A Cup of Tea by Mary Cassatt
..."each cup of tea represents an imaginary voyage" Catherine Douzel, the mystery muse.
I have been a tea drinker for some time, brewing up a pot every morning to enjoy with my breakfast. But after reading Sarah Rose's book, All the Tea in China I was inspired to try different kinds of leaf tea. I set off on my new tasting adventure by purchasing a tin of Darjeeling whole leaf tea while I was in San Francisco a few weeks ago; it is indeed delicious and now I want to try others. Tea, I have found has many similarities to wine. It too has a long, storied, and mysterious history; like a good bottle of wine a good pot of tea is also influenced by terrior, blending and aging. And, have you ever heard such wonderful names: Golden Monkey; Yumman Jig; Ceylon Sonata; Assam Melody. For anyone interested, Adagio Teas offers these and many others in sampler packages to try.
All this and it's good for you!
All the Tea in China by Sarah Rose is a fascinating read about Robert Fortune, the great Scottish plant hunter of the 19th century adventurous forays into China to smuggle out tea plants for cultivation in India. This all took place in an era of great change both scientifically and economically - it was the tea trade coupled with opium that built the British Empire. I found it fascinating and I hope some of you will too.