When GwenBell posted the challenge for today being about the best tea of 2009, I thought I might skip it. I have always been a bit of a coffee monster, but then reading back through my posts this year, I have talked about tea one - albeit accompanied by a stack of gluten free sweets!
And how could I have lived for so long in a tea producing country, without having tasted and drunk classic Darjeeling or Assam..? One of my favourite places to shop in Delhi was Sunder Nagar, home to two of the city's three tea shops. My favourite was Regalia Teas, where foil packs packed with hand picked and rolled tea leaves and incredible range of infusions lined the shelves.
Not knowing much about tea - what makes one superior to the other, how Darjeeling compares to Assam and Earl Gray etc... I grilled the owner asking why why why... Lucky for me he was happy for the opportunity to talk leaves, picking methods, seasons and infusion times. And I was happy to learn, and subsequently discover my favourite tea of the year. An organic Darjeeling that was a perfect breakfast tea with a delicate taste and a world away from my usual teadirect.
When we moved back to London, I made a special tea trip to stock up for our return, complete with an elegant and traditional silver tea caddy to maintain the quality and aromatics for as long as possible in London. We are still drinking our Indian Darjeeling every morning and will try to eek it out into 2010.
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