Saturday, October 17, 2009

one if by land, two if by tea

When I was in Boston a couple of weeks ago, I had a chance to visit Christ Church in the City of Boston, probably better known as The Old North Church, where the events of April 18, 1775 would make the history books.

After spending some time inside the church, it was time to visit the gift shop. They had some really cute things in there, including a little church mouse. I looked at it a few times but finally convinced myself that I didn't need to buy it.

But he is very cute.

And as I looked around the store a bit more, the friend I was with called me over to where she was looking at things - the tea section.

Uh oh.

OK, now I have to explain the tea thing - and this is only in reference to hot tea. Iced tea is a whole different, un-drama-filled deal. I like tea. I like tea a lot. I REALLY like tea. I don't know that I'd go so far as to say that I *love* tea, but I'm as close to that as possible without necessarily actually saying that. But, I don't like all teas. My preferences in tea are pretty simple, and they mostly tend to be the English-made teas. I don't generally do fru-fru fruity teas. I like the dark bold teas, straight up - no lemon, no milk, no sugar (except when I'm sick, in which case I do take my hot tea with lemon and honey, but that's the only exception). I like jasmine tea, I like green tea, and I really like English Breakfast Tea. OK, maybe with regard to English Breakfast Tea, I can say that I love tea. It's got rich flavor and doesn't just taste like slightly flavored hot water. And I love it enough that I've bought English Breakfast Tea made by multiple tea producers. And that's where the husband's objection comes in. It's not that he objects to tea in general or my purchase of tea. His objection seems to be that I buy multiple quantities of the one tea when I've already got quantities of the same tea made by other companies.

Now, understand that while I do like tea, having hot tea in warm weather isn't really my thing, and living where I do, we have warm weather a lot. Having hot tea on a cold day/night is very nice, but we don't get a lot of those. Hot tea is also quite time consuming, because I have to keep adding water to my cup, so it's not like I can just sit with a cup of hot tea for hours. It requires getting up and pouring more hot water in on a regular basis. Much less convenient than, say, a bottle of water or a can of soda. So, no, I don't drink as much hot tea as I might other beverages, and tea boxes often come with 16 or 20 tea bags. That's a lot of tea to drink. But, I see that tea is available somewhere, and I want to look, and I pretty much want English Breakfast Tea. So, I have purchased multiple varieties of that particular kind of tea, but if the husband is around, I often don't end up buying tea.

When he's not there, though, that's another matter.

So one of the teas they had in the store was Boston Harbour Tea - it's even got the British spelling of "Harbour"! This was the same brand of tea that was dumped in Boston Harbour during the infamous Boston Tea Party. Well, now that's exciting. I was amused that it was actually advertised as being the Boston Tea Party dumped tea. And, it's a blend of Darjeeling, Indian and Ceylon teas, so that sounded really good. So I had to buy a box of that.

The story of the history of the tea is on one of the side panels of the box.

Slight derail to tell this story: I was at the cash register paying for my purchases, and my friend was looking at something else, so I was explaining to her that this tea was the same tea that was dumped in Boston Harbour. This elicited a response from the cashier that no, it wasn't the same tea, it was just made by the same manufacturer. OK, seriously, I didn't mean that the contents of the box of tea I was buying was the ACTUAL tea that was tossed in the Harbour oh those many years ago and that they had APPARENTLY gathered all the tea dumped overboard and had been selling them piecemeal for the 200+ years since the incident occurred. And no, the cashier was not kidding in correcting me. W.

So, ok, one box of tea. Well, I didn't just buy that one box of tea. They had another tea in the store that was in a souvenir container with a picture of the Old North Church on it. How cool is that? And, I found it highly ironic that the tea inside the souvenir container with a picture of the Old North Church, where events had taken place to thwart the British invading force, was English Breakfast Tea. It wouldn't have been as funny if it was Darjeeling or even Earl Grey, but English Breakfast Tea? Someone has a wicked sense of humour. (Yes, I use the British spelling of that word too.) So, I had to buy the tea. The English Breakfast Tea. The kind that I really like. The kind that I already had a lot of.

This either shows that the English and the Americans have made up after that particular incident, or it's the Colonies sticking it to the British yet again, rubbing in their defeat.

And yes, before I actually made my purchase of the teas, I actually thought about it and considered that the husband wouldn't be too happy with me buying more tea. At least with the Boston Harbour tea, it was a different kind of tea, so he might have been ok with that even if he was there, but notwithstanding the nifty souvenir container with the picture of the Old North Church, it was that EBT again. The friend I was with said that really, there was no need for the husband to even find out about the teas. They would fit nicely inside my luggage, and it wasn't like the husband was going to go through my luggage when I got home, and all I had to do was take the teas to work the next day (I bought the teas on a Sunday afternoon when we'd be flying back to Los Angeles that night) and leave them there, and he'd never be the wiser. But I figured, if I bought the teas, what was he going to do? It's not like he could make me return them - the teas were purchased from the other side of the country, not just in the neighborhood and easily returnable. He wasn't going to throw my teas away. He wasn't going to ground me or take away my television or computer privileges. And I really wanted the teas. So I bought them.

And, when I got home that night, the husband was still awake, and I told him a bit about my trip. And I confessed to buying the teas. And I explained to him how cool each tea was. He just laughed at me when I told him that the nifty souvenir container had EBT inside it. I mean, he knows I like the stuff, so it couldn't have been that much of a shock that I bought more, right? And he couldn't have been too disapproving, since he did agree to take the pictures of the teas that I've used in this entry.

I haven't tried either tea yet, but I will indeed now be bringing them to work so that I can have them there.



Arielle said...

I love tea too. My family always had tea for breakfast as much or more than coffee. Comes with having the ancestors come around the Horn directly from England a hundred years after the Boston Tea Party.

I always buy different brands of the same favorite teas because they taste different. It is like wine. The tea can come from different areas and be blended in different balances.

Have you shopped for tea in London, yet? That is LOTS of fun! ;-)

Loved your post!

Sherry said...

Good title!

I'm glad you didn't get in trouble, and I'm glad I didn't get in trouble for encouraging you. ;)