Friday, September 08, 2006

A Brewing Brouhaha

Between N's travels and mine, we'd managed to miss each other for an entire season. Happily, tea dates never go out of style.

I set out for Coupa Cafe with every intention of having a cappuccino - my drink of choice this season, and deliciously strong at this particular cafe. But it was late. I was running late. I arrived to find N presiding over a square tray elegantly set with teapot, cup and saucer, and another saucer upon which was perched a Tea Forte tea bag. It was a marvelous picture. I changed my mind.

A few minutes later I had my own tray. N had already launched into her summer story and between hoots and giggles and question upon question, I set about brewing my first cup of Citrus Mint tea.

A year ago or maybe two, I'd seen the stylish Tea Forte bags at the Fancy Food Show. Always taken in by attractive packaging, I instantly loved the design of the individually-wrapped pyramid tea bags. The product website calls them "unique Silken-Tea-Infusers" which is an elegant name for an elegant product, but to me it's still a tea bag that one tosses out after a brew.

I did appreciate the way the bag sat firmly at the bottom of the cup, immovable unless I maneuvered the cute tea leaf handle at its apex. But the neat freak in me found it hard to watch the tea leaves swim around the bag and stick to the walls of the pyramid. To rectify this aesthetic mess I found myself pouring more water into my brew to clean off the bag and then having to quickly pluck the bag out of its pool before the leaves could wander off once more. The barista had thoughtfully provided a second saucer upon which I could land the now tidy pyramid. You can already imagine that brewing became a very attention-consuming, obsessive process.

I took a sip. And then another. In total I had two pot's worth of tea, which was entirely insufficient for N and I to ramble through our stories, but apparently the cafe was closing. For all the brouhaha this teabag has engendered, I'd rate the tea ordinary. Would I try it again? Possibly. Aesthetics are a powerful thing.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

So the NY Times just ran a story on the new generation of tea bags. Quite interesting. And I just placed an order for aboug 1/2 kilo of mariage freres tea (to be picked up by a friend who'll be in Paris). Tea is on my mind these days...

7:53 AM  
Blogger erica said...

Indeed. I felt so special reading that particular article!

3:15 PM  

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