Recently, K and I stopped at one of my favorite teatime spots—Selah Tea Cafe, in Waterville, Maine.
When presented with an assortment of scrumptious teas, I often choose rooibos, a red tea made from the leaves of a South African plant. I like its earthy, slightly sweet taste, and the way it complements other favorite flavors, like vanilla and cinnamon.
This time, I chose a Belgian Chocolate rooibos. It was rich and fragrant, with a deep caramel color and a warming, reviving taste. The chocolatey herbal flavor comes from the addition of calendula (a flower resembling marigold) leaves and cacao (cocoa bean) pieces. Consider it a tea translation of well-crafted chocolate.
K ordered French press coffee, and my tea infusion came in a French press of its own, along with a little hourglass timer to let me know when my tea had steeped to its optimum level.
Breakfast sandwiches with sides of fruit and home fries transformed tea and coffee-time into a nourishing repast. It was just what I needed to refresh my spirits on a gray summer day, as I set out on the first part of our cross-country move.
The experience reminded me of the hearty teatime that has historically sustained British workers. The practice of blurring the line between high tea and supper shows that tea-taking is not only the delicate upper class ritual that often comes to mind.
Do you make time for tea during chaotic times? What are your favorite blends or varieties?