T for Tea!! :) Yay the day has come :D

Well, T is finally here and it’s time to tell you a little more about tea, and our habits. A lot of my dear friends are also tea lovers and I have asked a few of them to tell us more about why this precious elixir is so special to them. I am also planning an interview with each of them but that will be for later as I don’t have enough time to complete all the interviews before the end of today. So this adventure will be continued.

In this edition I will present each one of my friends who has participated and I will post what they answered to the questions I asked in a questionnaire, and I will also show you the pictures they have chosen to share.

The participants are : Ola (from Canada), Jennie (from Australia), Pamela (from Canada), Victoria (also from Canada!) and Mélanie (from France). They are all very good friends and have beautiful tea collections.

Let’s start with Jennie :

  1. What is your favourite tea and why ?

At present, my favourite teas are:

Tielka’s Rose Moscato Green Tea. It tastes, and looks, just like a hot, non-sparkling, non-alcoholic dark red moscato.

Tielka’s Midnight Blossom Oolong Tea – tastes just like its name.

Mrs Oldbucks Summer Blend – tastes of rooibus and flowers.

Anything with Tulsi, especially chai

2. What is, in your opinion, the best place for tea drinkers ?

Do you mean place to buy tea or place to drink tea? I gather you mean place to buy tea because your next question is about places to drink it… So, the best place is anywhere that lets you sniff the tea or, better still, taste it, before you buy. Preferably a little boutique shop in an out of the way country town.

  1. What are your top 5 favourite places to drink tea ?

My number one spot is definitely White Rabbit Gallery in Chippendale, Sydney. This beautiful gallery holds wonderful exhibitions of contemporary Chinese art. Its adjoining cafe is filled with rustic Chinese tables and benches. You seat yourself at a table, under a ceiling full of empty old birdcages, and the waiter brings you the tea selection on a tray. Be sure to take the lid off each jar and have a long sniff of each tea. Narrow them down to your top three and then attempt to choose one. I can never go past the milk oolong.

The other best four spots are: in a comfy armchair at home; on a comfy couch at a friend’s house; any bookshop-cafe in the world; any perfectly beautiful High Tea cafe.

  1. Why is drinking tea so important to you ?

Drinking tea cures all ills and heightens all pleasures, whilst being an unadulterated pleasure in and of itself. It can be a low, rhythmic accompaniment to the noise of your life, or it can fill every tiny crack in an afternoon. It’s the only possible comfort in the middle of a night of insomnia, and the only possible joy on a foggy morning.

  1. What has it brought to your life ?

Every tea ever drunk is the continuation of a little gold thread running through life. I can’t remember all the lovely times I’ve had whilst drinking tea, but the thread runs through every day and links them all together.

  1. Who can you call a teaholic ?

You, Lizzie! Lots of people drink copious cups a day simply for the caffeine. I prefer to think of tea as something to savour and look forward to, so I don’t drink too much each day, and drink two or three different kinds of tea each day.

  1. What makes your tea collection ?

A tea for every moment. Summer tea, winter tea, cleansing tea, revitalising tea, sweet tea, bitter tea, flowery tea, herby tea, new favourites, old favourites etc.

  1. Do you have a favourite tea quote ?

My favourite tea-drinking quotes come from a scene in Oscar Wilde’s play The Importance of Being Ernest. One girl is making tea for another girl. Both girls are under the impression that they are in love with the same man (Ernest). The girl making the tea asks the other if she takes sugar. “Sugar is not fashionable nowadays” is the reply. So the girl making the tea upends the bowl of sugar lumps into the other’s cup. The look on the second girl’s face when she takes a sip should always be priceless. “You have filled my tea with lumps of sugar!” she complains bitterly when she can finally speak again. The ultimate revenge.

  1. How does tea make the world a better place ?

It’s hard to imagine a world without tea. No doubt it would be a worse place, but it’s hard to specify exactly which aspects of the world are positively influenced by tea. Each cup makes an individual’s world better, so the flow on affects from each cup of tea must be enormous.

