|| 9 December 2020
Tea Camel, Tea Dog, Lancashire Tea
Back in the early days of the Internet, text on most home computer screens was very pixelated. It was easy to misread what was written.
Back in those days I belonged to an online tea discussion group. Another member of the group was very excited to receive her latest order of tea. Anxious to brew a first pot, she sent out an email with only a subject line: Tea Came with an exclamation point following the “e.” No text message. So the total message read: Tea Came!
One recipient mistaking the exclamation point for an “L” emailed back. Tea camel? What’s a tea camel?
Since that time, each time I receive a new order of tea I always imagine that it has been delivered in a brass-bound wooden chest strapped to the back of a lanky camel — instead of in a cardboard box by a FedEx truck.
So when I went looking for a US vendor that sold the Miles West Country Tea blended in Porlock, England, UK (a tea of which I have become very fond) I was amused that the website I found was teadog.com.
After spending some time looking around the website and ordering twice, I still have no clue as to a tea dog.
In any case, teadog.com specializes in boxed teas from the UK and Ireland. When I went to the site to order Miles Tea for the second time, the site was offering a free box of Lancashire Tea with a minimum order of $35. Since I always like to try new teas it wasn’t hard to find two more teas to add to the order of Miles tea bags, loose tea, and their (quite good) decaffeinated version of Miles Tea to meet my minimum.
After brewing my first couple of pots of Lancashire Tea, I was surprised to read that J. K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series, has stated Lancashire is her favorite tea — that she buys it when in England and takes it back to Scotland.
I was as surprised to read that this was the incredibly wealthy author’s favorite tea as I previously was to read that Twinings Earl Grey was the favorite of Queen Elizabeth II. Not that there is anything wrong with Twinings Earl Grey. It is a widely available, economically priced Earl Grey. (And my favorite Earl Grey — though Bigelow does a nice Earl Grey too.) But neither Twinings Earl Grey nor Lancashire Tea would make a list anyone’s “world’s best teas.” And both these women could surely afford much pricier teas.
That said, I am discovering that Lancashire Tea is a tea that tastes very different depending on the water used to brew it.
Brewed with my filtered (with Britta Longlast filter) tap water, it has a murky taste that really demands milk to mask the murkiness. Brewing with half filtered and half straight from the tap water, definitely removes the murky. I will keep experimenting.
I have no idea what sort of water is used in J. K. Rowling’s cups of Lancashire Tea. She lives on an estate, and perhaps the source of water is a well. Well water or spring water is generally considered to make the best tasting tea. Though I drank some absolutely marvelous cups of tea when I lived in India — tea made with water I would not have wanted to wade in.
You can read more about Lancashire Tea on the teadog website. As of this morning (9 Dec 2020), teadog still offering the free box of Lancashire Tea with the $35 minimum order. But there were only 30 boxes of Lancashire left.