A gray day on the Rhine, a gray day here, with Earl Grey to lighten it.
Having gotten such a lovely package from LiberTeas I decided to try Anne's Earl Grey Creme. As I opened the package I caught a faint whiff of bergamot and... could it be chocolate mint? Yup, there it was again. The tea itself is very pretty with blue and white flower pettals mixed in. As it brewed there wasn't much scent, a sort of astringent smell and something I could not identify. Kind of a creamy minty smell which reminded me of the mints my great-grandmother would serve to compnay with their tea. The tea tastes very nice, but alas, that elusive Earl's bergamot can't be pinned down. It is a good base tea and there is the cream, mint and cocoa, but where's the Earl? I actually like it , the flavor lasts and it is nicely elusive. The kittens also like it and I was forced to pour some in their dish or risk having it all over my desk.
I just got a "new" book. A Decent Cup of Tea by Malachi McCormick. I got it from Alibris books - http://www.alibris.com/. They have a wonderful selection of books about tea - almost all are used or overruns but if you have a low budget, you should seriously consider them.
Malachi McCormick is an Irishman who bemoans the loss of a good cup of tea, especially in public places and in a very small book, admonishes us to get it together and use real [ie loose] tea, in a teapot and have the good stuff. The book is only 4x6 inches and 80 pages, but in it he manages to cram a short history of tea, the different types, care and selection of tea and all its accouterments and a few recipes. Amazing and a very good read.
In fact, if you are so-minded you can hustle right over to Harney's Teas and buy some "Malachi McCormick's Blend" so you can have a decent cup whilst reading his very decent book.
If you really get into it, the company Malachi buys his tea from is on line and their teas are very inexpensive - www.portorico.com - I've not tried any, but I am going to, just for the sake of completeness and it is located in Greenich Village, NYC, an old stamping ground of mine.