Monday, November 15, 2010

Get ready folks: it's TEA TIME.

Sara announced that she wants tea and/or tea accessories for Christmas, so I've been doing tea research. This evening it's mostly been related to chrysanthemum tea, which Sara mentioned last night and with which I am now fascinated. I mean, as far as that goes. It's just tea. But I'd like to try to make my own, because as far as I have been able to tell, it's just dried chrysanthemum flowers. I'd need to find the right variety, but that is not an unsurmountable obstacle. Actually, this guy has conveniently supplied a link. I could just buy it, of course. I'd rather not spend the money, particularly considering the cost of blooming teas, but that website I just linked apparently sends a surprise tea sampler with each order. So that's tempting.

Delicious teas which I have, unlike chrysanthemum tea, actually tasted:

Turkish tea (Rize). They got me completely hooked on the stuff* while I was there, and we have run out at our house, and this is unacceptable. Everywhere you go in Turkey, somebody comes up with a little tray of filled teacups and offers you some. And then they offer you more. And more. It's probably a conspiracy. It's a black tea, but beyond that my powers of description fail me. I'm not enough of a tea connoisseur (you'd think I'd know how to spell that by now, but it took me several tries and a trip to /ashamed) to go any further than "delicious."

My other favorite tea, rooibos. Also known as "bush tea," this isn't technically tea. That is, it's made from a plant other than the traditional tea plant, as are most other things drunk as tea. If you want to be completely correct, you're going to have to refer to this and all other "teas" (except black, white, yellow, oolong, pu-erh, and green) as tisanes. Anyway, rooibos is delicious. I am drinking a cup of it right now.

And just for a hint of how much stuff I've been slogging through on this Christmas present research, here's a page giving a sample of tea-infuser paraphernalia. I think the duck is my favorite.

Lastly, this. If only.

*They are really hardcore (and particular) about the way they brew this stuff, too. I searched something related to Rize, I can't remember what, and I came across this site which explains it all in painfulstaking detail.

Edit: a blogger I follow on another website posted a link to this site on her blog, with no explanation whatsoever. I was amused, and also intrigued. It's interesting to see just how many humanistic niches are out there.

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