Doulton’s Shakespeare: A Tasting Note in 5 Acts
Act I scene 8
“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”
Romeo and Juliet Act II scene 2
Recently I’ve spent some time contemplating pricier “hoity-toitier” teas vs. their more reasonable counterparts. I was never one to be swayed by trends in my school years. I never wanted to purchase the jeans for their brand. So, why do I suddenly covet these more expensive teas? Am I being lulled into a tea popularity contest? And the conclusion I’ve come to is that I think that I’m being true to myself. I think that if a “hoity-toity” tea didn’t taste good to me, then I’d admit it to myself and others. And likewise, if I found a tea that I love that everyone else despised then I’d feel confident in my declaration of love.
All of that is to get to my notes on this remarkable tea. This is my second French tea and I am in love. I am just astounded by the magic that is created with these teas: I open the packet and am completely overwhelmed with potpourri! Yet when it steeps and then I drink it, it has become the most wonderfully complex cup of yum. The only thought on fragrance of the dry leaves was that I thought that it must have anise in it. It is an anise-based potpourri.
Oh, but the joy in this cup! There are all these flavors working harmoniously together so that they become greater than their parts. I can’t even tell you what those parts are until I read the description and then things crystalized in my mouth. And I’m pretty sure that I’m not being swayed by the description. I didn’t have to convince myself of a single one: they’re all there and I’m in awe of how well they work together. Oh, and this tea is smooth like silk. No dryness or astringency to be found. The cinnamon does start to make its presence known more as the cup cools. But it’s still delightful. And to clarify: there is no anise in here. What I believe my mind did was confuse good cinnamon with anise. Strange, but true.
I think that I now understand “afternoon” teas. This one is too genteel for my mornings. But for the afternoon? Perfect. The thought of having this tea later on in the day would help me get through even the roughest workdays.
So this became Romeo and Juliet for me. It is heart-achingly romantic with so many beautiful moments. But then I only have enough tea left for one more pot, and thus my heart breaks. It is so tragic! TG