10. Do you have a funny / random story about tea ? A tea adventure  you’d like to share ?

The silliest cup of tea I ever drank was a cup that wasn’t there, accompanied by bread and butter that wasn’t there either. I was playing a ghost in a film. I had to take tea seated on a picnic rug by a river bank and then slowly disappear… The director yelled ‘action’, I sipped my tea then reached for a bread and butter sandwich on my beautiful china plate, only to find it was still wrapped in gladwrap.

11. What piece of knowledge can you share about tea ?

I once heard the owner of a giant tea company (possibly Twinings) interviewed about his tea. He had inherited the company from his father, who’d inherited it from his father before him etc. so this guy knew a lot about tea. He said you must never, ever boil water for any kind of tea but must stop the water just before boiling point. A chemical reaction takes place in water when it boils and this change in chemistry makes tea bitter and spoils the subtle flavours.

And here are her fantastic piccies :

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And here, Jennie’s cat Archie sees, reaches and goes for the tea :

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Isn’t he so cute?

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🙂

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>Here is a cat after my own heart : haha Muffin just needs to smell tea to leave me alone!

And now let’s direct our attention to Ola who is currently living in Montréal :

1.

What is your favourite tea and why ?

My favourite tea has always been black tea. I love that it wakes me up and keeps me stimulated and focused while at work, taking care of my toddler or whatever else I may be up to. I love traditional black teas like Darjeeling, Ceylon and Assam, but also flavoured black ones as well. I love tasting and discovering new ones!
2.

What is, in your opinion, the best place for tea drinkers ?

I love drinking tea everywhere, for me it’s part of my daily routine and the same goes for when I’m on holiday, wherever i may be. I love preparing and drinking tea in the comfort of my own home, but I also appreciate having a nice tea out, especially when I can discover new flavours.
3.

What are your top 5 favourite places to drink tea

One of the most magical tea drinking experiences was when I went to japan 7 years ago. Tea, especially matcha tea, has a very special place in Japanese culture. We were able to visit a beautiful garden in Tokyo that had a traditional tea house that served tea with Japanese bean/rice desserts. My mom, friend and I were able to enjoy the best matcha tea while overlooking a groomed Japanese garden and a calm, beautiful lake. An exquisite experience!
2. While trekking in Nepal, I was able to taste fresh yak butter tea for the first time. I drank my tea overlooking the Himalayas, with grazing yaks around me. The taste was salty and buttery, but so full of energy. The word that comes to mind to describe this experience is serenity.
3. With my dear friend Lizzy bee, we went to marriage freres in Paris for an afternoon tea. Sitting amongst fancy businessmen in suits and sophisticated bourgeois ladies, we sipped our tea while telling jokes and being the loudest customers there. I cannot remember what I had, but I remember how amazing it was to share belly laughs with my dear friend who I haven’t seen in a while.
4. In Burlington, Vermont there is a cute little tea shop where you can sit on cushions on the floor and choose from a diverse tea menu. The atmosphere is very hippyish and I’ve had some amazing teas there ( of course I had to come back more than once!).
5. When living in Toulouse I discovered a beautiful tea shop called Bapz. I absolutely adore when tea shops use mismatching vintage teacups and teapots, and this was one of those places. I cannot tell you how many times I came here… Every month at least, from the time I found it.
6. In Agen, France, a small town where my husband is from, there is a wonderful little tea shop that has two looks, one that is more sophisticated and another that is more country style. Whenever we’d go to Agen, this was where I’d go to right away. It’s a little gem where I have many memories.
4.

Why is drinking tea so important to you ?

Tea is part of my culture. My parents who are Russian are very accustomed to drinking tea after every meal( and in between meals too!). I started drinking tea when I was very young; I remember when my friends came over when I was 7 or so in Canada and were shocked that my parents let me drink tea. Since then, I can probably count on my fingers when I went a day without tea. Now it’s a ritual, a way both to relax and be in the present moment, as well as to keep me focused and energized.
5.

