Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Happy Tea Experience at the Airpot, and other musings

No exciting tea tales to relate today, unfortunately. I spent a very pleasant weekend in Melbourne but unfortunately did not have time to go to any tea shops (shocking I know). I did however get a nice surprise when my husband and I were having a cuppa with my parents at the airport after they met us at the Tiger terminal (which is so far away from the main terminal that we may as well have stayed in Canberra, honestly – but this is not the place to gripe about that). We went to HighTide which is close to the Virgin Blue entrance to the Domestic Terminal. Much to my delight (having psyched myself up to brave a regular, crappy teabag, because of it being so cold and miserable weather-wise and us having had to walk for miles in the pouring rain to get back to the main terminal – but I said I wasn’t going to gripe, didn’t I?) I discovered that TeaDrop teas were served!

TeaDrop teas are lovely loose-leaf teas and tisanes, served in those nifty little pyramid teabags, which I first discovered at the Groove Train on Bridge Road, and I’ve since seen them in quite a few cafes and coffee shops round and about the place (even in Canberra, I think, though I can’t remember where just off the top of my head). The Malabar Chai is particularly nice – I think that’s the one I’ve had most often – and the Cleopatra’s Champagne is also great (that’s a blend of chamomile, lavender and rose petals, very fragrant and floral). I decided to try one that I hadn’t had before and selected the Fruits of Eden blend, which was served nice and hot in a big mug. It had a great red colour from the hibiscus and it was fruity without being either too sweet or too tart.

It was quite a nice change to get the tea (with bag) in a mug, which is why I’ve mentioned it, because lately I’ve been feeling short-changed when I order tea that comes in one of those annoying little stainless steel teapots which invariably drip and the lids don’t close properly… I’ve noticed recently that whereas normally I would expect to get two tea-cups’ worth out of one of those little pots, I have only been getting one. Now I haven’t made a thing of it because I am very meek and mild when it comes to being a customer. But seriously – it’s only water, people. It’s not going to break the bank for you to fill up my little teapot properly so that I can get two cups instead of just one…

But with my tea coming in a mug like it did at HighTide, I could see exactly what I was getting and did not feel short-changed at all. I know it’s much more proper to make tea in a teapot, but I didn’t really feel that it detracted in anyway from the quality of the fruit tisane… They’re a bit tougher than some other teas I could think of.

What I have the greatest hankering for at the moment is a Tea Tonic blend called Tea Party Tea, which is sold at the health food shop where I used to work (amongst many other places). It’s a blend of rooibos and rose petals. My sister and I christened this blend ‘Festivi-tea’ and used to drink it by the bucketful. I suspect that homesickness is a major reason for my craving for this particular tea at this particular time…

I am of course not willing to pay $22 for a product that I can make at home myself for about $6, but I haven’t yet had the opportunity to source some reasonably-priced loose-leaf rooibos in Canberra (I do have rose petals though). I am hoping that my local health food shop that does all the bulk herbs and teas will have some, but I keep forgetting to go and check it out. Very remiss of me. Perhaps this evening (if I don’t get home too late)…

By the way, you may have noted that Tea Tonic sell their blends in teabags as well as loose. Unless things have changed dramatically since I finished up at the health food shop (6 months or so now) I wouldn’t bother with the teabags. They’re not that bad, but they’re not that good (not as good as the TeaDrop ones, e.g.). They’re made in little unbleached filter bags, which is virtuous and surely good for you, but the product inside largely resembles dust (as you will find with most teabags) – a dramatic difference from the loose-leaf product in the tubes or tins. The filter bags are also notoriously flimsy in my experience – they break open in your tea extremely easily (if they’re not already broken when you open them).

There are some concerns that the pyramid teabags which are made from nylon are not very environmentally friendly, however – see this article at The Simple Leaf blog…. I will try to find some more information on this.


  1. Interesting thoughts about the nylon tea bags. I have always loved the convenience of loose tea in a pyramid shaped bag. Not to mention they're cute. Anyway... I never considered the potential environmental implications. Tsk! Tsk! Thanks for sharing.

  2. It is terribly convenient, isn't it? I suppose if you wanted to compost them you could just cut them open and empty the used leaves into the compost bin (or whatever you're using) and then dispose of the bag separately - that would help.

    Check out this link to find a bit more information about the potential health and environmental effects of nylon bags:

    The Tea Smith (see links to the left) sells little paper pouches which you can fill yourself (they are called T-Sacs) and I'm sure similar products must be available elsewhere, etiher online or locally...


Thanks for taking the time to comment... I appreciate it!


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