May 30, 2007

Recent tea times

In my last post I wrote excitedly about two tea dates. Well, I attended both but I don't have many photos. I spent most of my time talking, listening, and laughing.

Three of U's teacups (photo by Lily).

On Friday morning and early afternoon I strolled through North Berkeley using a few of the Berkeley paths. I ran into U on my way to her house for afternoon tea (read about another tea at U's house). We selected several chocolate bars at Elephant Pharmacy and I accompanied her to buy loose tea- Earl Grey and rose buds - at Imperial Tea House on Shattuck. The tea was served in delicate china cups U had purchased in Cambridge (MA). I also helped to assemble the cucumber sandwiches. In addition to my chocolates and U's almond cake, we ate fruit and cookies brought by five other ladies. One of the guests, a very good friend of U's, regaled us with funny impersonations and stories.

My second tea time was on Sunday morning. I met a friend at Far Leaves on College Avenue. This was my second visit to the tea shop (my first visit was in August 2006). My friend C lived in Berkeley for several years many years ago but this was her time at Far Leaves. We ordered a pot of Rooibos and lunch trays from the sushi restaurant next door. Sushi and tea are not an intuitive combination but the clean taste of Rooibos did not clash with the fish. The dark color of tea was also surprising. Rooibos translates as "red tea." Another characteristic of Rooibos is its natural sweetness (read more). C and I drank our tea "black" without milk or sugar.

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