I have a friend who I have known for about fifteen years, but we don’t see each other often. She had two children when we met – a boy and a girl – and went on to have four more little girls. They live a storybook life in a storybook house. She decorates beautifully, the children love old Roy Rogers movies, she homeschools, and they use Spode every day. The oldest daughter sews the most amazing dresses and makes precious felted animals and dolls for her etsy shop.
I wondered if all those little girls might not get tired of being with ALL those little girls all the time! I suggested that my friend choose one of the four young ones to send over for a grown up tea time with me. She picked her middle daughter, ten years old, to be the first to come over. I made S’Mores sandwiches and I had asked her in advance what kind of tea she liked. She said she liked English Breakfast and Earl Grey.
I picked this one as our first tea to cut through the sweetness of the sandwiches. She added milk and sugar, I took mine plain. They call this their number three level “strong” tea but I found it milder than their number two strength. I steeped it at 203F for three minutes and it felt just right for me. This is loose leaf but definitely not whole leaf – more like particles, which is why I keep the steep short.
My oldest daughter had just sent a message from Ireland to ask if I needed for her to pick up some more M&S tea, but I told her they have brought so much I can’t finish it all before it gets stale. She also told me that she purchased an assortment of teas from Covent Garden and Whittard when she was in London, but I can only have part of it now as the rest is for Christmas. I do, however, have a key to her apartment…