Tea Time in America

My electric tea kettle finally came in the mail! Look, isn’t it adorable?

It can boil 1.2 liters of water in 2-3 minutes and just generally makes me feel very sophisticated. I expect that it will get a lot of use in the near and far future.

Anyone remember that post where I claimed I was bringing back the Russian tea tradition to America? Well, I did. I said I would bring home “between 50 and 500 individual tea bags” because they’re so much cheaper in Russia (and they have really good brands there). I lost track of how many boxes I actually bought, but I have probably 400 tea bags. And I bought 6 or so types of loose leaf tea at this dear little tea shop I found in St. Petersburg. I walked in looking for Greenfield’s Rich Camomile, but they only sold loose leaf. The lady behind the counter asked me what I wanted and then started pulling out all of their herbal and fruit teas for me to smell. Absolutely divine, really. We made Russian small talk and she sold me 50 grams of the kinds that I liked and some disposable tea bags to steep the leaves in. There was a guy working behind the counter, too, but the only thing he asked me was if I was Swiss. Apparently my backpack (a hand-me-down from Kaye) had the Swiss flag on it. So I mostly talked with the girl. Oh, and the tea shop had really cute bags. Shopping/grocery bags in Russia are generally a notch above American ones, in my humble opinion. They don’t break nearly as easily, so people will keep reusing them. These ones were black with fairy-like purple flowers and swirls on the front. Wait! No, the purple ones belonged to the candy store down the street. These were just black ones with gold writing. Pretty thin for a Russian bag, too…

Anyway, I would love to find an herbal/fruit tea shop in Provo. We’ve got a hookah shop, I’m sure we’ve got a tea shop around here somewhere. Something else to look for on my runs. I really want to try and replicate this tea that I tried my last day in Nizhny. It was at an Uzbek restaurant (the kind with cushions and low tables instead of chairs). The tea was called Peaceful Day, I think. I wrote down most of the ingredients in a notebook I had with me: apple slice, mint, fennel (I actually have no idea what this one is), lemon, melissa, hibiscus, and heather (and I just had to translate this one from Russian because I didn’t know it). I don’t think I’ve tried a heather tea yet, so that might be the key. If I ever go back to Nizhny, I’m going to ask them where they get it or how they make it.

Anyone reading have any favorite herbal or fruit teas to recommend? I’m always game for trying new ones. And if anyone’s in Provo right and wants to sample my tea collection, I’m pretty free for the rest of the summer. Just call me up or leave a comment or something.