Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Tongue-twisting tea for two

A few days ago, me and Julie were out for a walk and went to The Plantation tea and coffee house in Eastbourne. One of the reasons I like going there is that it's usually a little less noisy than the normal places. Another is that it has that sort of semi-colonial vibe going, with wood and wicker furniture and decorations.
The main reason I like the place, though, is the range of tea varieties on offer.

As some our longer-term readers will recall, I am rather fond of a cup of brown joy. From the moment I get up, enjoying at least two cups of standard tea (often known as English Breakfast). Unlike the good Professor Elemental, however, I will also partake of a herbal infusion or two. Summer berries, chamomile, blueberry and apple (don't knock it; it's actually really rather nice) are all favourites. I'm even rather partial to white tea and green tea, although the latter, for me, needs to be tempered with another flavour - lemon's good.

Above all of those, my personal favourite is lapsang souchong.

It has a smoky aroma and flavour, but it's quite mild. If you have tried Earl Grey, then just imagine a halfway point between that and normal black tea. Mmmmmmm...

Julie, however, is not a fan. Give her 'normal' tea any day. In fact, it's not just the taste that turns her off. The smell is not particularly appealing to her either. Remember this Gem?

Ladies, gentlemen and hedgehogs, I'll let you into a little secret. Since I shared that little Gem with you all, we have discussed both it and the tea itself on numerous occasions. And you know what? I don't think Julie has once managed to pronounce the name correctly - nor has she managed to repeat any single version. Even when faced with 'Lobsang dipshit', poor Julie's brain reacts with 'bugger that' and throws out any old collection of syllables.

Like the other day. Since this little cafe has an especially nice blend of Lapsang Souchong, I generally go for that. I have tried others - the gunpowder green tea is flavoursome - but it's usually the Lobsa... er, Lapsang Souchong.*
When the waitress brought the teapots over, Julie was curious as to what I had ordered.

Heh. It reminds me of that famous tongue twister,
"The sixth sheik's sixth sheep's sick."

* Um. I have a confession to make. That point where I made a joke of typing the false name before switching to the real one? I wasn't faking it. At some point between my brain and my fingers, the message got garbled and I started typing 'Lobsang dipshit' as an automatic reflex... Oh well.



I received an email yesterday from the organisers of World Book Night 2013 - apparently, my copies of Jasper Fforde's The Eyre Affair have arrived and should be ready for me to collect. Expect a special post very soon!