It was at Book Club that I ruefully expressed my disappointment that we had missed an opportunity to celebrate International Tea Day last week. No-one else seemed to mind other than remarking that it would have been a good excuse to socialise somewhere during the day. A few bandied about the names of places we could visit in town for such a purpose.
What can one expect from a band of Rooibos fanatics? My only ally in what they call the ‘ordinary’ tea (Ceylon) brigade wasn’t there – and she only ventures as far as Earl Grey. Another friend usually only tastes different teas in my home – where she is frequently pleasantly surprised that anything other than Rooibos can taste so good!
In a defiant celebration of the wonderful variety of teas on offer, I reached into the tea cupboard this morning for the presentation box of Tea Forté loose leaf teas I had received for Christmas.
I selected a foil packet of Bombay Chai and steeped it for five minutes. Now this is a marvellous tea to savour early on a chilly morning!
While some prefer to drink it with heated milk and the addition of sugar, I enjoy the deliciously fragrant infusion of black tea, ginger, cardamom, cloves, star anise and black pepper with only a dash of milk. It has a full-bodied, smooth taste that warms the cockles of one’s heart.
This dark and delightfully invigorating blend of tea apparently originated centuries ago in India and Tibet – it has certainly stood the test of time and would make a refreshing drink at any time of the day!
My challenge to all traditional rooibos drinkers is to step out of your comfort zone now and then to dip your taste buds into the shores of the mighty ocean of tea flavours – even if only to confirm your choice of favourite tea tipple.