Monday, June 15, 2009

a cup of tea

solves everything, right?

If you disagree you may as well stop reading because this is probably going to turn into some pretty unabashed tea loving rant. Seriously, I adore tea. Earl Grey is my long time favorite though Han and I used to branch out and drink a pot of Lady Grey (with a little spoon of honey in it) every now and then. One particularly dreary Auckland winter my housemate and I made it through a box of 50 Earl Grey teabags in 3 weeks.

When I was very young, my class went on a field trip to the Celestial Seasonings factory in Colorado, it smelled amazing and they gave us all a sampler box to take home; it remains to this day the most memorable school trip I've been on (second only possibly to 'drama camp' in 7th form on the Kapiti Coast, a truly hormonal excursion punctuated with late night truth or dare revelations, friends being banished back to Wellington still embarassingly drunk, a play about depression and lots and lots of gumboot tea). Celestial Seasonings is by far the best producer of herbal teas I have ever come across - they actually taste of something, not just a pretty smell - and (yay) I have started to see a small selection theirs stocked in Woolworths on Smith Street.
T2 is a tea-lover's mecca here in Melbourne, I have spent a lot of time in the Brunswick store, sniffing and tasting and umming and ah-ing, trying to decide which tea, or two, to take home with me. They aren't cheap and unfortunately none of the pre-packaged combinations really thrill me, so I have resorted to buying individual boxes, slowly, and building a bit of a collection. My recommendations include, for other Earl Grey fiends, the French Earl Grey, the same fragrant blck tea with a dreamy hint of rose and vanilla. I also love their breakfast range, a cute twist on English and Irish Breakfast teas, T2 produce Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and New Zealand breakfasts. MelbourneBreakfast is described as 'a deep warm tea with a hint of sweetness, just like Melbourne', charming.

In NZ I collected vintage tea sets, the prettier of these are in storage still and will eventually make it to Melbourne I hope. I am very much looking forward to tea and girlfriends on the impending trip home. Sigh.

Do you have a favorite tea? Or routines and ceremonies that go with your tea or coffee drinking?

Pictures via: Daydream Lily, Oh Joy, Lolita

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