Wednesday, October 8, 2008

I think I'm turning English....

We all know what an Anglophile I've always been. I love talking in a British accent, I adore British films, British literature and I have a very British sense of humor. Dry, admittedly, but there it is. Anyway, of late I seem to be delving deeper into the habits of those "across the pond".

One huge change that I've adopted is the 4 o'clock tea time. I drop everything and have tea. Now, this may not seem like a big deal to some. "So you have a cup of tea at 4 p.m." you say, "So what?" Well for one thing, I didn't grow up drinking tea. I live in Georgia, in the Metro Atlanta area. The Sweet Iced Tea Capital Of The World! To not drink sweet tea here is insult to your heritage. If you were born and raised in the deep south and don't drink sweet tea then, Honey, there is something WRONG with you. And then people go around blessing your heart. It's an international fact that in the deep south-eastern United States, you may gossip and say absolutely anything about anybody, as long as you bless their heart first. As for myself, I try not to bless any one's heart. I'm learning not to gossip, which here in Atlanta is also unnatural. Girls from Atlanta are born gossiping and get some of the best tidbits of talk in their lives from the nurses who deliver them. Bless their hearts. But I'm digressing...

Tea for me is an acquired taste. I first started drinking hot tea last year during allergy season. I was pregnant with Emily and sick as a dog from both the hormone upheavals and the weather in October and November changing from hot to cold and back again. I started out with fruity herbal teas. Celestial Seasonings makes a variety pack of fruit herbal tea that is excellent. There is Raspberry Zinger, Country Peach Passion, Cranberry Apple Zinger, Tangerine Orange Zinger and Black Cherry Berry.
I tried each of these teas "straight up" because they all, being fruit based, have a mild natural sweetness to them. About a month ago I decided that if I was really going to get into tea the way I want to, I'm going to have to be adventurous. So I began trying other teas and also different methods of sweetening them. After all, when I drink coffee I can't stand it black! I like a little coffee with my cream and sugar. My Aunt Sally is that way and I can remember Christmas Eve breakfasts at Grandmama's house when I was in high school and college. Sally and I would doctor our coffee across the table from each other, taking turns with the sugar bowl and creamer. (My mother would scowl and fuss at the amount of sugar I added to a beverage she didn't approve of me drinking in the first place, but then, most everything I ate at Grandmama's table at Christmas was met with disapproval on her part.) I find that I like my tea with one sugar cube (equivalent to about 1/4 teaspoon), a drop or two of honey (depending on the type of tea) and a little milk. I've just developed my taste for Lipton's Black Pearl Tea, which I had originally bought as a component for a gift basket for a friend of mine who is majorly into the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. (So am I, but that's what I'd bought it for.) I took too long in getting the basket together and wound up sending something else Pirate related instead, so the box of tea sat on my shelf for a few weeks, unopened, until I screwed up the courage to try it lest it expire. (It's still a year away from it's expiry date, but all the same, I don't like to waste anything.) I love this tea. It's made in a pyramid tea bag so the leaves have room to expand and give optimal flavor. This tea encouraged me to try other Lipton pyramid bag teas: White tea with blueberry and pomegranate flavors and Bavarian Black tea with blackberry flavors. All of these are fantastic.

So there you are. Another quirk that makes It's really late, so I think I'll head to bed. I'll blog again on this subject, I'm sure, as I try new varieties of tea. At the moment I'm still sampling all kinds and am in no way an actual "Tea Connoisseur", and even if I did have a developed taste for different qualities in teas, I am at the moment somewhat impoverished, and cannot afford the more expensive gourmet teas. As I said, as I try new kinds I'll let you know. Until next time, then. Cheers!

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