The David’s Tea Advent Calendar is back!
Actually, they are calling it the 24 Days of Tea in an effort to be ecumenical and I’m prepared to give them that since Advent started last week.
But first, a bit of housekeeping. Last time we popped up on here it was to farewell the braw, blue Augie the Doggie. He was starting to get sick about this time last year. But veni, veni Dachshundus (this is totally how one declines Dachshund…) So before diving into the tea of it all, we want to take a minute to formally introduce Rockingham Napier, Charmer of Wrens.
Well, okay, he’s Rocky Dachshund and he’s more interested in flirting with cats. But he is named after one of Barbara Pym’s most memorable gentlemen and flirts. And he is exceedingly charming. Just don’t ask the cat.
So now you have met Rocky and are all caught up on the Dawlish Dachshunds. That leaves us free to move on to tea.
Today’s is called Cranberry Ginger-ale, but it tastes more like it’s British counterpart, Ginger Beer. It’s a caffeinated black tea, but only slightly. Also, you can’t taste the tea for the spices.
That’s not necessarily a criticism. When you call something Ginger-ale, you want it to taste of ginger-ale, and it’s hard to do that if there are Darjeeling or Assam notes coming through. And this does taste gingery. The ginger is the strongest flavour in the mix. Rocky, also ginger, approves. Buffy just wonders why dinner hasn’t manifested yet.
The cranberry comes through too, but more subtly. It’s mostly apparent in the pink colour the tea turns when you pour it out.
Something else to consider with this tea is that its steeping time is wonky. We left it for approximately five minutes, and while it got very gingery, it never got very tea-like. It’s almost herbal, which is deceptive to anyone trying to guesstimate its stregnth based on the black leaves prominent in the tea mixture.
Even so, it’s a lovely seasonal tea.
Less seasonal is our poem. It’s about Ascension, which was way back in the summer. Rocky Dachshund was still a puppy. On hte other hand, we lost about three hours the other evening to tracking this thing down, so you’d better believe we’re sticking it somewhere we can find it.
Also, it really is a lovely poem. Here is ‘Ascension Day’ translated from the Welsh.
What is happening this May morning on the hillside?
See there, the gold of the broom and the laburnum
And the bright surplice of the thorn’s shoulder
And the intent emerald of the grass and the still calves;
See the candelabra of the chestnut tree alight
The bushes kneel and the mute beech, like a nun,
The cuckoo’s two notes above the bright hush of the stream
And the form of the mist that curls from the censer of the meadows.
Come out, you men, from the council houses
Before the rabbits run, come with the weasel to see
The elevation of the unblemished host from the earth,
The Father kiss the Son in the white dew.
You see? Lovely. Now bring on Apocalyptic Advent, candles, dachshunds, O-Antiphons and all.