A while back my best friend mentioned to me that she had been quite enjoying my tea blog, and that she hadn't realised that I was such a tea nazi (her phrase) but that it was rather endearing. Now if that's not a ringing endorsement I don't know what is (although please feel free to come up with your own and post it in the comments section).
Today it's all about the herbal - specifically one of my own invented blends which is lemongrass, calendula and dried apple pieces (although I don't think I put enough dried apple in - I'll increase the quantity when I finish this batch and make a new one). I'm onto my second big pot of it (my 6-cup Farmhouse Filter teapot made by the London Pottery Co, which is just about as quintessentially teapot-looking as anything I've ever seen). You can have a look at some examples of these teapots here. Mine is a lovely creamy colour; my parents recently acquired a 4-cup version in red. Both were purchased from the Tea Leaves shop in Sassafras, Victoria. Great place - I hope to go back there on my next trip to Melbourne in early August.
Teapot reminiscence: for my 18th birthday my parents bought me a 'Jolly/Sad' teapot (scroll down the linked page a little to see the picture - I think the lid of mine was blue, not red) with a smiley face on one side and a sad face on the other. It was a really good little teapot which unfortunately broke after a number of years of use and I don't have it any more. My mum ended up using it as a kind of barometer of my presence - i.e. when I was home, she would turn it around on the shelf so that the smiley face was showing, and when I was away from home she would have the sad face showing.
I suppose it's something to be grateful for that it wasn't the other way round.
On another note, in my tea travels online the other day, I came across an absolutely hilarious 'How-To' guide for making bad tea (thanks to this Twinings Tea Blog article for directing me to the link). Check it out here. I shared this article with a friend of mine at work with the observation that the people in charge of the tea and coffee supplies there must have read, and furthermore adhered strictly to, the principles propounded in this article. She agreed.
I particularly like the items listed in Mr Weber's guide to bad tea under #6 "Aesthetic Nihilism", especially the bit about reheating tea in the microwave as 'the ultimate expression of disregard for quality'. Heh.
In other news, the anticipation continues as I have still not received my order from the Oriental Tea House, but I hope it will arrive soon. Oh, how I hope it will arrive soon...