Once upon a time Wombatgirl suggested to Angrboda that they do a tea swap. Ang thought that was a good idea and agreed, so they exchanged addresses.
“I’m a little broke this month, though,” said Ang. “Do you mind if we wait a little while?”
Wombatgirl, luckily, saw no fault with that.
And so they waited.
Days went by and payday came and went. Ang and Wombatgirl each put together a selection of teas from their stores and sent it off to each other. Mail between America and Europe takes many days, so they waited impatiently to receive their packages. There was nothing else that they could do. Days crawled by at a snail’s pace until finally the notification came.
There was a package for Ang in the town’s Package Pick-Up Place, a wonderful contraption where Ang could fetch packages to her at all hours of the day with the use of two pin codes texted to her upon the package’s arrival.
Ang picked up her package and hurried on home to open it. It contained a great many interesting things, but star among them was a sample of Heritage Aijjiao from Red Blossom Tea Company.
Ang rather liked the notes of leather-y cocoa and something earthy in the aroma of those leaves, so she decided to make a pot of that first.
Oh, what a revalation that was! After she had steeped the leaves in water just under boiling point for a minute, the aroma of the cup she poured was rich with cocoa, sweet and earthy and plentiful.
Massively cheered by this aroma, Ang took the first sip from the cup. A smile slowly spread out on her face as she savoured that wonderful flavour. It was everything the aroma had been. A strong earthy note that shouted out its oolong origins topped with the sweetness of a heavy chocolate-y note. What a most wonderful tea! Ang found herself sipping more and more of it, trying to determine more details in the flavour. A touch of flowers here, an aftertaste of nuts there.
Perhaps, she thought, she could even guess which region of China it came from. Ang was never much of an expert on telling these things, but she thought that a cocoa note as strong as this seemed to be typical for the Fujian Province. And indeed it was.
She sipped and sipped and sipped, until suddenly the cup was empty. Oh that happened all too soon! Unhappily, she went for a resteep, hoping it would be as good as the first one, and to her relief it was. There was a little more gentleness about the flavour, but all in all, the flavour profile of it was intact.
Wombatgirl had kindly provided with enough dry leaf of this most wonderful beverage that Ang could get another pot. Ang was not, however, willing to part with those leaves so quickly so she hoarded them away for a long time. Protected they were in their little bag at the bottom of the Bits’n’Bops Basket.
But nothing good lasts forever, and one sad day, those leaves were gone too. Steeped within an inch of their lives, they were, but inevitably they had to be discarded. There was much sadness on that day.
Meanwhile, Wombatgirl had rather enjoyed the sample of Lemon Oolong from Nothing But Tea that Ang had sent her. As Ang was, at the time of being told about this, in the initial stages of planning a purchase at that very company, she offered to buy some more of that for Wombatgirl as well. Eager she was to spread knowledge of this fine tea shop around the world. And thus their second swap was decided upon.
Another waiting period followed, for Ang to get the package from Nothing But Tea and then for the two swap packages to reach their respective destination. Ang’s package from Wombatgirl arrived in due time and Ang opened it as soon as she came home, excited to see what wonderful things might have been packed into it.
Behold! Heritage Aijjiao from Red Blossom Tea Company! A whole little tin of it. Enough for three or maybe even four, if she was thrifty, pots
Once again finding that urge within herself to hoard the leaves and never part with them, it took a long time before Ang could actually bring herself to open the tin and use some of them.
One morning in December, shortly before Christmas she felt it was time. There was snow on the ground outside, it was dreadfully cold and the sky was blue with not a cloud in sight. Most importantly, it was wednesday and therefore not a work-day for Ang.
The time had come at last to break into that tin of Heritage Aijjiao. And so she did, savouring every sip while writing the longest ever post on Steepster.
And they lived happily ever after (or at least until the leaves ran out. Again.)