08 June 2012

Top Five Friday: June is National Iced Tea Month!

There are few hours in life more agreeable
than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea. 
~ Henry James

une is National Iced Tea Month. (Ahh, the bizarre information a writer finds when searching for topics!)  This makes me happy, not just because I am a Southerner who loves her sweet tea, but because I am a writer always in search of ideas.  Not just any writer, but an ADD, big-picture, iNtuitive Feeler creative, who needs things like deadlines, post-its, fascinating people, and themes to help me stay focused and productive.

I do this with copious amounts of tea.

And single malt scotch.  But that is a post for another day!

So in honor of National Iced Tea Month, the next four Fridays (computer crashed last Friday ~ mea culpa!) I will be highlighting tea: hot, iced, with friends, alone, at home and in various tea rooms in the Washington, DC area.  Without further ado, today I give you my top five black teas.

Lapsang Souchong
According to Wikipedia, Lapsang Souchong is the oldest black tea, predating Keemun tea, which is a black tea that was first produced in 1875.  Is it not to everyone’s liking ~ the smoky taste reminds me of a sooty fireplace.  But fireplaces have a romantic appeal for me, so memory, imagination, and taste buds all blend together in a beautiful polyphony when I brew a pot of Lapsang Souchong.

Earl Grey
Call me a tea traditionalist, but the Earl always makes it on my list.  The birth of this famous tea is disputed; however, the name comes from the 2nd Earl Grey, the British PM in the 1830s.  There is also a heavenly variation called crème de la Earl Grey, which I buy at one of two local tea shops.

Spiced Chai
Not all teas are meant to be iced, but an iced chai goes very well with summer picnics, although not necessarily with bar-b-que (unless it were curried bar-b-que ~ hmmm). 

Angel’s Dream
I didn’t know of anyone who sold this tea except my local tea shop, Tea Thyme and What Nots.  And then I found it at The English Store (naturally)! It is one of the most aromatic and relaxing black teas I have ever tasted.  Goes well with home-made shortbread.

Pumpkin Spice
I know it’s June and we’re a long way off from Fall.  But this is a list of my top five black teas, so Pumpkin Spice must to be here.  Very good with pumpkin pie, pumpkin custard, pumpkin soup, pumpkin bread, pumpkin…oh I’m sorry I started to drool and zone out there. 

Did I mention how much I like pumpkin?

Now I'm off to make some proper sweet tea. . . .and find the used rototiller of my dreams.

Oremus pro invicem,
~ Mikaela

What are some of your favorite black teas and where do you buy them?
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