17 Dec 2009

Tea of the year... best of 2009

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.

You may also enjoy reading...

Moroccan Afternoon Tea

Cafe Coffee Day in India

Aussie coffee fix


Karin (an alien parisienne) said...

Tea is indeed a beautiful thing, and I am glad you discovered Darjeeling in 2009! I think Darjeeling is one of my most favorite teas, too. I just got a variety from Thé Mariage Frères in Paris a few weeks ago, and it is a nice one: a Nepal Maloom estate FGTOP-blah blah blah (lol, there may be some more letters in there on the specific one I got). Anyways, I find a cup of it to be very refreshing and settling all-in-one. Enjoy yours!

Kim McGowan said...

You sound like you know your tea more than I do... where in Paris did you get tea like that? I have just come back from Paris (with an extended trip thanks to Eurostar) and think you are very lucky to live in that city!

Karin (an alien parisienne) said...

Hi Kim!

I used to co-own a little tea shop for a short time in Tulsa, Oklahoma about five years ago. I did a lot of reading, research, and tasting, and learned a lot! I could always learn more, though. Most of all, I learned what I love to drink.

There are a lot of places to get loose leaf tea in Paris, but one of the best is here: http://www.mariagefreres.com/

Most days I feel lucky to live in Paris, but it does have its ups and downs, especially eating G-free and for the time being, also casein-free, yeast-free and low-sugar (and a few more things, too, which hopefully will get better as my gut heals and my immune system calms down).

I blog to help myself sort through my conflicted feelings of the love that is growing between me and Paris, and its more difficult days. All in all, I realize I *am* very fortunate to be spending time in Paris as it is very magical. On its good days, lol!! :)