Yesterday I drank some tea.
Not an unusual occurrence, I think we can all agree without fear of contradiction.
I was in the company of Lady Devotea. Again, not exactly unusual.
It wasn’t even the first time we’ve been out and about and enjoyed our own teas served to us at a café/restaurant/tea room.
But it was the first time we’d done so with a team of tea reviewers.
The Team from Fancy a Cuppa – Simon Duffin and Anita Volkert have written two books on places to have tea. Their site is a treasure trove of information on tea in the UK.
As eagle-eyed readers with an eidetic memory and far too much time on their hands will recall from my blog post of months ago, The Fancy a Cuppa team introduced themselves via twitter (@fancyacuppanow) . We were in Peterborough, and I had posted a picture of the cathedral. Within minutes I had a tweet recommending Margaret’s Tea Room.
I think our visit to the UK would have been even more tea-soaked – if that’s possible – had we obtained Simon and Anita’s book on UK tea places prior to arriving. Certainly we will have it in hand next time we go.
So why were UK tea (and coffee) reviewers in Adelaide? It turns out this is Anita’s home town; albeit one she left many years ago. Her family still live north of Adelaide.
Our venue, Cafe Meso, was south of Adelaide, so after a quick run to the airport to pick them up, we arrived in the sweltering heat to find that the table reserved for us was right in front of the air conditioner.
Lady D also had a Lady Devotea, just to confuse things; and I had a 1910.
We also had lunch, which I thought was excellent. My dish translated from the English as “huge pile of grilled meat” and it delivered.
The company was excellent as we recounted to each other various travel and tea adventures. Based on both their plans for the future and ours, we plan to share a cup with them again in coming years.
And then, I decided to order one of our teas I’d never had anyone but myself prepare for me – one of our “White Tea Concoctions” range. The Ginger & Lemongrass one, to be precise.
And to spice things up, I asked for it iced.
With several regular staff members absent and excluding myself, there was no-one on the premises who had ever made a glass of our tea iced – except for Crystal, who was in charge for the day, and had made one once before.
About three minutes before.
For the people on the next table.
So, after checking the technique with me, Crystal hurried off and returned with a glass of iced tea. It looked sensational. I should have taken a photo, but was too busy drinking it.
I loved it. So did the people on the next table, it seems, with a quick introduction and a royalty-like wave in their direction from me.
And then I went back to drinking it.
Great company, great fun, great food, great venue.
When you consider how many things can go wrong when you first meet people you only know from a few exchanged tweets and some emails, it was a charmed afternoon, and the glistening iced tea was just the icing on the cake.
I didn’t actually have any cake, but you know what I mean.