Not much time to post this week; have been feeling quite under the weather with the virus that seems to be doing the rounds of my office and have had a couple of days home on the couch feeling sorry for myself. Such is life. It did give me the opportunity to put my Yixing teapot to use for the first time, though – and in other exciting news, the two sample packs of oolong tea (10 different kinds in total!) arrived with unexpected swiftness from Tea From Taiwan (only a week after I placed my order, now that’s great service!). I haven’t had the chance to try any of these so far but I hope to on the weekend after our flying trip to Melbourne.
Anyway, I thought I’d post briefly about a couple of pleasant tea experiences which I’ve had when out to dinner over the last few weeks.
The first was at a brilliant little Middle-Eastern café called Mint in Surry Hills (more or less), Sydney, where my friend M and I had a light dinner after our tea-tasting extravaganza at Zensation. As if I hadn’t had enough tea already (which, clearly, I hadn’t), to my friend’s astonishment I ordered a pot of Moroccan mint tea. To my delight I saw the guy behind the bar literally stuffing a huge – really - handful of fresh mint into a white Beehouse teapot; green tea (not sure what sort) was placed to the infuser, and from the sweetness I guess the sugar had been added along with the mint before the water was put in. It was fresh, minty, sweet but not overly so, and perfectly brewed. I loved it!
Having read a few weeks ago about a spiced green tea called kahva on the TeaSpot blog, I was intrigued to find it listed amongst the hot drinks at the little local Indian restaurant just across the road from our house, when my husband and I ate there one Friday night. I was cranky (had just discovered that our gas had been disconnected for no reason), tired and feeling like I was coming down with a cold, so I decided to order some kahva to warm and cheer myself up.
It arrived in one of those strikingly unattractive little metal teapots that are so common in restaurants, accompanied by a couple of lemon wedges, some sugar, and a tiny espresso-sized cup. The restaurant not being very well lit, the only things that I could see in the pot were some green tea leaves (again, not sure what kind) and some whole star anise, which was responsible for the beautiful sweet aroma rising from the pot. The tea was delicious; not bitter or overbrewed at all, despite the fact that I could only pour out one small cup at a time and the remainder was left to continue to steep. The flavour of the star anise added a lovely liquorice sweetness.
My faith in the possibility of ordering decent green tea while out and about - which was seriously crushed a couple of years ago by a hideous café experience involving some gunpowder green tea, ruined with boiling water and left to steep until it was undrinkable; honestly, it would have stripped paint – is gradually being restored. This can only be a good thing.