Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Girlie Tea

This cold, gloomy weather has driven me to the brink of violating all my personal rules regarding the consumption of flavored beverages. Gripped by a February malaise, I've been haunting gourmet shops lately and bringing home tins with fancy lettering on the outside, fru-fru tea on the inside. Before having kids I used to spend much of this time of year brooding & listening to old-fashioned symphonic music, but coming up with the odd hour and a half for Mahler to make his point (and he does have one) is getting harder and harder to do. These days I settle for a pot of tea and a good long stare out the kitchen window.

Today's flavor is Eden Rose, another fine offering from Betjeman & Barton in France. It's pretty sturdy for an afternoon-grade girlie tea from France and there are two things in particular that I like about it: one, it smells like truffles (the chocolate kind) which tend to smell nice and two, it tastes like tea (you know, tea) which often tastes good. That's a winning combination. The base tea is a decent, non-controversial, jeans or slacks-wearing, regular haircut type and it's wearing a t-shirt that says "rose, lavender and a bit of vanilla." In French, of course.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005


A friend recently returned from Argentina and brought me an ornate little yerba mate gourd & bombilla set as well as some yerba mate "tea" bags. If nothing else it looks great and lord knows we never have enough gourds in the office. The beverage itself was pretty satisfying. I'm not sure what was yerba mate and what was gourd pulp but what the hell, it was fine. Come to think of it, by about the fifth infusion I was desperately sucking on the bombilla (straw) for one last sweet drop. It reminded me of the Pu-Ehr tea I tried a while back - sort of earthy, but much less intense. According to the internet yerba mate is even more nutrient-rich than green tea and it has some caffeine (or something) which provides stimulation without the jitters, hallucinations without the paranoia, you know. Nutrition: Feel the Buzz! I think it might also increase penis size and help you find information about anyone, anywhere. I drank it with the same keen awareness for sensation that I had when I tried smoking bananas and nutmeg in my youth with about the same results, minus the headache. Very curious to try the loose leaf. I love the little hookah-like bombilla. Makes me feel good.

Friday, February 11, 2005


All this delicious, delicately scented tea I've been drinking lately has made me very curious about the process of making blends like the Pouchkine that I can't shut up about. What I'm looking for is details, details, details about the process itself, which is relatively undocumented in the public forum. I read that John Harney uses a small cement mixer to make his blends (duly noted, and very manly) but that's all the info I've got. How exactly do you apply bergamot or other oils, for example? Do you put it in a spray bottle and spritz the leaves? How much oil can you use without making a soggy mess? Do you just let it air-dry or do you fire it up to seal in the flavor? I'm sure I can figure it out by trial and error but I'd rather be told.

Please advise.


Monday, February 07, 2005


I've been using this Tea-in-Mug brewing/drinking contraption each morning for the past few months and today I managed to drop the mug. Sad face.

Instead of dwelling on my failure and loss, however, I'm going to use this as an opportunity to try out some other technology vis-a-vis tea brewing. The all-in-one mug solution is nice but it's also pretty anti-social. A nice teapot might serve as a beacon for guests, a steamy welcome to my little corner of the world. Everything's gonna be better from now on, I can feel it.

PS. Football season = 7 months from now. Crap.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Shut Up About the Pouchkine Tea Already

Still mulling over my aged tea theories of late. I've decided to put one of the Pouchkine tins deep in the back of a cupboard so I'll forget about it for a few years. About the time we re-do our kitchen I'll stumble upon it and brew up a big pot to share with the workmen while they're on break, smiles and laughter all around. I'm sure they'll enjoy it and reward me by finishing the project ahead of schedule. Implied in this is the hope that I'll be smart enough by then to hire experienced professionals to do major home renovations as opposed to the usual idiot-husband-learning-as-I-go routine. Besides, I'll be a tea millionaire with other things to do like outfitting my Escalade with a samovar.

Meanwhile, Erik and I have plans to visit every Williams Sonoma in the DC area in search of 'expired' tea. And cranberry-walnut pancake mix.