Friday, May 21, 2010


The monsoon seasons seems to have abated. Today the birds were singing and splashing in the bird baths all day long. House wrens trilled, and the Carolina wrens were flying in four or so at a time chirping “hello”. The promise is for near 90 degrees this weekend. That might make Missouri feel like a sauna.

I raced out to the deck this morning sweeping off leaves and storm debris. I shook out the summer tablecloth onto the picnic table and set out plastic place mats on the round table. I stirred up real cookies (ones with the forbidden sugar and oil) and brewed ice tea. I knew, or at least hoped, it was time for tropical flavors again. I got out the pottery drinking glasses that I use for iced tea spoons too. I picked these up at the Blue Heron Pottery in Chama, New Mexico years ago. They just say “deck time” to me.

Isn’t this lovely tea? It is a nice China black flavored with mango, passion fruit, kiwi, and then laced with snappy blue and yellow flowers. I first tasted this tea at a sandwich shop in Lebanon, Missouri years ago. The clerk had no idea where the owner ordered her tea. I was to find it by a back door method years later.

For the few years that the Tea and Truffles tea room was open in Carthage, two teas they served were favorites of my friends. One was a Ginger Peach purchased from Republic of Tea. The gals who owned the tea room served this in frosted glasses with a slice of peach floating among the ice cubes. What a delight!

But even more popular with my lady friends was a cinnamon orange black tea served again in frosted glasses and with an orange slice perched on the glass rim. When the business closed, our biggest lament wasn’t losing the chilled strawberry soup, the extraordinary quiches, or the handmade desserts; it was the losing of our source for a glass of well brewed tea and the special cinnamon orange tea in bulk.

While there are several classy tea vendors around and some who sell a cinnamon tea, nothing could replace “our” tea. I eventually tracked down this original black tea for all of us in Ft. Smith, Arkansas. A few years later those folks moved their business to Durango, Colorado where you can now order soups, teas, and gourmet foods from thier web page: I tried all their other teas like blackberry, strawberry, and Snow Monkey finding them good as well. What a surprise when I found one of them was that good tropical with blue flowers I had tried in Lebanon years earlier. This flavored tea means warm weather sipping. Today when a friend and her DH dropped by, we took those crisp cookies and a pitcher of this tea to the deck to make a toast to what we hope is a string of sunny summer days!

1 comment:

irishoma said...

Hi Claudia,

Great post about teas. I totally understand.

Here are a couple of my tea tales: When we lived in Massachusetts I fell in love with Red Rose brand tea to make ice tea. After we moved back to Missouri, for years my husband's sister then later niece sent me boxes of Red Rose for my birthday, Christmas, or they brought boxes with them when they visited us.

And when my sisters and I visited Ireland in 1995 I insisted on having my photo taken under a huge portrait of Earl Grey because that's the type of breakfast tea I've been drinking for ages.