Friday, 24 August 2007

Japanese Style Part II - Tea

Despite the proliferation of cool and swanky coffee houses all over the place, I'm still a tea drinker. I like the idea of going into a coffee house with a book or the newspapers on a lazy afternoon when I've got nothing better to do. I like the smell of coffee very much, but that is where the love affair ends. For me, coffee smells better than it tastes. With a St*rf*cks [sorry] on the high street of every itty bitty little town (yes, one arrived here this year too), it seems that the British tea drinker is getting left out in the cold.

A few days ago, I heard a discussion on the venerable Radio 4 about the fact that sales of regular black tea is at an all time low
in the UK. But there was a light at the end of the tunnel. It seems that sales of specialist teas - chai, green teas, red teas, fruit and herbal teas were enjoying a bit of a renaissance. People are starting to get picky about their tea, and not just their tea, but their tea making accoutrements too... It made me think about the type of tea I drank (ahem, any number of teas - green, fruit, herbal, black ...), and what I drink from. I have the mother of all teacups & saucers: it holds three-quarters of a pint, and no one drinks from it but me. I also have a whole variety of teapots, depending on what I'm drinking, e.g. this one is for fruit teas. I got it from Mariage Freres in Paris, home to a tea museum, and some of the most fabulous tea rooms I've ever visited (and yes, my schoolgirl French is hideous).

I reserve this one that I bought in Japan for when I'm feeling ultra-special, and want to have a cup of green or white tea with a touch of honey. Sacrilege, I know - did I introduce you my sweet tooth?

Bettys by Post is a fabulous way to indulge. Not only are teapots becoming small items of desire, I noticed that tea is being packaged ever more attractively... "Woman's Hour" on Radio 4 has an article about the perfect afternoon tea at Claridge's Hotel. Coffee, watch out!


Yvonne said...

If you ever get to Liberty's try thr Tea room on the ground floor - I'm always spoilt for choice

KimT said...

makes me want to drink some tea. your tea sets are lovely!

2ply said...

Hallo - came here via Ravelry. :-)
Didn't know about Bettys by Post but it looks wonderful, so thankyou.