Tea anywhere else in the world never tastes the same, actually having said that I did have good cups of tea in New Zealand. I have a faint memory of the tea being OK in Australia but maybe someone can confirm that for me? (Ruth?). Moroccan tea seems only to come with mint. Nepalese and Indian tea is milk and loads of sugar all in the pot, take it or leave it, that’s the ways it comes.
American ‘British Breakfast Tea’ was very disappointing, the name doesn’t fit properly and neither does the taste, but I guess they are more coffee drinkers. One of my pet irritants is the America Coffee chain that seems to have wedged itself into the every High Street, is so coffee obsessed that it completely neglects the tea. A sad tea bag floating in the top of not quite hot enough water, an after thought in their in big coffee plans for world domination. You’d think they’d have the courtesy to make an effort with the host nation’s favorite beverage. Frankly, the hot chocolate isn’t up to much either and I don’t drink coffee, so it has become ‘Starbucka non grata’ I have broken off any diplomatic relations.
I am now wondering if that last paragraph made me sound like a potential UKIP candidate.
Support local cafes! There is such a joy is being served a proper cup of tea in a cafe and then finding it’s a really good cup of tea, that small exclamation; “Oh that’s a good cup of tea”. A nice cup of tea does wonders, I am probably overly British in my obsession with tea, but there are moments when as sitting alone for a quiet cup of tea is perfect and just as good is enjoying a cup of tea with a friend. The ritual of making, then sitting down, hands around a hot cup, leaning in to the conversation.
This week has been tea heavy. My enthusiasm of last week has waned and this week, I’ve drunk far too many cups of tea in the style of Her Ladyship Procrastinator of Bristol, whilst sighing heavily and staring at a grey sky, couple this with a house development.
Top of my wish list for the kitchen was a tea station. For those not familiar with the concept of a tea station, it is an area of the kitchen in which all the elements of tea making are gathered in one obvious space. The milk lives a separately (obviously) but a fridge is easily found. The point of the tea station is that anyone visiting the kitchen who has the an invitation and inclination can make tea. I think it’s a very bonding thing to make tea in someone else’s kitchen, it’s rarely an immediate thing, it can take months or years to build towards, there is a special familiarity about it. An alternative view is that I am a lazy and would prefer someone else to put the kettle on.
I bring you the tea station, mostly because I am very pleased with it, combine that with the impending visit of my top tea making friend this weekend. The tea station is primed.