Life has been so busy recently. It’s good busy rather than bad busy – bustling, rather than overloaded – but I am finding that right now, what I really treasure is “me time”. On a Saturday morning I like to sink into my cosy leather armchair, red and orange leaves floating past the window, bathed in the soft autumn sun. And I like a nice mug of tea.
When it comes to tea, I’m an out-and-out snob. I don’t cut corners. Economy teabags cost next to nothing, but they taste horrible. In fact, when I am at home I don’t tend to use teabags. I don’t like my tea leaves ground into thin dust. Instead I have a longstanding crush on Waitrose large leaf tea. I’ll drop by there, just to pick up a box of Assam or Kenya. It’s £1.49 for 125g – the same price as the teabags. Oh, but large leaf tea tastes so much nicer! Leave it to brew for a few minutes, and it has far more strength and flavour.
So why don’t more people drink leaf tea? It’s seen as a messy business: faff around with the leaves and tea strainers, find bits of leaf floating in the bottom of your bup and so on. Teabags, meanwhile, are soaked in convenience. Pop them in, pour on the water and whip them out again.
Me? I like the best of both worlds. That silver thing sticking out of my tea mug? It may look like a safety pin, but it’s a long-handled tea infuser. I’ve had it for years. You just pop half a teaspoon of leaves into the mesh ball at its end, pour on the water, leave it to brew and whip the infuser out again. Nice and easy! You don’t get many “bits” swirling round at bottom of the mug, either.
My lovely tea mug, by the way, is Cath Kidston for Churchill China. I like it because it is bone china, big – and inexpensive if you know where to look.