Recently, a project manager at the center here returned from Uganda, bringing a box of Freshpak rooibos tea with her as a treat for staff. She and I spoke about our common love of rooibos. And, yesterday afternoon, I broke open the box and steeped a cup.
I had forgotten what plain old rooibos tastes like with a bit of sugar and cream. I have to step back for a moment to explain this.
My First Taste of Rooibos, or One of the Most Important Nights of my Life
I spent the summer of 1998 in Europe, hanging out with my sister in Switzerland (where she was wrapping up a year abroad) and studying forensic anthropology in London. I will never forget the night that I was introduced to the wonder that is rooibos tea. We were having dinner at the apartment of one of my sister's Swiss friends, who served us rooibos after the meal. [In another post, perhaps I will tell you about taking a cable car to visit the same friend at her home in the Alps and having tomato-cheese fondue and sleeping in her basement, which doubled as a nuclear bomb shelter.]
So good! In love! With rooibos!
In Cambridge (where I spent a week living and studying at King's College and playing in private gardens), I stocked up on rooibos tea bags at a teahouse. In London, I bought a big bag of loose rooibos. I thought I was set.
An Empty Cup, or Mid-Missouri Sucked in the 1990s for Tea Drinkers
After coming back to the States and drinking the rest of my beloved tea, I was so sad. I could not find rooibos anywhere!! Ack! Mind you, I was in central Missouri and it was just the late 1990s.
A Better Day, or Celestial Seasonings Finally Test Markets Rooibos
Now, you can find rooibos in many places. However, it's usually flavored with something else.
So, you see, I had forgotten the simple joy that is plain rooibos.
Another Flashback, or Where are the Oatcakes?!
While I was enjoying my cup of rooibos yesterday, I suddenly had a flashback to my tiny dorm room at Nutford Hall in London..... Waking up slightly hungover, boiling up water in the electric boiler, making a cup of tea (with cream and sugar, natch), and eating an oatcake.
Another thing I couldn't find when I returned to the States. Not for lack of trying, mind you. I exhausted all of my resources back then.
I had kind of given up on this love. I mean, I always keep a partial eye out for them. I've looked at the international grocery in our neighborhood, and I asked Porkchop to look at the British kiosk the last time she went to Epcot. But I haven't been in super-seeker mode lately.
But yesterday was different. Drinking my cup of tea, I wondered, why haven't I looked online lately.
Lo and behold, here they are: Walker's Highland Oatcakes!
Porkchop has encouraged me to order 4 boxes. I will at least order 2.
The End, or Thank you for Caring and Reading to the End of this Post
So, that's that.
I will be ordering my
Also, have a great Friday afternoon!
My favorite recent search-term hit..."hated grad school." Yes!