Nor All That Glisters Gold

Another old favourite today. We ended up brewing it several times. Glitter and Gold is a black tea that supposedly sparkles when you pour it out. We’ve never made that happen.

It’s something to do with the sugar crystals in it, or something. Anyway, the composition has clearly changed a bit, because it used to include little gold balls of what we presume was a variation on hundreds and thousands.

That wasn’t in the tin, so apparently whatever causes the crystalline effect has changed. It hasn’t affected the taste. It’s still a light, sparkling (meraphorically) black tea with a hint of spice.

We associate it with Cambridge, because that’s where a friend introduced us to it. We drank nothing else for the whole of the visit. This was back when David’s Tea still shipped to Britain. After that we stocked up in Toronto and brought a whacking great load of tea across the border. That was when Toronto still had stores you could walk into.

As it happens, we have the perfect poem to go with Glitter and Gold with its sparkling gold confectionary balls. It was a Poetry and Cake staple.

Ode on the Death of a Favourite Cat Drowned in a Bowl of Goldfishes
Thomas Grey

Twas on a lofty vase’s side,
Where China’s gayest art had dyed
The azure flowers that blow;
Demurest of the tabby kind,
The pensive Selima, reclined,
Gazed on the lake below.

Her conscious tail her joy declared;
The fair round face, the snowy beard,
The velvet of her paws,
Her coat, that with the tortoise vies,
Her ears of jet, and emerald eyes,
She saw; and purred applause.

Still had she gazed; but ’midst the tide
Two angel forms were seen to glide,
The genii of the stream;
Their scaly armour’s Tyrian hue
Through richest purple to the view
Betrayed a golden gleam.

The hapless nymph with wonder saw;
A whisker first and then a claw,
With many an ardent wish,
She stretched in vain to reach the prize.
What female heart can gold despise?
What cat’s averse to fish?

Presumptuous maid! with looks intent
Again she stretch’d, again she bent,
Nor knew the gulf between.
(Malignant Fate sat by, and smiled)
The slippery verge her feet beguiled,
She tumbled headlong in.

Eight times emerging from the flood
She mewed to every watery god,
Some speedy aid to send.
No dolphin came, no Nereid stirred;
Nor cruel Tom, nor Susan heard;
A Favourite has no friend!

From hence, ye beauties, undeceived,
Know, one false step is ne’er retrieved,
And be with caution bold.
Not all that tempts your wandering eyes
And heedless hearts, is lawful prize;
Nor all that glisters, gold.

Apologies cat lovers! We know a few of you read along. It’s not Miss Marschallin’s favourite poem, either, nor ours. But we saw the name on the tea tin and the first thing we thought of was that final line by Gray. It’s was too perfect to leave lying there.

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