While living in Toronto I had the great pleasure of two tea shops nearby, and I got quite into the various varieties of looseleaf black teas. I now have a hard time with teabags, just not the same thing. Here in Nova Scotia there are lots of tea drinkers, but they're not so picky I guess because I am having a hard time finding good looseleaf black tea. The two fair trade coffee shops in this town also sell fair trade tea, but sadly not nearly as good as their coffees or as tea in such places as Toronto and Vancouver.
Yesterday I was in Eos looking for black tea and it turned out that one of the cashiers there was also into good tea and she commiserated. She said they used to have good black tea, but for some reason their supplier has stopped providing it. She recommended a packaged tea to try that she said came close to what she herself liked, and she was quite knowledgeable about various tea varieties. She said she really liked a Marks and Spencer blend of Assam, Ceylon and Kenyan tea, she recommended the Scottish breakfast tea that Eos carries, mixed with a Ceylon tea available at Lee Valley Tools. I was shocked to learn that Lee Valley sells tea, let alone good tea. I also have never tried Kenyan tea, so I will have to keep an eye out for that. Unfortunately maybe not here in Nova Scotia.
I went on the internet looking for tea that I could mail order. In Toronto there is Tealish but I thought their shipping charges were awfully high. Murchie's in Vancouver has slightly higher tea prices but cheaper shipping, and a great reputation for high quality combined with an excellent selection of both blends and estate teas. I browsed their selection and picked out my dream list, it very quickly ended up in the $100 range. Sigh. The nice thing about tea is that it keeps so much better than coffee, looseleaf tea is still drinkable after a couple of years on a shelf somewhere.
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