It’s time for another Tea Adventures from another blogger. this week the guest post is from Nicole Evans.
When in Rome, do as the Romans do, but my sister and I are in Texas; our idea of drinking tea is a tad bit different than that of my host, Candace. I was offered to write a guest post about my experiences with tea, so I’ll start there and then work my way up to the wonderful and exciting experience my sister and I shared in the day we had tea.
In Texas, we like our tea in a large glass, topped off with ice, and with a whole lot of sugar. We pride ourselves on having the best sweet tea in the land, and we drink it by the buckets. Did you see what I did there? I’ve tried to stay away from all that sugar here lately, but it’s relaxing to just sit down on a hot summer day with a cold glass and feel the southern breeze through your hair.
Usually, you can find sweet tea in most southerner’s homes. Sometimes you can find a slice of lemon on the rim of the glass, but I like mine without lemon. Our sweet tea really isn’t that nutritious, but it sure is tasty. Cold brewed sweet tea goes with almost any kind of southern food we serve down here in Texas, but it really goes good with chicken fried steak and some green beans. Now, I’m getting hungry.
When I realized the guest post would be about drinking tea, I realized my only experience was a southern staple, but I really wanted to expand my horizons. My hope was to try a few hot teas and experience what petit fours were like. The idea was that my sister and I were going to go to a nice tea room dressed in our Sunday best, sample hot teas, and try some hor d’oeuvres. Well, most of that happened, but you can’t win them all, right petit fours?
The closest tea room, that served more than two or so kinds of hot teas, was an hour and fifteen minutes away. So, I planned on this being a trip for my sister and I to spend the day together. We laughed and tried to predict how our experience would go. The drive flew by, as we talked we reconnected in a way that’d been too long. In this day and age, work and providing is priority number one, and normally, family takes a back seat. This day, family became priority.
THE CHESTNUT TREE
When we arrived at The Chestnut Tree Tea Room, I had to drive around the block a few times to find a parking spot. The excitement of trying something completely new was keeping the irritation at bay. So, we parked the car, walked across the street, and entered the shop with delight.
We were immediately seated to a quaint little table with two chairs next to the wall. I loved the interior of the tea room because it looked antique; like we stepped back in time just a little bit. The server walked over to us with menus in hand. He could tell we were trying something out of our comfort zone.
His offer to help us choose tea resulted in many questions on our part. We weren’t quite sure what to expect, so we tried two different hot teas, cinnamon fig, and strawberry hibiscus. Both teas were something I’d never personally choose to drink, but I was in the mood to take a risk.
We also ordered a sampler of quiche, BLT with avocado, and a pesto panino. All of the above were wonderful, but we both decided that our favorite was the avocado BLT. The flavors were sublime as they lingered on our tongues. The salty sweetness of the bacon danced with the juiciness of the tomato, and the avocado complimented all of the elements. The bread was a house brewed beer bread that had this unusual taste as well. It all mingled wonderfully together.
The fig tea was a translucent white color; the taste was truly unusual to both of us at first. The flavor was truly subtle, and our taste buds are used to a barrage of outspoken flavors that scream to our tongues, but this was different. This tea sat languidly on our taste buds, almost like a breath of fresh air.
Then, we tried the strawberry hibiscus tea. It was a more robust tea in flavor and color. The hue of the tea was pink, and I, for one, was shocked that tea could actually have a color other than brown or yellow. There were rose bits floating in the tea, and it gave me a feeling of being higher society than I really am. This tea made me feel relaxed and more prominent; maybe because, in my mind, people who drink tea are more respectable and wealthier than what I’m used to.
In whole, the experience was wonderful and truly very relaxing. My sister even said, “Tea is relaxing.” I wish every day could be like this. The teas were brewed very nicely, it was warm, but not hot, and the tea cups were darling.
A Little Extra
We spent time taking pictures and giggling about how different this experience was from our real lives. I actually drank more than one cup of tea, for both teas. It was an honestly fun cultural experience.
We then tried macaroons for a desert, and unlike the tea and the sampler, we were not impressed. I wish I could say we loved the macaroons, but I guess not all palates are the same. There were four macaroons that we tried, and out of all of them, the one I liked most was the Wedding Almond.
The white chocolate macaroon was entirely too sweet. I couldn’t taste anything with the passion fruit macaroon. Finally, the lavender macaroon, the macaroon that has been on the to try list for a good amount of time, and it was my least favorite. It reminded me of my laundry soap.
So, during the taste test of these macaroons we laughed, talked, and compared notes. Neither of us were a fan, but it feels good to say we tried something new.
So, thank you to my host, Candace, for giving us a reason to try something out of our normal routine. We had a time that we will never forget. I’m glad I got to write about my experience, and even more excited about the memories made.