Saturday, April 27, 2013
A lovely cup of tea
My friends Jean and Jim drove up from Victoria the other weekend and it was a perfect excuse to visit a place I've been wanting to see for a while: Teafarm. It's a local farm owned by Margit and Victor, who are experimenting with growing tea (real tea, from the camellia plant) as well as blending teas (black, green, white and herbal) and making art.
Jean and Jim picking out Rooster tea as a surprise for Kim
They sell and serve their tea and pottery in a converted dairy barn filled with light and with amazing views out to pastures and hills. When you first arrive you're treated to a sample of their daily brew, served in one of Margit's handmade cups. Then, if you like, you can order up a proper pot of whichever tea you like (and there are dozens to choose from) and even try a sweet treat, some of which incorporate tea flavours.
It's entirely charming, and the tea is so flavourful I have already purchased four different kinds from their Chinese Zodiac line: Monkey (green tea, ginger, cinnamon, pepper, orange peel, cardamom, fennel), Goat (lemon balm, hibiscus, licorice root, rosehips and ginger), Pig (roasted green tea, rose petals and vanilla bean) and Snake (white tea and holy basil).
If I'm waxing rhapsodic it's because I think this tea has saved me: for the last six weeks I have been on an elimination diet to try to determine if there are foods that are exacerbating my arthritis. Which means I eat rice, chicken, a small assortment of vegetables and peaches. No gluten. No sugar. No dairy. No eggs. No coffee. No nothin'. But I get to have green tea, and so the ritual of making a fresh pot of flavourful tea has replaced all the other food rituals and treats that used to make my life worth living.
And what lovely tea. I have settled into a routine of a pot of Monkey in the morning with breakfast, Goat with my afternoon break, Pig when I'm settling in for a relaxing evening, and Snake whenever I'm feeling I need an extra lift. All made in the favourite tea pot Kim gave me as a birthday gift many years ago, and sipped from one of my three beautiful handmade tea cups.
A lovely cup of tea indeed.