Tea is the liquid lift in my life. It has been there through everything; break-ups, exams, late-night talks, periods, hungover Sundays, and long lectures. It picks me up and calms me down, warms me up and makes everything seem a little better. Tea is a beautiful simplicity in the ridiculousness of every day life.
For years my mother and I would come home from school/work and make a direct beeline for the kettle. We would sit at our kitchen table downing cup after cup and refilling with a swift immediacy, a speed that one could only acquire after years of dedicated practice. My mum is a Christian minister but our real faith lies in the religion of Tea. Over the past decade, we have coined various sayings surrounding our love of tea. Among them; “Do you want tea? Am I breathing?! [meaning ‘yes of course]”, “there’s more pea in the tot [tea in the pot]” and “tea pleases me [this one is pretty self-explanatory]”. I own various tea branded merchandise; mugs, t-shirts, cards, wall decorations, crystal ornaments, and jewelry. I keep emergency decaf teabags in my car, handbag, rucksack, suitcase, and at each of my friends houses. It’s a love that will continue until my very last tea-smelly breath.
So when I came to Canada and Shannon told me about this specialised tea shop I just had to know more. David’s Tea is a Canadian cafe which serves over 150 different types of tea. You can walk into the shop and tell the server how you are feeling on that particular day and they can carefully pick a tea which will help with your mood. Alternatively you can tell them about your favourite foods, smells and even memories where your senses were particularly evoked. There selections vary from white, green, oolong, black, pu’erh, mate, rooibos and herbal teas.
Last week Shannon blessed me with a wonderful adventure to David’s Tea, an experience I will always equate with vanillas and chocolates and herbs and nuts and flavourings from all over the world. The lady who served us was lovely and let me smell and taste any tea I wished to experience. I tasted popcorn tea and red velvet tea and mixed nuts tea and pumpkin pie tea and many more. It was incredible. After at least twenty minutes I decided on a vanilla tea which smelt like heaven and felt like a hug. On our way out the lady stopped us and handed me a bag, she said “Because you’re from Scotland here’s some free Canadian tea for you to enjoy”. I was so chuffed and awed. The people here are sweet beyond words.
In the next store I asked the clerk if she could please put my empty tea cup in the bin. She took it into the staff room and let out a loud exclamation “Oh my god!…” Shannon and I looked at each other with confusion. The clerk returned with wide eyes and asked “What flavour was that tea?! It smells incredible!!!”