Tea is one of the food areas that I can be a bit snobby about at times.
I started working in an English tearoom when I was fifteen, shortly after my older sister became the manager (due somewhat to nepotism, I’m sure).
When I’m very particular then I want an unflavored black tea– not Earl Grey as I’m not a fan of the oil of bergamot. I want a healthy amount of milk and a very small amount of sugar. I want my teapot warmed first. And the tealeaves need to be in an infuser, not sitting at the bottom of the pot– they mustn’t over brew.
Traveling in Europe, New Zealand, and Australia was a tea drinkers paradise! A culture that understand a little break mid morning and mid afternoon to stop and have something warm to drink is the kind of culture I can appreciate. Add some delicious crackers with fresh tomatoes and cheese and I’m over the moon!
Even though I can be really snobby and particular about my tea sometimes, if I’m served a bag of Lipton with a splash of milk I can be completely happy.
My oldest sister and younger brother have both kept to coffee along with our parents. But my sister Kara, our cousin Jewel, and now our sister in law Tara, are all tea drinkers. It was nice to have something like tea to instantly bond me to our sister in law.
Recently the five of us girls took a trip to Ireland. Coffee is now all over the world, but there are some countries where tea will always win. We managed to find coffee for Erika on a regular basis but tea was certainly in abundance and we all enjoyed the comradery it encouraged.
Really though, tea is another area of food and drink that is more about the company for me than about the item itself. I’ll drink just about anything when it’s served with friends.
More recently my friend Alia and I have had tea and Doctor dates. We fry up a pound of bacon, Alia makes delicious popovers, or we have a hard boiled egg and sandwiches. She has two tea trays and a lot of adorable mis-matchy china and silver and we eat and drink it all while watching episodes of Doctor Who. It’s absolutely beautiful. It doesn’t take a lot of attention or a lot of effort to have a tea party everyone can enjoy.