The Autumnal Equinox is upon us once again, signaling that it’s also once again the season for a great Fall Teatime. Invite over a few friends, steep up a pot or two of tea, load up the tea table with your favorite autumn treats, and dig in!
For those of you with school age children, one reason for this gathering of fellow tea lovers is the all-too-quiet and somewhat lonesome house now that they are back in class. Another would be the opportunity for a bit of adult-level conversation and sharing notes about the trials, tribulations, joys, and rewards of parenthood. For the rest of us who don’t have children or whose children are grown and leading their own lives, any excuse to gather with like-minded tea lovers is a good thing. The beginning of autumn is just one of the better ones and a personal favorite.
About a month ago the hours of daylight were getting noticeably shorter, the back-to-school sales were in full swing, the farm reports were starting to talk about harvests, and people’s thoughts were turning to that change of season: the first day of autumn. My great Fall Teatime plans began to grow from a tiny seed covered by cobwebs in a corner of my brain to a full-fledged “plot.”
I’ve tried some really tasty teas over the past year and so have quite a list from which to choose. Of course, the tea has to be one that will go with the teatime treats I’ll serve, which, in turn, must be in line with my Fall Teatime theme.
Pumpkin scones with big dollops of Devon clotted cream, deviled eggs all cheery yellow with a speckling of bright red paprika, crisp and bright green celery with “squiggles” of cream cheese and a dusting of dill, cubes of cheeses ranging from a tangy cheddar to a red-rinded edam to a tasty Rembrandt, and baked apples with the brown sugar still bubbling from the heat of the oven are just some of the delicacies that sprang to mind.
So, which teas? Yes, I said “teas.” I like to offer my guests choices. Of course, a nice strong Assam is an obvious choice. It’s a real “gulper” tea that takes milk well and blends with the flavors of many foods, including the ones on my “menu.” Recognizing that not everyone likes their tea “British style” (with milk and sweetener), I also want to serve a tea that would taste great straight from the teapot. Some possibilities that spring to mind are: Margaret’s Hope Estate Darjeeling with its muscatel aroma and flavor, Chai Green tea that combines the spices of a chai with the lightness of a green tea, and Monk’s blend with its pomegranate/vanilla taste combo that steeps up a fruity/caramelly/tangy taste punch. Then, just to be a bit contrary, I’ll have a pot of Snow Dragon White Tea standing by.
The guests have been invited. The table has been set with a typical “harvest home” setting (fake pumpkins, colorful plastic leaves and flowers, etc.). Even a few CDs with some appropriate fall music have been selected to give a proper atmosphere. Time to put the kettle on and answer the doorbell when it rings. Ding dong!
Make sure to stop by A.C.’s blog, Tea Time with A.C. Cargill!