‘Ahoy!’ harks back to the fourteenth century when it was a common form of greeting. Over time it has become more closely associated with its nautical use, more often combined with ‘ship’. Even landlubbers who have read novels about the sea will be familiar with the strident call of ‘ship ahoy’ when another ship or boat is spotted in the distance. Given its association with tales of pirates and merchant ships, a tea called ‘Ship Ahoy’ conjures a picture of faraway lands and exotic spices.
Indeed. The ingredients listed on the plain brown packet as well as the aroma wafting through the tight weave of paper are mouth-watering: black tea, caramel bit, chocolate drops, cacao bean peels and ‘flavourants’ – what are the latter?
Open the packet and an overwhelming aroma of tea, chocolate and spice fills you with a longing to breathe it all in at once. Steep the tea for three and a half minutes and you are in taste-heaven!
The first time I tasted this tea I had it strong with milk – very flavoursome. After that I tried it sans milk – even more delicious! Ship Ahoy tea is the equivalent of a filling dessert and requires, I think, to be savoured slowly and in good company as a special treat.