Listening to: Corelli
Reading: Kandy Shepherd’s ‘Love is a four-legged word’ (great fun)
I’ve always liked rather different teas. As a teen, I used to drink jasmine tea (which was so not trendy in the 1980s), and what I normally have on my desk is a mug of Earl Grey. Made very, VERY weak, and very milky. (This is why I drink coffee at most people’s houses. Except for DH, who's lived with me long enough to work it out, and bestest coz, who drinks hers the same way as I do, most people make it too strong for me.)
One problem: with a cup of tea on my desk, I have a reduced ability to resist cookies. Given that I’m trying to resist said cookies, that meant it was time to experiment, and probably with herbal/spice teas. Peppermint’s OK (I like the one with cinnamon) and the orange, mango and cinnamon blend is nice. But I had a yen for something different.
I was doing a little research (yes, really, for work – this is the gelati book I’m not supposed to be working on yet) and came across the Teapigs company. Wow, what a range. And they do samples (little tins containing three ‘tea temples’, aka biodegradable teabags). So I’ve been terribly bad and ordered myself a few things. Their tea strainer is wonderful - it fits over the rim of the cup so you can steep the tea, kind of like a tea ball but without having to faff about opening and closing it. (Here it is with the Earl Grey looseleaf – you can see the lovely purple-blue bergamot flowers there.)
Other things that caught my eye and ended up in my order:
- a pack of loose-leaf lemongrass (apparently tastes like lemon and lime)
- a pack of jasmine pearls (i.e. little buds that open when steeped in hot water - am looking forward to the play factor there)
- a pack of peppermint tea temples
- sample of ‘super fruit’ tea temples (blueberry and cranberry)
- sample of ‘chocolate flake’ tea temples. (On their website, they describe it as ‘a partnership so perfect, it belongs between the pages of a Mills and Boon novel’ – well, hey, how could any M&B writer resist that one?)
- sample of Chai tea temples (Assam tea with cardamom pods, cinnamon, ginger, cassia and vanilla)
- sample of blue tea temples (yes, really, BLUE tea. Described as a cross between green and black, aka ‘tung ting oolong’. Apparently it’s going to be the Next Big Thing. I’m not a fan of green tea, but… I was intrigued enough to order it)
So far, I’ve tried the Earl Grey (not quite enough bergamot for me, or maybe I should try it sans milk) and the Chai (Madam and I both really liked this one, which surprised me as Assam is stronger than Darjeeling). I have promised her I won't try any others until she's around for the very first tasting - oh, bless. (Two of the things I love about my daughter is her enthusiasm and her willingness to try new flavours; even if she decides they're not for her, she will at least give it a go, and I know she'll try again later when she thinks her tastes have changed and might like it.)
Have a lovely bank holiday; and if you have a favourite tea, do come and share!