Tea Time – Loose Leaf Adventures
So a few weeks ago my queen returned from a girls trip to Dubai to celebrate the b’day of her bestie and brought me back something quite intriguing, a packet of Darjeeling tea. I didn’t know what it was at first, I had recognised the name as it was the same as an Indian restaurant somewhere but as far as knowing what it was I was rather bewildered if I’m honest. I knew it smelt nice but once I had opened the packet I realised that I couldn’t drink it as it didn’t come in individual bags as I, at this point being quite basic, was used to. My girlfriend, whether she had known at the time or not, would set me onto a path to become a tea connoisseur as I suddenly began to explore past the tea bag into the unchartered world of loose leaf infusion, steeping and straining.
At first I had grandiose ideas about getting a tea making set with aspirations of conducting Japanese tea ceremonies or English tea parties but I quickly realised that I wanted to be able to comfortably explore first. I even entertained going the Persian and Moroccan route but rather than purchase the iconic glasses and tea pots here, I’d much rather wait until we travelled to North Africa on a mini excursion. At this point I was so excited that I was in a treasure hunt state of mind. Maybe it was because of the Paddle Your Own Canoe water bottle I had acquired the month previous, was a tea set to drink my Darjeeling from Dubai this months mission?
If only Stormzy made me a dubplate special talking about shut up when someone comes around asking for Tetley.
We had ventured out quite late into the afternoon to the V&A (Victoria & Albert Museum) where we stopped at Paul’s in South Kensington for a snack before heading to see a few exhibits. We arrived in Covent Garden around 6 o’clock and got straight into the search for the holy grail. At first we stepped into Kikki.K where I had seen a nice infusion type tea pot and a glass water bottle. I was tempted to hedge all my bets in one basket however I really wanted to check out what Whittard and East India Company had to offer.
We arrived at Whittard and tasted some nice tea before the store manager introduced us to their Cherry Bakewell and Hot Chocolate. Although I wasn’t looking for any hot chocolate, it was certainly two items I will put on my wish list and every time I’m in Covent Garden I’ll be there to get a few mini shots! We viewed some nice looking tea pots but they were out of my budget. I wanted something small enough to travel with and simple enough to maintain and get me started as I was new to this loose leaf infusion life. We stepped into East India Company and had a taste of a similar Darjeeling that had arrived that very morning and spotted some kind of floating buoy type infuser. It was light, it looked easy to maintain and it was the perfect tool to get me started on my exploration of tea, for £10.00 I made the decision to purchase (sure I could of got it cheaper elsewhere but all I wanted was a cup of this exotic looking tea) the AdHoc Floating Tea Egg Floatea.
I’d say that Saturday was a fun and successful day because I got what I set out to get and the glass desktop water bottle and matching glass was a bonus. Must also note that upon returning home the Darjeeling was amazing! May this be the start of a further of loose leaf tea excursions?
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