19 April 2006

A Stash of tea

My tea has a prominent position of importance in my kitchen.  It occupies the entire counter that runs under my cupboards and is the first thing you see when you enter my home.  I have some of the odd and end bags sorted and arranged in one of the first baskets that my mother made for me.  The melon basket's peach and white reeds have faded slightly to a softer cream and lightly blushed comfortable possession.

I've boxes of bagged teas.  There are tins of loose teas.  I have herbal "teas" of all sorts of flavors.  I'm not particular about brands, sampling from here and there.

Years ago, my very first favorite tea as a child was nutmeg tea.  It came in a little white tin with black and brown print.  I loved watching my mother fill the stainless steel egg with the spiney black fragrant pieces and then she would pop it into the pot.  I always wanted to dunk it about and then after it had drained, I would screw it apart, and tamp the wet leaves which reminded me of my father filling his pipe with cherry tobacco.  I was rather surprised to find that the damp tea didn't taste remotely the way the cherry smoke smelled!!

Then for many years as a teen, Celestial Seasoning's "Sleepy Time" was a favorite.  I loved everything about it, right down to the comfy bear with the snoozing kitty.   Sometimes, I would place unused bags between my pillow and its case, just so I could inhale the scent deeply, holding it in my lungs, as I fell asleep.

Stash tea tickled my fancy as I left undergrad school in PA and moved to Portland, OR.  I read what I could and was enthralled with visiting the company.  Well, the idea appealled, but I never quite made it there for a tour.

Now, I always loiter in the tea section of the grocery.  Even though I have more tea than China (which is no mean feat, as I own very little China!), I still purchase the occassional box to add to my stock.  There are the old reliables to keep on hand.  Yet, some of the newer blends pique my senses.

Have a cuppa, sit back, and relax.

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