For Little Things

It’s one of those chameleon teas today. It is billed as one thing and tastes like another. It’s got a nice, straightforward name; Peanut Butter Cup. Does what it says on the tin, you think? You’d be wrong.

Now, we’re always a bit odd about chocolate teas, so maybe our guard went up to start with. Maybe it went doubly up because tea shouldn’t be the kind of thing that can trigger anaphylaxis.

But for all that, this is a lovely tea. Except for the minor detail that it tastes like neither chocolate nor peanut butter. We’re prepared to say it tastes a bit like roasted chestnuts. There’s a nuttiness in the tea certainly. But from the flavour of it, we think that comes more, bizarre as this sounds, from the use of dark chocolate in the tea. The cocoa brings out subtler notes in the leaves that come across as faintly roasted.

It’s almost like a smoked tea, like Lapsung. But not quite, because it doesn’t get in your nose the same way. Whatever it is, it’s very nice. What it’s not is a peanut butter cup. And that’s absolutely fine. We love a peanut butter cup, we love this tea, and we accept that one of these things is not like the other.

But we got another opportunity to do a bit of tea sampling today, because a friend surprised us with a tea parcel.

We know, it’s Christmas and that’s what friends do. But this friend is way out in Australia and up to her eyes in managing children’s choir recitals and dogs and more choir recitals and Christmas and even more choir stuff and the dog again. And did we mention choirs? So we weren’t expecting a long-distance  ‘thinking of you’ type anything because we’ve been there and done the headless chicken routine, and something has to give.

Not, apparently, our tea. So, we had the delightful chance to sit down with tea named Jane Austen and enjoy that when we finally, finally got to the end of today’s workload.

It was billed as a rose tea, smelled like Turkish delight, and tasted like a rose garden. Okay, it tasted like a rose garden if rose gardens cultivated really high-quality Assam. We’re ear-marking this tea supplier as someone we want to return to and not just because of the literary names.

Now, on this basis, we thought about finding you one of Jane Austen’s poems. She wrote them, and they do exist. They’re sort of hen’s teeth on the internet, though. So, instead, we dug up a poem by the other literary great behind the tea parcel, L.M. Montgomery.   

We almost posted her piece about harbours but that would involve an explanation and we’ve wittered quite enough tonight. We’ll tell you about The Great Harbour Adventure tomorrow. Remind us. Until then, here’s a tribute to unexpected mementos of long-distance friendships.

For The Little Things
L.M. Montgomery

Last night I looked across the hills
And through an arch of darkling pine
Low-swung against a limpid west
I saw a young moon shine.

And as I gazed there blew a wind,
Loosed where the sylvan shadows stir,
Bringing delight to soul and sense
The breath of dying fir.

This morn I saw a dancing host
Of poppies in a garden way,
And straight my heart was mirth-possessed
And I was glad as they.

I heard a song across the sea
As sweet and faint as echoes are,
And glimpsed a poignant happiness
No care of earth might mar.

Dear God, our life is beautiful
In every splendid gift it brings,
But most I thank Thee humbly for
The joy of little things.

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