Our personal circumstances changed rapidly over the last few months.
We didn’t like what we were doing in the UK for all sorts of reasons, and we wrestled with whether to stay on in the UK and do something else, or leave and come back to Australia.
The decision was made in the middle of a Wednesday; we flew to Calgary on that Sunday. We spent two weeks in Calgary; then flew back to our hometown of Adelaide. We stayed in a serviced apartment for just over a week and have now moved into a house.
As we were packing all our stuff in the UK, it was obvious we had way too much. We were allowed the usual meagre amount of baggage, and we budgeted for an additional giant suitcase as excess baggage, However, we were told that the airline could not carry a second excess baggage item, and that item was a duffel bag stuffed full of tea.
I realised I could only get a few kilos of tea in amongst our luggage; and so I had to think: what to take, and what to leave.
There was no point taking our own blends. We can create them again.
I threw in five kilos, all from Lochan teas who we are pleased to represent in Australia and the US.
- A kilo of Rolling Thunder as our Canada-based son loves it – we actually forgot to give to to him.
- Three kilos of Doke Black Fusion, as I knew we had no stocks of it in Australia
- And a kilo of Margaret’s Hope, because… it’s Margaret’s Hope.
I had a small quantity of Persian Princess for the flight to Canada, duly consumed.
We arrived in Calgary at the home of Devotea Junior The Elder and his lovely partner, and we were immediately pleased with the fact there was a teapot, but less pleased as there was no tea.
One kilo of Doke Black Fusion to the rescue.
Over the next two weeks, there were a few other teas here and there, but we drank Black Fusion morning, noon and night. When we opened the packet, we filled a glass jar from the bag. The glass jar was filled again during our visit, and again with the remainder of the bag not long before we left. I’m therefore quite sure we drank about 5/6ths of a kilo of Black Fusion between us. I was most likely the biggest contributor to that consumption.
When Lady D and I arrived back in Australia and spent a week or so in self-contained accommodation, we opened another one kilo bag of Doke Black Fusion and apart from a couple of excellent teas whilst out and about, it was all I drank. The first night here in our new home we had a bed, a kettle and a toaster: and our bag of Black Fusion.
Over the past week or so, we have filled our new home will all the stuff you need to live and cook and sit on and wash clothes and entertain and watch. Over that time: Lots of Doke Black Fusion.
Yesterday, we picked up about 40 kilos of tea we had in storage. Now we have a huge selection to choose from, which is our usual state of affairs. As I write this, it’s now 6.30 a.m. and I’ve had my 650ml mega-mug filed twice: once with 1910 and once with Craigmore Estate.
But for just over a month, day in, day out, we drank Black Fusion.
This leads me to two observations.
One: I really like this tea.
Two: There is value on exploring a tea in such a deep way.
There’s no doubting it’s a lovely, deep, fresh tasting black. It’s got a vague Darjeeling thing going on, but to me is for more aligned to a good quality Keemun with a nod to Assam. It’s rich and vibrant.
The truly great thing about drinking the same tea all day every day for a month is that I never make it the same way twice, and of course it is sometimes made by others. So it tastes a little different every time.
I’ve gone on single tea benders before. A day or two, here and there. Sikkim Temi. Doke Silver Needle. Lord Petersham. Various others.
It really does not compare.
The only thing I can compare it to, sadly, is people who buy the same brand of tea for years on end, because ‘they like it’. I have previously found this a bit of a cop out – a bit lazy – and a pointer to sadly missed opportunities to explore the world of tea.
Now, I get it a bit more. There is validity in drinking the same tea all the time – if it is good tea – and enjoying the nuanced variations.
After oversteeping Black Fusion a few times, I’ve actually started making it a bit stronger to enjoy some of the tones I found accidentally. If I make it too light, I just enjoy its nod to traditional Darjeelings.
More than anything, the feeling of knowing one tea so intimately is a little new.
So, as all these teas come back into easy reach, Doke Black Fusion is sure to remain a favourite.
I’ll have to have a little Doke Silver Needle next to avoid sibling rivalry.