Hail, St. Patrick; we who are about to destroy ourselves on an early pubcrawl in hideously bad weather to celebrate your name…salute you.
Yeah, doesn’t quite have the ring of the original, but it captures the foreboding feeling I have listening to freezing cold rain splattering against my window, while I eyeball the clock and am forced to confront the fact that, yes, in four hours, I am going out. Hoh-boy.
Something…reassuring…was in order, here. Why not try Florence, finally? I have fond memories of that city. Eight months or so out of the year, my mother and stepfather live in a tiny villa on the side of a mountain overlooking the Mediterranean on what is known as the Cilentan Coast, in the Province of Salerno, within the Comune di Sapri, and a bunch of other divisions I can’t be bothered to remember sorting out. It’s nice. Peaceful. There are goats and hairpin turns winding through mountainside towns of a variety that you do not get in the United States, because if you had them here, there would be incidents resulting in cars on rooftops every other Thursday. Somehow that does not seem to happen there, regardless of the fact that every other person you glimpse behind a wheel appears to be one thousand years old and half-blind.
Anyway, I digress. Off to Florence I go, when the goats no longer hold my interest. Hop a train, and bam: buona sera, Ponte Vecchio!
For those of you interested, the very best way to see Florence is not, in fact, to get a hotel room, but to rent one of any number of widely available private apartments just off of the very same Palazzo della Signoria mentioned in the description of this tea. There are a ton of them, and they are available, in the off-season, on what passes for the cheap when you’re talking euros (which means not so cheap anymore, alas).
Anyway, I cannot for the life of me recall having had hazelnut hot chocolate in Florence, but there IS a little chocolate and pastries cafe on one of the corners of the Palazzo called Rivoire that…
Anyway, enough about Italy. This tea is escapist enough to be worthy of the moniker even if the flavors it so expertly captures are not flavors I immediately associate with that city. I prefer this tea hands down to the plain chocolate blend from them that I’ve also sampled…something in the hazelnut really gives the tea depth, and without it the nose would not be nearly as special. It has the balance I’m coming to expect from a flavored H&S tea, and all in all I’m pretty pleased with having selected it to restore my resolve to march out into the worst weather ever in search of a perfectly-poured Guinness.