I have been in a bit of a grumpy mood lately, and for once, tea related things did little to elevate it. I got this month's issue of a tea magazine, filled with lovely tea party settings and wonderful food. I saw some china that I admired and looked in their sources column for the manufacturer. Ow, ow, ow! A plate - one plate was $650. Another I liked was one plate, $450. Get real. How many of us are going to spend that much on a plate? It would be nice if they were a little more realistic. There are pretty things that are not the cost of a plane ticket to Europe.
To continue my rant. Tea itself. I got this in a tea swap I am part of and I know the person was trying to please and I am not ungrateful. I just hate this tea and couldn't get too much past the first few sips. Even my husband, who is no tea snob, asked if I was sure this was tea. The tea was DavidsTea Saigon Chai. The base is Assam, cardamom, pink peppercorns, cinnamon, clove, maybe orange and lots of other stuff mixed in. It smelled sweet with hints of pineapple, pepper, cinnamon and other things I could not identify. The brewed cup tasted like that and more - just a mess. In my very prejudiced opinion, any flavoring should let the taste of tea come through.
On to the good things. Newspapers are still favorites of mine and I like having them in print. I like the feel and smell and heft of them. Not to mention their ability to be used underneath any mess I may be making.
Plus, they often have articles on tea. Our local paper had a good one on the rise of the importance of tea and last week's NY Times had a full page on East Frisian tea. Which, by the way, can put any Breakfast tea under the table in terms of strength. East Frisia is known for being cold, damp and windy, which probably explains it. Wow! It's really wonderful to see tea getting mainstreamed.