Monday, May 16, 2011

Reasons for Going to England #2--Tea!

One of the things we are looking forward to when we live in England is the tea. We love tea and have become increasingly disappointed in what's available here in the States.

Starbucks is a purveyor of fine coffee but their teas leave a lot to be desired. I can understand them making chai from a concentrated liquid, but that's never as good as fresh brewed. The selection of fresh brewed teas leaves a lot to be desired, too. The green tea has a bunch of other flavors added, including lemongrass, which I find to be very un-green-tea-like. Lately, they've even messed up Earl Grey by adding lavender to it and calling it "London Fog." For goodness sake, can't I get a straight cup of tea without any exotic and undesired flavors?

Teavana is a much better provider, which is only natural since they focus solely on tea. Lately, they've also been disappointing. We used to have half a dozen favorites there. Then they discontinued Coconut Aloha. And Thai Tea. And Lapsang Souchang (a smokey black tea). And Gunpowder (a tasty green tea, and, let's face it, an awesome name). The lady at the store recommended Morrocan Mint as a substitute for Gunpowder--basically it's Gunpowder tea with mint flavor added. See my objections to Starbucks above!! They do offer something called Earl Grey Creme but at least still have regular Earl Grey on the menu.

One consistent source that I really like is Trader Joe's, which has a very nice Irish Breakfast tea and a completely unadulterated green tea. They also have an awesome corn salsa and a bunch of other salsas that we like. But I digress.

We are looking forward to much better teas in England. When we were there last time I bought some Yorkshire Gold Black Tea that was quite yummy. Restaurants always had good selections of the finest offerings for after dinner drinking. And we went to tea time many days, almost every day. Having an afternoon snack is a great way to live. Especially with a warm drink, fresh scones, and clotted cream. But I digress again.

Exploring the teas of England are definitely high on my list of things to look forward to on our upcoming trip!

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