Hubby has been known to conduct on occasion some … uh, well, for lack of a better term I’ll call them “experiments” with tea. Tea experiment #29 was a doozy, so I had to share it here.
It all started so innocently. The teapot was empty. (Side note: empty teapots are the source of the world’s ills, so keep yours filled.) Hubby being the kind of guy he is, that is, someone who doesn’t hesitate to dive in and solve a crisis such as this, stepped up to the plate and got ready to steep tea. He filled the tea kettle with water and set it on the stove (and yes he remembered to turn on the burner!). Then came the inevitable question, one that can cause some moments of contemplation on my part: “What tea should I steep?”
Well, silent except for the head-scratching. Or was that the gears in my brain creaking? Whichever it was created enough of a pause for hubby to fill the void with his own suggestion, which was: “Hey, I know, I’ll try that blend I’ve been thinking about.”
Sounds of brakes screeching to a halt.
“Uh…okay…” What else could I reply? He had that excited kid look. I was banned from the kitchen (a pretty hard thing to do, since I use the family room as my writing space and it opens up to the kitchen — I just did my best to focus on writing and ignore the various sounds he was making). Then came the call, “Tea’s ready!” I was over there in an instant, eager to see what he’d cooked up. He had cleverly hid away any sign of what he’d done.
“Here you go,” he said, handing me a steaming cupful. I took a sip while he watched with eager anticipation. Would his efforts evoke a “Yum!” or a “Yuck!”? Mmmmm…rich, full flavor smoothed with milk and just a touch of sweetener.
“Assam!” I cried triumphantly, confident in what my tastebuds were telling me. “Yes,” he said, “and…” Huh? Okay, what else had he sneaked in that potful? I took another sip. Then I asked for a sipper cup of the tea straight (no milk or sweetener). Very revealing. “PG Tips!” I exclaimed. “Yes, and…” he said again. “Uh… hm…” sip, swish. “Typhoo! And Barry’s!” Hubby beamed. “Correct. And correct!”
Wow, hubby combined these brandname teas with our regular CTC Assam. He said he ground down the CTC Assam to the consistency of the tea dust in those brandname teas. They contain some Assam but also other teas, including tea from Kenya and other African growers, who generally use the leaves of the Camellia Sinensis assamica. So, I guess this experiment wasn’t too crazy, tea-wise, but flavor-wise, it was a real doozy. Yum!
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