When I graduated from seminary, my parents and grandparents came down and we all went on a fun vacation to Hilton Head. It was lovely. We spent a day in each of the towns easily reachable from HH too--including a day in Savannah, where we visited lots of cool places, including the Tea Room (which I'm pretty sure we'd heard about on the Food Network--we were Food Network junkies back then).
Among the teas we sampled that day was the Red Fruits tea ("a mild fruity taste in a black tea base infused with stawberries,red raspberries and red currants."). One of the things I remember about that outing was a conversation about sugar in tea, and how that particular tea really needed a bit of sugar to really bring out the berry flavor.
We bought some of that tea and brought it home. Later in the summer, when I visited my parents before moving to Egypt, mom and I drank Red Fruits tea (with a touch of sugar, of course!). When I left, I packed the tea ball. I will never forget the phone conversation with my mom, who was hoping to make tea and couldn't figure out where I'd put the tea ball, and I had to confess that I had taken it with me. I've never felt so selfish and horrible in my entire life. And basically every time I use the tea ball, I remember that conversation as one of our last.
Tonight I happened upon the packet of Red Fruits tea on the top shelf of my tea cabinet. I know that tea really only lasts about a year or so, and that it's been 7.5 years since we bought that tea. But I wasn't about to waste it either, after all the emotions tied up in it! So I made a pot, using the last of the tea in the packet. Sans tea-ball, which I have started using as a strainer instead (yes, the same tea ball...).
I of course added a bit of sugar, remembering that afternoon at the tea room.
And the tea was delicious, even 6.5 years after it should have been stale (or whatever happens to tea).
Except that I inadvertently let the second half of the pot steep too long, and the last cup, seven and a half years after the first, had a hint of bitterness to it.
Which is probably exactly as it should be. bittersweet.
|the day we drank tea in Savannah...|
Miss you, mom. Wish we could drink tea together again.