonoma , a black tea blend which was blended for Edward VII at the start of the Twentieth Century and I always buy it loose. But I must say that the habit was renewed thanks to a French tea which has dried flowers in the blend and each sip turns into a gulp which leaves me waiting for the next one. A friend brought a tin from France and thank goodness it can also be found at Williams Sonoma. I try to stretch out each small tin, since it is an expensive $22 dollar treat Mariage Frères Marco Polo. Mind you it's the only thing I buy with any regularity at that luxurious emporium. Never foresaw that a French blend would revive that most English of habits in me.