Searching for tea in America

February 27, 2013 at 6:04 pm 7 comments

Greetings from warm and sunny California! Jeal? I thought so.

For my birthday, Scott surprised me with a trip to San Francisco and Napa. Best husband ever! In TV shows and movies, you always see the man surprising the woman with a packed bag and a plane ticket. Surprise! We’re off to the Caribbean tonight! You swoon. You think you’d like that. But in real life, I would hate that. Scott gave me two weeks’ notice and he did not pack a bag for me. Thank GAWD. I don’t even want to know what he would have packed for me. He believes in only bringing a carry-on and two pairs of shoes, tops.

Yes, two weeks is the right amount of lead time to get really excited (and get a few new outfits and get my eyebrows threaded).

California is great!

I have to say I did have a slightly cranky traveler on my hands the first few days because we could not find a cup of “proper” tea to save our lives. On the first night, we stayed with my sister who moved to San Francisco last year and she had an array of tea bags to choose from. When Scott asked if she just had plain tea, she replied, “I have Earl Grey so I figured that’s the same.”

Earl Grey is not the same.

She made him a lovely cup of (some kind of) tea served with fresh milk in a glass bottle from a local dairy farm. Very California. Scott said, “It tastes like Christmas.” And not in a good way.

At our hotel in Sonoma, we searched through their tea offerings at breakfast. They had everything you could think of–chamomile, green, peppermint, Rooibos, orange spice, Earl Grey, raspberry, chai, vanilla, Constant Comment–except regular tea.

We stopped at fancy and non-fancy local coffee shops. No regular tea. Always met with, “But Earl Grey is the same, right?

As we were walking down Main Street in Napa one morning, Scott spotted a Starbucks. A proper cuppa awaits! (Well, not exactly. Their tea bags look like beautiful silky potpourri sachets, but he was happy enough.)

English tea in America

We sat in the sunshine, him drinking a good cup of tea, me drinking iced tea. Scott talked about moving to America and running a small business. (His business plan has some holes, but he plans to offer every customer a cup of Yorkshire tea when they step on the premises.) Drinking and dreaming. Ah, vacation.

Don’t worry, the lack of tea isn’t slowing us down anymore. We’re drinking plenty of wine to make up for it.

Wine tasting in Napa

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7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Lizzie  |  February 27, 2013 at 6:18 pm

    How do people think Earl Grey and regular tea are the same? They don’t even smell the same.

    Also, yes, I’m well jelly. ;)

    Reply
  • 2. andrea  |  February 27, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    I’m so glad I married a weird Brit who doesn’t drink tea often. My inlaws bring their own tea when they come to visit :) Have an awesome time!

    Reply
  • 3. abitofthis  |  February 27, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    This is why Roy brings his own teabags. He gets sad if he doesn’t have the right tea.

    Reply
  • 4. Scrabbella  |  February 28, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    I shivered almost audibly at Scott’s plight. To quote Noel Coward from the my office wall, “Wouldn’t it be dreadful to live in a a country where they didn’t drink tea?” : )

    Reply
  • 5. Becky (yankinyorkshire)  |  February 28, 2013 at 4:03 pm

    Too funny about the search for tea! I just had a conversation with my mom about tea and she said, “So it’s like Earl Grey.” To which I responded it is “regular tea” and I could hear the confusion over the phone. Have a wonderful time in CA and enjoy any sun you can soak up!

    Reply
  • 6. The Traveling Circus  |  March 1, 2013 at 12:17 am

    Have a lovely lovely wonderful trip! What a great surprise!

    Reply
  • 7. Vegemite Wife  |  March 4, 2013 at 11:54 pm

    I was going to ask whether he drank Yorkshire tea. What an amazing present!

    Reply

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