A little prematurely I am thinking about the post Christmas detox, and the cleansing delights of tea. Not your regular typhoo without which no self-respecting builder could stand up, but the delicate complex flavours of a Golden Assam or a Darjeeling First Flush, served in a small delicate tea cup or bowl, unadulterated by milk.
My recent trip to Darjeeling has stimulated these thoughts, and while it is hard to re-create the experience of sitting on the verandah of a British Raj hotel in the early morning Autumn sun, a visit to Postcard Teas in Dering St comes some way to stirring the memories. Timothy d’Offay deals in tea at a serious level and knows well the tea estates from which the tea is supplied. It’s all a bit like wine as a subject, but with more ceremony, and surprising facts. Did you know that the second infusion of some teas can be better than the first? That rather puts paid to the idea that tea always has to be freshly brewed.
! could have sat there on the wooden bench sipping tea and chatting to this passionate young man all afternoon. It was certainly a refuge from the madness of Christmas shopping on Oxford St, and the beautiful tins of teas would make wonderful presents, if they didn’t look so good on my kitchen shelf!