There are two kinds of people in this world: those who use bags and those preferring loose leaf.
Yes, my friends, my latest obsession (actually several years in the making and finally embraced in the last 6 months) can be summarized in one or three letters: TEA.
Ever since I purchased my adorable orange teapot this past summer, I have not been able to curb the hunger. Back when I was in college, my dear friends Maureen, Colette and I would buy the Tazo variety packs and enjoy those amazing flavors on quiet nights in our small white house. Colette first introduced me to the idea of putting milk and sugar in black tea. At home in Minnesota I’d only ever had herbal, so this was completely new to me.
With a new roommate came a slightly new tradition. Kat, my roomie senior year, was kind enough to bestow upon me a beautiful and stylish green kettle. She even filled it with M&Ms and tea bags to feed my cravings for sweets and yummy warm drinks. Below is the closest image I could find. It’s not the exact model, but it gives an idea of what mine is like. Now it resides at our cabin, where apparently all of the cutest stuff must now live.While the obsession’s never ebbed, I have changed my habits a bit. Now I would NEVER put sugar in tea (nor in coffee for that matter). I continue to add a splash of milk to my Darjeelings and Earl Greys, but I enjoy them both just as much without. I also am strictly a loose-leaf girl now, unless the flavor I want is hopelessly unavailable outside the bag.
Perth is the perfect place to garner new flavors and to satisfy my addiction. There are little tea shops seemingly everywhere, and I cannot help but pick up new leaves whenever I can afford it. Unfortunately the tea and coffee cupboard is just about to burst. Right now I have black vanilla, earl grey, green, immunity (an herbal mix that I bought from the spa where I’ve been getting the occasional massage), organic peppermint, sleepytime (in bags, reminds me of home), and yesterday Matt spoiled me with two new boxes from T2.
We went to the new Claremont Quarter yesterday afternoon. It’s a posh sort of shopping center that’s brand new and is half inside, half outside. While it isn’t very big, we wandered around in awe for over two hours. The mall directories are actually like giant ipads. They have touch screens so that you can search for the shop you’re looking for. When we saw someone walking around with a bright orange bag from T2, we immediately sought it out.
T2 is known as the authority on tea amongst the young people of Perth. The store did not disappoint in the least. I felt like a five year old wandering into a department store at Christmastime. There were beautiful cups and saucers everywhere. Gorgeous aromas filled the air and teapots sat proudly stacked on endless shelves. On the front round table, all the teas were out in little labeled bowls. We smelled at least 30 before we settled on Perth Breakfast to take home. There were also samples in ice tea form, which led to the purchase of strawberries and cream, though I NEVER drink fruit tea.
This amazing little device on the right came in the box with the S&C tea. Before, I was always using my teapot, which makes two full mugs worth. It’s wonderful when you have plenty of time to sit and drink the pot, or when I share
my brew with Matt, but now I can get a quick fix as well. It’s my new favorite accessory.
As I contemplate the finer things, I am reminded of something I’ve been meaning to share with my faithful readers. I recently discovered a website/business run by a girl I graduated with at W&L. Her name is Inslee Haynes, and we were never close. I suppose this is how it took me three years to stumble upon what she has been up to.
I hope that Inslee won’t mind my borrowing her images for this post. I’ve captured a little snapshot to give readers an idea of the variety of her work. She is a sort of fashion artist. These are images of some of the beautiful cards she sells on her website. Someone very special to me may soon be getting a set of these cards for a certain impending birthday *wink*.
This discussion of tea reminded me of Inslee because there is a lovely set of stationery for sale on her website and the subject is unique and antique teacups. I’ve always wanted to collect them myself, if only I had the space!
Lately I suppose I feel like my life is dominated by pretty things. I see so much cute and exciting stuff out in the world, and I can never hope to wrap my arms around it all. Not only material things, but food as well. I feel an incessant urge to cook and to learn to make amazing dishes. Working in a restaurant where chefs invent new specials twice a day is really incredible. All of these experiences are forcing me to revisit my own creative side. It’s really inspired me to get back into my writing. I know I’ve been quiet for ages, but right now I’m working on something I really believe in. Hopefully I’ll be back soon to share it with all of you!