In a Bath Teashop

Have you ever heard it say that the better the tea-leaf the better the tea? Forever Nuts is a herbal tea that takes this idea to it’s logical conclusion; the constituent parts of it are so big as to actually be awkward to extract from the sample tin onto a teaspoon. That’s its greatest fault though -if you don’t mind drinking tea that is pink.

Lest there was any doubt that it really was pink tea.

It doesn’t taste of pink, you understand, there’s beetroot in it and that dyes it pink. Mind you, it doesn’t taste of beetroot either. In fact it tastes mostly of apple, cinnamon, almonds and what we’re tolerably sure is another nut that the ingredients neglected to specify. It being another of our previous attempts to replace the Crumble Tea, when it cropped up in the calendar today it was a bit like stumbling over an old friend.

It’s especially welcome after a day spent drinking Twinings  breakfast tea. (We did warn you we could be snobbish about tea.) It’s not that there’s anything wrong with Twinings; if we have to have a bag tea their our default when we can’t get Red Rose, and we can’t at the moment, because we’re in Scotland. It’s just that if you live on nothing but leaf tea -and good leaf tea at that -for long enough, it’s a wrench going back. Well we think so. The fact that we never learned to take Twinings Breakfast Tea without milk probably doesn’t help either.

If at this point you’re wondering how teabags ever came to feature today, given that we’re clearly fussy on the point of tea, we spent a large portion of today from sunset onwards in tearooms visiting with people. If that sounds like on of those quirks of time worthy of Austen -when a morning lasted until you sat down to your afternoon meal -it’s only because this is Scotland and twilight falls at 3. If anything we were observing tea precipitately. Tea of course, was most quotidian, but as proof it needn’t be that way, here is a poem by John Benjamin. We preface this by saying that whenever we read ‘In a Bath Teashop’ we think of Bath wet-cobbled and rainy. It’s not that it rained the whole time we visited -it didn’t – it’s that nothing elevates a bath tearoom so much as ducking into one to escape a sudden gout of rain when without an umbrella.

In a Bath Teashop

John Betjeman

Let us not speak, for the love we bear one another—
Let us hold hands and look.”
She such a very ordinary little woman;
He such a thumping crook;
But both, for a moment, little lower than the angels
In the teashop’s ingle-nook.

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