" Come sit by my side and over a cup of tea, speak to me of the goodness of life."
Lady Evelyn Fitzgerald Dodson

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Tea Towel Tatting

This tea towel belongs to my good friend and fellow tea lover, M. M tatted a lovely yellow edging on it, and uses it to top a small table in her kitchen. I think it's adorable.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Alice's Tea Party

Title: Alice in Wonderland, Author: Lewis Carroll, Illustrator: Gordon Robinson, Release Date: August 12, 2006 [EBook #19033] Language: English. Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1

Sam'l Gabriel Sons & Company, New York Copyright, 1916, by Sam'l Gabriel Sons & Company, New York.

[Public domain image from http://publicdomainclip-art.blogspot.com]

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Lipton Cold Brew

When the outside temperature hits 106 degrees Farenheit (41 degrees Celcius), things slow down here in the parlor, and it becomes difficult to move, or breathe, much less contemplate drinking a nice, hot cup of tea sometimes (although we drank two cups of Prince of Wales tea yesterday morning, so go figure). We admit it--when the long, very hot days of summer arrive, we cheat and make tea the easiest way we can find. Sun tea is perfect for lazy days. How more lazy can one be than to just let the sun boil your tea and make the perfect summer drink? Well, here's a way to be even lazier, cut out a few steps, and--best of all--not have to venture out into that abominable heat to make iced tea nectar.

Our neighbor recommended Lipton refrigerator tea to us as a strong, fast, and easy to make iced tea. When we went shopping, we could only find Lipton Cold Brew, in a blue and yellow box with the word 'redesigned' splashed all over it. We assumed it was the same product and bought some. We can just about expend enough energy these days to throw tea bags into a pitcher, pour water over same, and deposit said pitcher in the recesses of refrigerator (thus maximizing the amount of body skin exposed to cold refrigerator air). The cold brew experiment was undertaken two nights ago.

And we're pleased with the results. It's a nice, strong, full-bodied tea. It was difficult to get any agave nectar swirled in to sweeten the cold brew (despite not being a solid that needs to dissolve), but we could stand to lose some sugar out of our diet, so that may ultimately be a good thing. We expect to hook up a continuous IV bag of this stuff to get us over the next few weeks of suffocating summer doldrums.

Ah, the tinkling sound of ice cubes clinking against a tall, dark glass of rich, amber-colored tea! All that is needed is a good book and a few hours to relax. Summer is indeed here.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Peet's Tea

Peet's Coffee and Tea is a chain out of the Pacific Northwest, and is probably more well known as a coffee shop than a tea purveyor. I've been eying their selection online for a few months now, and have selected several I'd like to try. So when, during a layover on a cross-country flight a few weeks ago, I came across a Peet's stand in the airport, I immediately ran over to grab a cup to take with me. I selected what I thought was their basic breakfast blend, but in hindsight may have been their Pride of the Port blend, because it had a bracing, strong, somewhat malty flavor, well suited to milk and sugar. Even if bagged tea in an airport kiosk is not really representative of the loose teas available online, this sample proved very interesting and enjoyable, and I'm eager to revisit Peet's and try some other blends.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Keemun Congou

One of the things I love about Teaberry's is the sample jar. A large, clear glass jar, brimming with samples of a few ounces of all their different teas. I was buying some tea things as thank you gifts for my housesitters, so the very nice lady in the shop urged me take a sample to accompany the cosy. Than she urged another, and a third. This tea lover will never turn samples down.

I kept the one black tea, the Keemun Congou, for myself, and decided on Sunday that my Unplugged Independence from Immediacy Day was the perfect morning to try it. Delicious!

I tend to be partial to Indian teas, so I was surprised how much I enjoyed this Chinese tea. It's very robust and strong, and held up well to milk and a small bit of agave nectar. (Tea purists, I know a keemun should be drunk black, but we here in the parlor love a little bit of milk and sweet in our tea and don't feel anyone should be told how to drink their tea, just urged to enjoy it.) Perhaps the milk masked any fruitiness inherent in the tea, but it maintained its distinctive flavor. Most enjoyable, and keemun congou will be be added to the tea selection in the parlor.

By the way, the keemun was served with a homemade cinnamon coffee cake (photograph forthcoming). The perfect accompaniment to a lazy Sunday morning spent on the patio, reading P. D. James and listening to the birds chatter while the dogs loafed in the shade and the cat explored the backyard.

Here's a definition of keemun congou:    Keemun Gongfu or Congou (祁門功夫) - Made with careful skill ("gongfu") to produce thin, tight strips without breaking the leaves.