A conversation on Twitter this afternoon about tea...

Brought to mind my first experience with tea, or the first one I remember, anyway. The Yorkshire tea people-- it is the brand I have heretofore bought at Safeway-- made some political gesture occasioned by the so called 'BLM' demos in England and so we were chatting about alternatives. PG Tips aligned their corporate brand with the same nonsense, so they're out. Someone mentioned Clipper teas, which are in fact available here in Eugene: the next time I go downtown to Mass I'll also stop at Kiva; the lady spoke-- texted, tweeted-- highly of their product. Anyway, I bought RedRose tea bags this morning: they're produced by a Canadian privately-held company. After I reported this, another lady wrote that it's what she and her husband drink (I like it, after three or four cups in the course of the day; not as 'strong' or 'bold' as Yorkshire is but on acquaintance that's fine, and the cost is comparable).

I'm still listening to the tenor Michael Slattery singing Purcell and Dowland and Handel; but there doesn't seem to be a recording of him singing 'When I am laid in earth'; Patricia Petibon has a beautiful voice.

Ah, my tea remembrance. I don't recall any tea-drinking in our house as I was growing up with the exception of iced tea in the summertime: coffee was the adult hot beverage of choice. In high school, as one does, I experimented with new and stimulating experiences, and at a certain point took it into my head that I needed to begin drinking proper tea. So I then proceeded to buy a pound or half pound of the stuff, in some mixture or blend (which choice I probably made by shutting my eyes and pointing with the pen), from a tea merchants in New York City (how did I know of the merchant? how did one pay for such things in those long ago days? I suppose I sent along a check or money order: perhaps the checking account was a new thing for me, then, too); it arrived in a brown paper bag. If you're not a tea drinker, you won't realize how much sixteen or even eight ounces of loose leaf tea is. And it was only on opening up the bag-- the smell was fantastic, I'll give it that-- that I realized that... I don't quite know how I can not have understood that I needed a pot, or at least one of those steeping balls. Which latter implement I went shopping for and I suppose then eventually enjoyed some cups of tea-- although I don't remember the drinking of it, not at all. I do recollect putting too much tea into the stainless steel ball and the resulting bitter liquor. I'm sure that when my Mother moved from that apartment, years after I had moved on, much of that tea was still on an upper shelf in the kitchen.

McNulty's, from 1895? But it doesn't really ring any bells.