I just received the new catalog from Simpson and Vail. Their web address is http://www.svtea,com/ They have some very nice teapots, some beautiful tea canisters and one of the most interesting tea scoop/infusers I've seen. It looks just like one of those ice cream scoops that has a liquid inside it that warms with your hand heat, so the scooping is easier. You scoop up your dry tea in the scoopy part and let it drain into the handle part, which is perforated, which you then pour boiling water over to steep in your cup. Definitely cute, but I don't know if it works, not having purchased one. And not likely to, as I would rather spend my money on tea. Anyway, S&V is a good source for Devonshire cream and clotted cream and other nifty tea stuff. They also carry a good selection of teas and coffees, including teas from the new farms in Bolivia and what looks like a complete line of Yoga teas, as well as herbal teas and tisanes. I really like their elderflower and tilleul, [aka linden flowers] both quite delicate and which make me think of either Paris or the Swiss alps.
I was reading about Mimi Sheridan's travels in China and the food she ate and was reminded of my Uncle Bud's trip to Korea. Uncle Bud was a man who grew up on a farm in Upstate NY and whose food tastes never left - not an experimental eater. He was thrilled to see oatmeal on the menu for breakfast at his hotel - At last! something familiar. He ordered it at once but was considerably dismayed to find it came topped with a raw egg! My aunt loved to tell that story!
This morning I am drinking some fine Imperial Yunnan from Upton's. I do love Yunnan and this is a particularly nice one. I have no words to describe the taste. To me, "a really good Yunnan" suits it, as Yunnan is so distinctive. I think it must be one of those teas, like some particular wines, that so very clearly reflect the particular soil on which they grow.
This afternoon I was going to try at least one and maybe more of the Keemun samples I bought. I haven't particularly cared for them in the past, but I like to go back to such teas and see if I can appreciate them more. However, my husband is canning beets and their wonderful scent is so pervasive there is no hope of an honest tasting of anything. Better luck tomorrow!
Isn't that a wonderful door?