Hot Chocolate and Houseman

Saving everyone a lot of headaches, today’s tea was Hot Chocolate.

So, there’s no need for the auxiliary tab detailing what’s in the tea this time or how to brew it. This one’s an old favourite and a calendar staple.

We always enjoy a black tea in the calendar, because we can drink it over breakfast instead of remembering to schedule something atypical into the day, like an oolong or rooibos. And this is a lovely decadent black tea designed to taste like hot chocolate. It always feels extravagant as a breakfast tea, but it’s too caffeinated to be an evening drink.

Because it’s chocolate-flavoured, it’s also the rare flavoured black tea we add milk too. It’s lovely without it, but a bit of milk makes it creamier and brings out the chocolate flavour.

Because it’s been in the calendar so long, it’s a tea that is inherently nostalgic, especially of late nights at Kinness Place. We’d sit on the most orange sofa in creation, juggle the lap desk awkwardly with our tea for one and rattle off the blog, often after a train journey somewhere. Usually it was Stirling.

Since that’s the case we thought we’d give you a similarly nostalgic poem. This one is shot through with a bit of the grey and sere, too, but that’s appropriate for Advent.

Tell Me Not Here It Needs Not Saying
A.E. Houseman

Tell me not here, it needs not saying,
What tune the enchantress plays
In aftermaths of soft September
Or under blanching mays,
For she and I were long acquainted
And I knew all her ways.

On russet floors, by waters idle,
The pine lets fall its cone;
The cuckoo shouts all day at nothing
In leafy dells alone;
And traveller’s joy beguiles in autumn
Hearts that have lost their own.

On acres of the seeded grasses
The changing burnish heaves;
Or marshalled under moons of harvest
Stand still all night the sheaves;
Or beeches strip in storms for winter
And stain the wind with leaves.

Possess, as I possessed a season,
The countries I resign,
Where over elmy plains the highway
Would mount the hills and shine,
And full of shade the pillared forest
Would murmur and be mine.

For nature, heartless, witless nature,
Will neither care nor know
What stranger’s feet may find the meadow
And trespass there and go,
Nor ask amid the dews of morning
If they are mine or no.

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