What has it brought to your life ?

Moments of calm, relaxation, reflection
6.

Who can you call a teaholic ?

Many of my friends love tea equally as much as I do. I think it’s wonderful- it’s much better than fizzy drinks, and there are so many to discover around he world!
7.

What makes your tea collection ?

Many black teas, some sencha, herbal teas for when I have a cold, insomnia, etc. I have many that I get as gifts as well.
8.

Do you have a favourite tea quote ?

Here are some that I liked when I visited a tea musuem in Quebec city about 7 years ago:
9.

How does tea make the world a better place ?

It’s a tradition that goes back thousands of years. It allows the drinker to take a moment for themselves and to appreciate it. When shared, tea is great for conversation, and goes well with chocolate!
10.

Do you have a funny / random story about tea ? A tea adventure  you’d like to share ?

My parents would always empty brewed tea from the teapot in the toilet( and not flush…). I’ve witnessed a couple confused friends exiting our washroom on a number of occasions…
11.

What piece of knowledge can you share about tea ?

In Russian the word ‘tip’ as in a tip you leave a waiter for good service is ‘ na chaini’ which literally translates to ‘for tea’. Tea is so embedded in Russian culture that it is not seen as a luxury but a staple consumed everyday.
My current tea collection:
Displaying photo.JPG The piccie will follow as there has been a technical glitch. We do apologize for any inconvenience. 😀
And now here is Pamela, another tea connoisseur all the way from Prince Edward Island in Canada : her pictures will also follow.
  1. What is your favourite tea and why ?

My favourite black tea is a Creamy Earl Gray from a small teahouse in Vancouver (The Secret Garden).  This tea is the perfect balance of bergamot and vanilla (in my opinion), and reminds me of the wet spring and fall afternoons in Vancouver, my native city.

  1. What is, in your opinion, the best place for tea drinkers ?

The best place to drink tea, for me, is on the sofa, curled up with a wool throw.

  1. What are your top 5 favourite places to drink tea ?

My top places to drink tea: on the sofa, at the Secret Garden teahouse, with my sister at her house, on my porch on summer evenings, and at the Empress Hotel in Victoria, B.C.

  1. Why is drinking tea so important to you ?

It is a moment to relax from a busy day, and just enjoy a calm moment.  This time is also good for thinking and planning.

  1. What has it brought to your life ?

It has brought some excitement(discovering new ones !) and also some wonderful comforting and reflective times.

  1. Who can you call a teaholic ?

My husband.  He is not a tea drinker, so he does not understand the appeal of a cup of tea or discovering the excitement of a new blend.  He also does not understand for the need of so many different ones. Haha well then he is the opposite of a teaholic! 🙂

  1. What makes your tea collection ?

There are a couple of special teas in my collection.  There is an Earl Gray from one of my favourite places in Vancouver (Murchies), a Creamy Earl Gray (a gift from a very close friend, and fellow-Vancouverite), and a Violet Kusmi tea (a gift from my sister)

  1. Do you have a favourite tea quote ?  No.
  2. How does tea make the world a better place ?

Tea brings so many different cultures and people together.  It is amazing that a little tea leaf can do so much good !  Through this love and appreciation of tea, the tea drinker is able to also take part in the ancient traditions of other cultures and gain an understanding and appreciation of the lands and people that these cultures represent. In this ever-increasing globalized world, it is amazing to think that we can experience everyday or any time, the flavours and traditions from places as far away as Asia, Africa,and  South America.  The blending of teas, is an art, and distinguishes teahouses for their unique interpretations and appreciation of the leaves and their complex nuances.

  1. Do you have a funny / random story about tea ? A tea adventure  you’d like to share ?

Not one that I can recall.

   10.What piece of knowledge can you share about tea ?

The best tea is the one that you think is the best.

And now comes the turn of Victoria :

1.   What is your favourite tea and why ? — This is a boring answer, but Assam is my favourite tea. I just like the flavour. I also really like how it looks in loose leaf form; it’s an attractive shape. Follower-up is Yunnan, and then some of the blends — Irish Breakfast in particular.

2.    What is, in your opinion, the best place for tea drinkers ? Oh, sitting in front of a fire on a winter’s night, with a book and some music, maybe some friends or family hanging out with you. Or on the deck in the summer, sitting in the shade, with a cup of tea to relax and chat about the day. Or first thing in the morning, when it’s cool and crisp, with a steaming cup of strong tea, and pen and paper to write. Actually, all places are good places for tea.

3.    What are your top 5 favourite places to drink tea ? — Just listed a bunch! But in other locations … I had a delightful cup of tea (in a real mug!) and bacon butty from the van at Devil’s Bridge, Kirkby Lonsdale, England, with all the motorcyclists, looking down at a wonderful view of the river Lune. I like having tea at the Lion and Bright cafe in Halifax, Nova Scotia, even though their tea isn’t the best (I don’t think they heat their water enough), because the atmosphere is so fun. Hipster-ish, but fun. At my parents’ house, playing Scrabble with my dad, or sitting by the fire with my mum. On my own couch, with a friend! … Anywhere, really. Tea is always appropriate.

4.    Why is drinking tea so important to you ? Tea punctuates my day; I enjoy the flavour; I enjoy the whole process of making it. I like the history it brings, I like the smell of the fresh leaves, I like the connection with my English heritage … I do sometimes like the caffeine, though to be honest I just like it.

5.    What has it brought to your life ? Breaks from sitting, pleasure in itself, shelter from the rain, new people, the development of friendship and all good things.

6.    Who can you call a teaholic ? Me. 🙂

7.    What makes your tea collection ? Mostly black teas, a few herbal. I don’t like flavoured black teas very much so they tend to be single varieties or favourite blends.

8.    Do you have a favourite tea quote ? « Where there is tea, there is hope. » Seen on coasters and fridge magnets, but I’m not sure where it comes from.

9.    How does tea make the world a better place ? By making you pause for twenty minutes to boil the kettle and steep the tea and take a break for civilisation.

10.  Do you have a funny / random story about tea ? A tea adventure  you’d like to share ? I once accepted a cup of tea from a perfect stranger (at his house, no less!) because I was so cold and wet and had two hours to wait for the bus. We watched a National Geographic-type show on tv about giraffes, and all I could think was how grateful I was for the kindness of strangers. And then his wife suggested he drive me to where I needed to go rather than having to wait further for the bus.  The house was really smoky (cigarettes) which wasn’t very nice, but the tea was good and the giraffes pretty cool.

11.   What piece of knowledge can you share about tea ? My grandmother from Derbyshire called the process of steeping tea « mashing » — as in, « the tea is mashing in the pot. » 

Now for Mélanie’s answers, we will have to be patient as she is in the process of completing the questionnaire.

I hope you are enjoying my friends’ answers.

Let me share my own piccie from a part of my tea collection : I have a few from mariage frères (Paris), théodor (Paris), camellia sinensis (Montréal), Monsieur T (Québec city), david’s tea (Montréal), TWG (Singapore), damann frères (Paris), pukka (England), kusmi tea (Paris), and a few other places.

Here is my piccie :

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My love for tea is great and I love what all my friends have written. Thank you to everyone for participating and thanks to all my readers out there, I hope you are enjoying this post and if you’d like me to send the questionnaire, I’ll be happy to do so.

Cheerio to y’all, xx

 

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6 commentaires

  1. so great to read these stories! Loved it! a suggestion for future blog postes: write a weekly blog post about a particular type of tea, where it’s grown, its particularities, etc.

    • Yay I am sooo glad you enjoyed the stories!! Love your suggestion and will have to do that!! I’ll also have to think up a good interview about you and Felix!! Do you know about Dinis?? They’ve just had a baby boy!!

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