By Sandy Nicholson
Back in June of 2015, my family moved back home to Prince Edward Island after four years of living in downtown Toronto. One of the last outings that I made with my children before leaving the city was taking them to Afternoon Tea at the Windsor Arms Hotel which was a few blocks from our house. Some people might have doubted whether a teen and preteen would appreciate a formal tea, but we all had so much fun and loved every minute of it. At one point my son asked me if it was weird for a 12-year-old boy to be enjoying it so much. I said definitely not; good tea is for everyone!
In August of 2015, after reacquainting myself with the lovely tea from Lady Baker's Tea at the Charlottetown Farmers Market, I made a vow to start drinking only high-quality, loose leaf tea. I have never looked back. My 18-year-old daughter, Alex and I are the real tea drinkers in the house. My husband, Dale and son, Bailey still partake at times, but do not start each day with a cup like Alex and I do. We have our favourites that we use on a daily basis, but we also love to have a variety on hand for weekends and special occasions. I normally start my day with a nice cup of Irish or Scottish Breakfast (it must be my Scottish roots). Other favourites that are always found at our house are Lady Baker's London Fog and Lady Baker's Lady's Slipper. Lady's Slipper became a favourite of mine back in the early days when the tea company was called Lady Baker's Tea Trolley and this tea was called Paris Blend.
I have not met many other people who appreciate another of my favourite teas, lapsang souchong. It is a black tea from China that has a very distinct smoky taste (and smell). I remember the very first time I had lapsang souchong. I was at the Windsor Arms for Twilight Tea with a group of wonderful friends. Claire, my adventurous British friend recommended it and I loved it. I am the only one in my family that likes this one. You can try Lady Baker's Russian Caravan Tea for a milder version as it is a tea blend that has just a little bit of the smoky goodness of lapsang souchong.
As I write this, it is Mother's Day. My daughter is currently in Montreal on a band trip so we are unable to share tea together today, but I know that she will be starting her day with a cup on her own. It is one tradition that I have passed on to her – the love and joy of a great cup of tea. I encourage you all to embrace my passion for tea. Stop by Lady Baker's Tea at the Charlottetown Farmers Market on Saturday, or visit their online store, and treat yourself to great-quality loose leaf tea. Make the switch...you will not regret it!