Tea cups and pretty saucers

When I was young we visited my grandmother every weekend. I loved it. And I loved how after dessert the family would put on the kettle and make a cup of tea as though no meal was complete without a cuppa, frequently it was served with a biscuit or sweet treat.

I remember my mum having a nifty tea dispenser from the 60s or 70s that allowed you to push the red button and a portion of leaf tea would be dispensed into your cup. I loved it, or rather I loved playing with it. I saw lots of these at an antique store a little while ago, they came in all sizes and comic interpretations- one of the you pushed in the moustache of the chef and the tea came out. Why do they have such tempting and touchable things at antique stores?

My family was from farming origins, several generations of them. But even though, things like fancy dresses and new shoes were a luxury they still had some amazing things. And one of them was tea cups and those popular country canisters- you know those cream coloured ones with TEA, COFFEE, FLOUR, SUGAR etc written on them. I was recently given a set of these that belonged to my grandmother. Inside the tea canister I found original leaf tea and the old chipped tea cup she used to scoop it out. It was left exactly as she’d had it on the farm. I was stoked. but also disposed of the tea. I love anything old, but this tea cup was special because of the sentimentality behind it. And it was quite beautiful in its own way, no colours or markings, but a small chain pattern around the top and a sculpted body and handle. Why do people get so sentimental about tea cups but not as sentimental about coffee mugs?

It reminded me of when I was little. I always loved tea cups. Coffee mugs were fine, but there was something about beautiful tea cups that made me think of tea parties and pretty dresses and the glamour of putting on play jewellery and ‘going to tea’ with my sisters. I’m not sure what it was, but for some reason I always associated drinking tea with elegance and flowers and fancy deserts and beauty. So I always thought that tea cups were one way you could have class and refinement. I used to admire beautiful tea cups in home stores, floral ones, gold rimmed ones, filigree ones, japanese inspired ones, ornately sculpted ones and the saucers that went with them all. I used to imagine the women and men from yesteryear gathered around a table in the fine clothing, feathered hats, high cravats, table laden with biscuits and slices, sipping tea and sharing with each other. For me, tea deserved to be served in beautiful cups on equally beautiful saucers and a with a lovely silver spoon to stir it.

I decided that when I was old enough I would serve my own tea in beautiful cups with saucers and silver spoons. Unfortunately, practicality won out when I did get my own place.

But I have a beautiful cup and a little silver spoon (with sentimental value) that I use occasionally if I want to feel refined and cultured.

So anyway, back to actually drinking tea. I came across an awesome idea for mother’s day- which I’ll tell you about in another blog post, but it involves leaf tea. So since I didn’t have leaf tea and needed some I went to the shop. Its overwhelming sometimes to be in the Tea and Coffee aisle. I sometimes find myself wishing I knew which teas tasted the nicest because then I could just save some time by grabbing what I need and going on my way. but still being a tea newbie I have no idea what some of these teas taste like. So aside from buying some leaf tea, I also noticed a new flavour that made me laugh. Peppermint and English Toffee.  For some reason I thought of fair grounds and lollipops. I guess you could drink it at the fair while sucking on a lollipop, who knows.

So anyway, back to tea. The scent was lovely, very sweet and minty. And the flavour had a hint of toffee smoothness in it.  Adding sweetener really enhances the flavour and it goes really well with some sweet biscuits. Oh, and even after adding milk it had a decidedly toffee colour to it. The mint adds a bit of zing to your mouthful.

So I’d give it a zing rating of 3.5 out of 5. Nice smooth fun-filled cup for an afternoon with friends and family.

Peppermint & English Toffee= 3.5/5 zing rating

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