Some how I feel that this is sort of fitting coming right on the heels of my post about scones. Scones are in my opinion the British version of biscuits. Where as the term biscuits in the same vernacular actually means cookies. (Hard cookies, but cookies nonetheless.) [Fun fact for the day!]
Anyway back to the topic. Tea. Those that follow me on Twitter will know that I have been on the search for a particular type of tea. Black Currant. My first exposure to this wonderful concoction was at the local Corner Bakery several years ago. I don’t normally drink iced tea at restaurants as I am very particular about my tea and how it is brewed. But I decided to give it a try. I was quite surprised by how much I liked it. And it is now the only restaurant at which I will drink iced tea. A couple of months ago I decided that I wanted to be able to brew this wonderful tea at home.
The search intensified after Matt and I celebrated out 8th anniversary by purchasing tea cups from Teavana. (My pictures just don’t do the colors of the cups justice, so you’ll have to make due with added descriptions…)
The first set of cups we chose are called “Reactive Red Metallic Tea Cups” (pictured on the left in my two cup picture) on the website. When I first mentioned wanting to get new tea cups these are the ones that attracted my eye first. To quote the website – “The outside color is a deep bronzed brown, if you will, with blotched silvery grey spots. The inside is a smooth rusty red that seems to have metallic splotches of a deeper color.”
The second set of tea cups are called “Hada Japanese Cast Iron Teacups”. Yes, they are in fact cast iron and rather heavy. They are enameled. (We went with purple.) and hold 3oz of tea.
A few days (if not the very next day) we went back to Teavana and I asked if they had a Black Currant Tea. At this point I wasn’t aware that there were two different types of currants. Perhaps the Black in Black Currant Tea referred to the type of tea used. The Darjeeling tea that they wafted certainly smelled like the Black Currant Tea I was looking for. They suggested I mix it with another of their teas, the only one that contained currants – Youthberry. It was worth a shot. Home I went and immediately tried it.
Nope. Not it. It was close but not enough. This is when I learned that there are black currants and red currants. Their flavors are similar but I was definitely looking for black currants. I did develop a fondness for the white tea of Youthberry…the search continued.
I finally realized I should simply just ask. And that is just what I did a few weeks ago. I sheepishly asked where they purchased their tea from. And received a curtious answer and pleased looks that I liked their tea so much. Of course, they ordered their tea from a restaurant supplier. Which really wasn’t going to do me any good until I realized the brand of tea was printed on the carafe. They served Mighty Leaf Tea.
I immediately went home and googled the website. There it was! They sold the tea…in sachets that make 2 gallons of tea at a time. Two gallons? Nothing smaller? Sorry, no. I sighed and resigned myself to having to locate a container that would hold two gallons at a time and not take up too much space in the fridge. Until then I would not purchase the tea.
A week ago Matt and I went to Central Market to pick up some produce. As we wandered past the bulk teas and I asked if we should pick anything else up as we were running low on tea. He said yes, but he didn’t want to purchase in bulk so we went to look at boxed tea. As we came up to the isle a purple tin drew my attention. I blinked several times and then let out an “Oh my god!” as my hands unerringly reached for the tin.
“What?” Matt asked.
“They have Black Currant Tea!” I almost squealed. Almost. I looked up at Matt with pleading eyes.
“Is it loose leaf or sachets?” he asked.
I quickly looked at the tin trying to discern the answer, Matt took the tin from me and opened it. Looking into the tin he replied, “Sachets.” Closing the lid he put the tin in the cart. “They are like the triangle ones we have at home.”
I nodded. Truthfully I didn’t care, I was still shocked that I had found Black Currant Tea. The tin of 20 sachets cost us $15.99 + tax.
Again, after reading their brewing suggestions, I brewed some tea as soon as I arrived home. One sachet brews two cups of tea. Brilliant since my small tea pot brews roughly two good sized cups. As I poured the first cup of Black Currant Tea into my tea cup I knew that I had found it. Even hot I could tell the flavor balance was correct (some teas change their balance when cold) and it was wonderful. I put my little tea pot in the fridge to cool over night to test the flavor of it cold.
The next morning before I went on my walk I had a small glass and was doubly pleased. Harney & Sons Fine Teas made a Black Currant Tea that was wonderful to drink hot as well as cold. My search for Black Currant tea has finally come to an end. (And my knowledge of tea has grown by leaps and bounds!)
Black Currant Tea is my personal go-to tea that I will happily drink hot or cold. Do you have a favorite tea?