When the weather is warm I consume vast quantities of cold tea. Dear Old Dad keeps two gallons of cold black tea in the refrigerator for me. When I am working at my desk I keep a big RTC full of the within reach.
When the weather grows colder I continue with my iced tea and add hot tea into the mix. There is something wonderful about taking a break from writing, teaching or filming workshops with a cup of hot tea in my hands.
When we started teaching online it was fairly easy to get good quality tea. Now it’s a bit more complicated. Big companies are charging top dollar for tea that is either stale, laced with flavoring chemicals or just plain poor quality.
One of my favorite teas is lapsang souchong. It was probably the first black tea ever produced in China. The leaves are smoked over a pine wood fire giving the tea a smoky and complex flavor.
I got hooked on lapsang souchong in the 80’s. I did not know anything about tea at the time, but the campfire quality of the brew was intoxicating.
About ten years ago I gave up on my favorite tea. The lapsang souchong I was finding at grocery stores and from the big chain stores were chemically flavored and it had a funky aftertaste – like bacon candy from Archie McPhee. Eeeew! Yuck! Gross! Gag me with a spoon!
This winter I am determined to get my grubby mitts on some good quality tea! Last night I ordered some tea from Yunnan Sourcing. They have an affordable lapsang souchong from Fujian Province. I also ordered some green, white and oolong teas.
It will take a while for my order to get to Crisfield, Maryland from China, so I will have time to get myself a new gaiwan to brew the tea. I had a really nice one last winter, but Pooka knocked it off my desk and it shattered into a million pieces!
Closer to Thanksgiving I will start making myself masala chai on the stove top. It’s spicy and good for warming up my arthritic old bones.
With any luck, Yunnan Sourcing will end up bring my go-to source for good tea. If not, there are tea shops all over the Internet. The search is part of the fun!