Monthly Archives: May 2010

Fruity Grey

Lady Grey
by Twinings of London
(Order from their site, or find it at your local grocery store.)
Fruit slices, veggie trays, chicken salad, cucumber sandwiches: chick food. This list may make a man sweat at the thought of being force-fed any of these items. However, women generally love it. Yes, I too enjoy the occasional cheeseburger, the bag of greasy chips, or a nice tender steak. But I also like chick food—probably because it’s programmed into my DNA.

If you’re planning a tea party, Lady Grey is a must. Unlike her husband, the Earl, Lady Grey prefers orange and lemon peel to bergamot. Similar undertones, but overall a lighter, fruitier taste. It’s great for an afternoon lazy sip, or a perky morning flavor. Because of the light citrus combination, along with the full-bodied black tea, Lady Grey goes well with cookies and biscotti-like foods. Shortbread is a divine pairing.

Like most tea companies from Great Britain, Twinings has also established its name “by royal appointment.” But they’ve done more to impress Her Majesty: they survived. Twinings must be one of the oldest tea merchants in England. Having established his tea company in 1706, Thomas Twining’s family took over the business and has kept it running ever since. They are still operating out of their original building on Strand Street (which was a prime piece of real estate after the Great Fire of London). Twinings was the first to introduce the Earl Grey flavor to the public.

With so much history, you can taste the richness of their flavors. So sit back and enjoy a cup of fruitful bliss. And don’t forget—pinkies up!

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Baltic Tea

Sea Buckthorn Green Tea
by The Republic of Tea
(Ships quickly from here.)

I’m always amazed by the speed of shipping The Republic of Tea provides for all its orders. It’s a good thing for people like me who get excited about a new tea flavor and can’t wait to taste it. The Republic does not make its citizens wait long. I don’t think I’ve ever waited more than two days for one of their packages. So I guess you’re tired of this shipping introduction and want to know more about this new tea. Alright, read on.

Sea buckthorn is a shrub that produces small, round, orangish yellow berries. The tea canister shows a picture of bright yellow berries, but in all the photos I found of the whole shrub, they appear rather orange. To be fair, we’ll call them orangish yellow here. Regardless of color, this seems to be a remarkable little fruit.

Commonly found along the Northern Atlantic coastline, and apparently in similar climates in Northwestern China, the sea buckthorn shrub thrives near saltwater. This particular tea uses berries harvested in Germany, off the coast of the Baltic Sea. Here the fruit is known for its high quantity of vitamins C and E. Couple that with antioxidant-rich green tea and you’ve got a healthy cup of fresh flavors.

Apple was added as a sweetener, and I think it adds just the right amount of flavor. (Apparently, sea buckthorn is not very tasty by itself and is often paired with apples or grapes.) The slight tartness of the sea buckthorn berries and the pleasant but understated sweetness of the apples allows you to taste the green tea as well. It really is a refreshing cup of tea. It’s not heavy, and won’t give you very much of a pick-me-up, but it’s a nice pairing of flavors for a late morning or early afternoon tea break.

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Parisian Holiday

Paris
by Harney & Sons
(Get your slice of Paris here.)

A little sidewalk café, a little breeze across your face, and a hint of vanilla. You don’t have to go to France to experience Paris. This black tea with a touch of vanilla is light and soothing. It’s black tea flavor is strong, but the vanilla brings a calming element to the concoction and warms it. I’ve never even been to Paris…

When people think of Paris, they think of sidewalk cafés, which I’m sure is a nice experience, but I also think of shops full of books and old men piling the volumes high on tables (because, of course, they’ve run out of room on the shelves—there’s a lot of history in Europe). So I chose a cozy, musty backdrop for the tea you see in the photograph. (Others might think of the French Revolution when they think of Paris, but I resisted the urge to include my copy of A Tale of Two Cities to the photo.)

The “W” on the mug probably shatters the illusion. I can’t think of a French surname that would start with W. Perhaps a visiting German professor has brought his own mug to the library, where he’s pouring over musty tomes of Parisian history. (Yes, those are all British editions in the photo—I have a shocking lack of French influence in my life).

No matter your level of French exposure, Paris tea will work its magic on you. After all, we’ll always have Paris…

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