Al, from http://www.all-tea-towels.co.uk, sent me this tea towel about tea because he knows about my committment to loose leaf tea, my love of tea rooms and thought I would like it. Good choice. He was right. I love it. It is a really nice cotton tea towel, good absorbancy and looks bright and fresh hanging on the back of the kitchen door.
On this tea towel is everything that immediately comes to mind regarding tea. As I used this tea towel for the first time, and was reading it, I didn’t get beyond thinking “Time for a nice cup of tea” and that was the end of the wiping up for a while. There are all sorts of quirkey bits on this tea towel: I am glad that the tea towel recognises the importance of ‘dunking biscuits’, a topic that cause great controversy in the tea world. I like to dunk a biscuit in my tea, not Earl Grey or China Rose but the standard Morning or Afternoon Blend. For me, it has to be Ginger Nuts because they are strong enough to survive a good dunking, and do not disintegrate; there is nothing worse than having soggy biscuit floating at the bottom of a mug. Did you know that there was a Ginger Nut biscuit crisis just after Christmas this year and that it wasn’t possible to buy Ginger Nuts anywhere? This was because, in the heavy rain in December and January, the factory producing Ginger Nuts flooded and manufacturing was halted. Fortunately, Ginger Nuts are now back on the market.
I have to overlook the fact that there are tea bags on this tea towel. Tea bags are my nemesis; I hate them. I have seen them made up in Sri Lanka with the dust from the floor; it’s not dirty, just poor quality tea. Sri Lankans think it is amazing that anyone would buy, let alone use, a tea bag, as I do. Why would you pay £2.20 for a pot of tea which only has one tea bag in it? It’s extortionate. In fact, a few years ago I did make a formal complaint at a famous restaurant in Cornwall that did exactly that but it cost more than £2.20. They apologised and changed to loose leaf tea!! I know there are up-market companies who sell better quality tea in ‘silken purses’, again at extortionate prices; they are missing the point, by confining tea leaves to a ‘bag’ it does not allow the tea leaves the space to ‘breathe’ and infuse. You get a poorer cup of tea but it does allow such firms to make large profits in the name of quality tea. However, the tea towel does specifically mention loose leaf tea, and talks about teas that are mainly served as loose leaf, so I will overlook the tea bags.
The tea towel provokes me to answer the question about my favourite mug or cup and saucer. Another opportunity to stop wiping up. It’s not an easy question to answer. For me, I use different mugs/cups and saucers at different times of the day and with different teas. I never drink China Rose or Rose Pouchon in anything but a thin bone china cup and saucer; at home that would be in one of my Royal Albert designs. Darjeeling is served in Wedgewood cups and saucers. First thing in the morning, I drink some kind of Morning Blend which is served in Wedgewood mugs, (and I have two mugs). The tea I take to bed always is served in pottery mugs, because they are larger and I don’t have the bother of taking the teapot into the bedroom for a second cup. I have a Denby Pottery cup and saucer for Earl Grey, tones of grey and black and very stylish. I save my Rose Chintz tea set for special occasions – although not fine bone china, it is the set that I have had the longest and was a present from my late husband, John.
The tea towel describes tea as ‘relaxing’ and ‘reviving’, ‘soothing’ and ‘comforting’. I couldn’t agree more. If I am tired, a cup of tea will give me some energy; when I have been working in the garden and feel I have done as much as I can, a nice cup of tea will give me another burst of energy. If I am stressed, the ‘ceremony’ of making and drinking tea gives me a ‘breather’, time to relax and drink it. I don’t think you can rush around drinking tea; the two actions don’t go together. You can’t have ‘tea to go’! When I was ill recently with a virus, it was a nice mug of tea with a Ginger Nut that made me feel a bit better – keeping my fluid levels up and wrapped in a comforting duvet.
Al was right; this is the tea towel for me. I note that this tea towel was designed by BusyBeing and they do a whole range: BusyBeing …..a Dad, …a Teacher, …Camping, ….Baking, ….In Love, ….In Great Britain. These are the sort of tea towels that you can give as presents, using them as ‘wrapping paper’, choosing the topic according to someone’s interests. Great idea. I enjoy looking at this tea towel, seeing all the word associations, all the teas and now I need a cup of tea – I think it will be Keemum, infused with Lavender, to relax after all the hard work of a Tea Towel Blob. Thanks Al.
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