Sunday, December 17, 2006

A nice cup of tea?

I've always been quite intrigued by the curative and therapeutic properties of tea. It seems that no matter how catastrophic any disaster is, it can always be soothed with a nice cup of tea. The proffered panacea at all moments of dire need is always 'how about a nice cup of tea?' clearly tea is either 'nice' or it's a coffee. I've seen this over the years and generally haven't been able to participate, as I can't get my head round the hot milk part. I would try sipping someone's black coffee (only when offered I hasten to add, I don't just steal sips from random cups) but found it much too bitter. I wanted to like coffee because cool people sat around in coffee shops putting the world to rights, albeit mainly on US sitcoms! But try as I might I just couldn't become a coffee drinker. I like the ritual of coffee, I like espresso jugs and cafetières and I have elegant little coffee cups though I use them for intense little soups tasters or mousses. And of course, coffee spoons are de rigueur for eating little pots of unctuous Gü! But I also like teapots, teacups, strainers and infusers.

I tried dabbling in the occasional green tea with lemon but it was only an occasional occurrence.

On the Orient Express to and from Venice back in May, we would partake in afternoon tea each day. And after seeing how D takes her tea I figured that I could do that. She has the weakest Earl Grey without milk and now, so do I. It is fine if I make it myself as I can show the infuser or the tea bag to the hot water but if I have tea out I invariably need an extra jug of hot water to tone it down for my delicate palate! Also, like D I can easily eke two or three cups from a pinch in an infuser or a bag but if I leave the bag to one side for a reuse I get accused of being slovenly and not disposing of my discarded bags. But I can state here, that I do dispose of my used tea bag, but not until I've finished with it. So if it's still there, I intend to have another cup later.

So basically I get it now. As long as my tea is über weak and devoid of milk I can enjoy the odd cup though I'm not sure if I'd turn to tea in a crisis yet. Maybe I have to get my daily uptake higher before I can turn to the leaves in moments of distress as currently I have a hardened two cups a fortnight habit. Crazy I know! But now I can hang around normal people and frequent the likes of Starbucks whereas previously I'd stare at the chalkboard and try and select the least offensive option. Though I have to say Starbucks is quite an intimidating place for a coffee avoider, there's some scary stuff in there.

And it seems very appropriate that I am talking about my newfound occasional tea habit as H gave me a 'j' mug amongst other presents for Christmas. And coincidentally I gave her a sparkling H!

Another favourite cup (if I'm feeling inclined to a saucer) is my Harvey Nix Italian 'baci' women who, along with Nigella, I aspire to be!

Anyone for a cuppa?


Kelvin said...

And here's me thinking a cup of tea was just that........thanks for putting the "t" back into "tea" - interesting blog to read. Worth sharing so I have mentioned your blog @ #377 on my blog - 21 21 21 Great Blogs To Read.

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DD said...

Diva J,

I would join you for a cuppa anyday! (Or should we have Kir Imperials?) Love the tea cups! Glamma...

Seriously, tea is for me, I very seldom drink coffee, it seems to make me 'bounce around'... Herbal is the best brew. Peppermint is my all time fave. Y loves green tea, of course, and drinks litres of it!

I can hear the kettle whistling as I type!

Big Love,