Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Big Red Sun, Y'all

I've managed to take the entire summer off from writing this, inadvertently illustrating two key principles of tea culture: 1) tea drinkers are spontaneous and 2) what's the hurrry? There's really nothing that's going to happen in the "tea world" that anybody needs to hear about right away, if at all, so relax, have some tea.

So anyway, here's what I did this summer: drank tea. In fact, the hotter it got the more I put back so I've got lots to tell you about. I think the number one find was Harney & Sons Big Red Sun, which is a blend of Kenyan and Ceylon teas. Harney & Sons have done a very good job of creating a brand that looks English and old-fashioned while in fact being New English and old-fashioned up in lovely Connecticut. Big red Sun is one of their "HT" blends, a series of unconventional blends designed to keep up with all the hip and happening urban teas that keep springing up in severe, designy tins and vegan pop star-owned tea houses. I guess it's more Sons than Harney. What it is, though, is all business. I drank that stuff so fast I can barely remember what it tasted like. Shortly before I blacked out I recall thinking it had a honey sweetness reminiscent of a high grade Formosa Oolong but the nice fullness you get from an Assam. Perfect first cup of the day tea. Also high marks for the appealing flat-finish red tin because looks do matter.