Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tea Taste - Bigelow Earl Grey Tea

Tea Taste: Bigelow Tea’s Earl Grey

Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.

Those famous words spoken by Enterprise captain Jean Luc Picard are now legendary to not only Star Trek fans but to also those who enjoy a good cuppa. For me, however, I am of both camps, hence the need to begin this review with that quote for Earl Grey is by far one of my all time favourite teas. Ever. Funny how a simple black tea with bergamot can make such a difference to one’s palate, especially when that palate has tried as many teas as I have. But every so often, I have to come back to my Ol’ Faithful, my “steady rock” of teas, just to give my taste buds a pleasing rest from all of the other blends out there.

However, just because I love Earl Grey does not mean that all Earl Grey blends are the same. Oh no. There are some blends out there that have a very light bergamot flavour to the tea, and while some people may enjoy that, I personally do not. To me, in order for your cuppa to be a good cuppa of Earl Grey, the bergamot must stand out in the cup without being too overpowering. That’s why I truly do enjoy Bigelow's Earl Grey Tea. Every time I open a bag, I can’t help but sniff it just so I can get a good whiff of the bergamot before placing it in my cup filled with hot water and sugar. Bigelow’s blend is also good with a good amount of sugar but not so much that all you taste is SWEET. The tea can be enjoyed at all times of the day and night without too much concern as to being buzzed all night long.

While checking my tea inventory tonight, I noticed that I only had two bags left. Not good. Although I just purchased three new boxes of tea (all will be reviewed on a later date!) I know that my apartment must have another box of Bigelow Earl Grey. I shall savour my two remaining bags until Thursday but I know they will be gone by then (grin).

Am I an elitist when it comes to my tea? Absolutely. I want the finest, the best tasting tea in my cups; anything else is just coloured hot water. So, I tip my bowler hat to Bigelow Tea for making such an excellent product. Don’t ever change it.

Rating: A+

Happy Cups!

Book Review - The Daydreamer by Ian McEwan

Meet Peter. Peter is a young boy with a sister and parents who live in England but the realm of normalcy stops right there, for he lives purely within his vivid and wildly colourful imagination. Author Ian McEwan does a spectacular job of creating the ultimate daydreamer in his book The Daydreamer, in which the whole novel is broken down into “stories” of Peter’s adventures within his own mind and the end result of coming back to reality. None of the daydreams are dark and unpleasant but rather wistful and adventurous. His adventures range from doing battle with a mangled doll over his new bedroom, changing places with the family cat, setting up traps for burglars in his house, overcoming a bully with only his mind, discovering vanishing cream, exploring the world of his aunt’s baby and finally understanding what it truly means to be a grownup. Each story blends into the next with an ease that only McEwan can handle and with each story the readers gets a better and more developed picture of Peter’s life. He does no harm to anyone, loves his parents and sister (although barely at times) and has a better grasp of the world than most of the adults living in it. When he finally daydreams of himself being an adult, one must wonder if in fact he was dreaming at all and in fact the reverse: that Peter, as a man, was dreaming of his life as a child. That answer shall be left up to the readers for there is no right answer, only one’s own.
Although this is a book mostly intended for children, McEwan’s highly prolific style is still apparent and one can see the similarities between this novel and his more serious works such as Atonement, Enduring Love and Saturday. Even though this is a novel for children, this is a novel for children written by Ian McEwan. No other author rivals his usage and command of the English language. When I read this book, I thought of my own childhood and the times when I used to daydream about anything and everything under the sun. My mind wandered to all corners of the planet and when it finally came back home to my body, the results were rewarding. How many of us daydream now or have we lost it in exchange for adulthood? How many of us now take the time to stare at clouds in the sky, or watch an art crawl along the ground, or even stare out at a body of water and wonder what might live under there? And, my final question to you: what’s stopping you now?