Sunday, July 3, 2011

Merry Fourth of July with tea from India

This Fourth of July feels a bit like Christmas: reuniting family and lots of presents. The only things missing are snow and decorations(both of which are fun for December, but need to be put away by March).

My husband, Chris, just returned from a three week business trip - the first week was spent in Spain, the last two in India - and he came back with lots of treasures, including, of course, a variety of tea.

Along with silver earrings, an exquistely hand-embroidered and colorful bedspread, framed tribal art, and hand-carved elephants each with a miniature pachyderm encased within their frames, Chris brought me back a selection of Golden Tips tea. These Indian teas were packaged in an eco-friendly jute box that I couldn't wait to open.

This morning, with some very American bagels and cream cheese that my husband was craving, I opened up the Darjeeling to brew. While in India, Chris had become quite a fan of this tea and so I started with that. It was absolutely delicious, smooth with a confident taste - neither timid nor strong. A great cup of tea for anytime of the day.

I am so looking forward to trying all the others: Assam, Nilgiri, Kangra, Dooars, and Sikkim. I'm not well acquainted with the last three, so I am excited to not only sample, but learn more about their back story.

While most of the "souvenirs" were from India, en route from Spain to Pune, Chris made a stop in Switzerland and brought us back a tin of Swiss chocolates: a perfect pairing for Darjeeling tea!

So, although the 80 degrees temperatures tell me different, having chocolate and tea for breakfast makes it seem even more like Christmas than the 4th of July. But that will change shortly once my brother sets up lawn chair badminton and starts cooking hot dogs and cheesburgers on the grill. I'll bring my usual snacks and veggie dip, but this year, I'll supply the most amazing iced tea ever.

Continuing with our international travel, my daughter and I will be leaving for London soon, so I'll have more updates from the country who we won our independence from just a few centuries ago.

In the meantime, wishing everyone a safe and happy weekend - no matter what holiday you are celebrating.

tea tablescape in Pune, India