Tuesday, January 22, 2013
On the Tuesdays that I host crafts in my home, I always serve tea. Sometimes we drink iced tea, and on other days we'd all rather have hot tea. Since it was 73 degrees here in South Texas today, I didn't know whether my friend would choose hot or cold tea, but a cup of hot tea was in order for this afternoon.
My son-in-law's mother visited Boston a couple of months ago, and she thoughtfully brought back some tea for me from the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum for my Christmas gift. I had not tried it yet and decided to serve it today.
The tea we sipped today is called Bohea (pronounced Boo-Hee) and is "a distinctive black tea blend with a light smoky flavor. It was the most popular tea with the early American colonists - imported in greater quantities than all other teas, and was the majority of the tea destroyed in Boston Tea Party protests."
I didn't read about the tea before I tasted it, and it was so strongly flavored that I wondered what I was tasting. I first thought that some sort of peppers had been blended into the pekoe black tea. Distinctive? Yes. Light smoky flavor? No, make that a very heavy smoky flavor!
The oat cookies and butter pecan meringue shells were not the most compatible food items that I could have served with this tea. The tea was just too over-powering. I could imagine the Colonists drying their tea leaves inside a wooden smokehouse, along with all their sausages and wild game. Thinking that they probably drank this robust tea with their cheese and sausage, I decided that the next time I brewed some, I would do the same. This tea belongs with a heartier fare -- not dainty tea cookies!
Bohea tea is blended by Oliver Pluff & Company, offering a range of fine teas that were popular with early Americans, imported from tea gardens that supplied the British East India Company. Here's their website: