Late last week, I received a package in the mail. A tea delivery – my favorite kind.
This was the last of my frivolous tea purchases for a while. The reason? I was in hunker-down mode for financial reasons. Before that declaration, I had made one last buy of some rare and unique offerings from a tea bar in Vancouver, B.C. called O5 Tea. There was no way I was missing out on a wine-casked Nepalese black from an estate I’d never heard of.
When this (and a few others) finally arrived, it was my intent to wait until a special occasion to cup it. Either that, or as a reward for a job well done on…something. Well, I didn’t hold out that long. A mere week after, I tore into it. And, boy, was I glad I did.
Justifying the cupping reward as payment for a hard work week endured, I brewed a pint of this sucker. It was nice to see other tea vendors answering my indirect call for more alcohol barrel-aged teas. So far, only Smith Teamaker had done it to any degree. Others had merely added alcohol flavoring. That was no fun. The joy was in the scenting of teas.
This wine-casked Ghorka estate autumn flush wasn’t as strong on the winy note as I was expecting, but part of that could’ve been due to the tea base used. A lot of Himalayan teas are naturally muscatel-ish to the palate. So, any wine-grapiness might be dulled by the flavor the leaves already impart. That said, I did pick up a bit of Cabernet Franc on the aftertaste. A second steep confirmed my suspicions.
While I was in the middle of my second pint, I decided to give my Dad a call. I hadn’t spoken to him for well over two months. Neglectful in my sonly duties, I decided to rectify that. Amidst the conversation, I casually mentioned I had won an iPad from my work.
He said, “Y’know, you should give that to your dear ol’ Dad.”
“Fat chance,” I replied.
“Okay, I’ll buy it off of you.”
That triggered something.
I hadn’t even opened the iPad since I got it over a week ago. Truth be told, I wasn’t even sure I wanted it. The only use I had for it would’ve been as a word processor, but that would’ve required the additional purchase of a keyboard and stand.
Coupled with that was the fact that I was trying to save money for a trip to Vegas in June for World Tea Expo. I had no idea how I was going to pull that off, given the fact that I lived from paycheck to paycheck. My Dad’s offer changed all that. There was my ticket to Vegas.
The wine-casked tea wasn’t the reward for a job well done, but it was the prologue to something wonderful. The Tea Fates are smiling on me. And I’m returning the gesture with cup (and eyebrow) raised.