Darjeeling 1957

I’ve been a fan of coffee my whole life. My Norwegian grandmother gave me my first taste of coffee when I was just four years old in a watered-down version I drank out of one of her Fire King milk glass cups. They had swirls with a gold rim and she had a whole set. And everything tasted better somehow on those pieces. The cold (locally produced) summer sausage and cheese on bread (with butter) and homemade buffalo berry or chokecherry jam on toast or lefse (usually eaten with butter and honey or sugar) were sublime.

Those days were slices of Heaven.

In middle school I started my love of tea. First came iced tea (freshly brewed) with seafood. That just felt right. And then, eventually, I drank English Breakfast (hot) tea. And while I had added milk to my tea for years I hadn’t learned the difference between milk in first versus after until I went to England. That was a lovely revelation…

On this vacation, that’s ending today, I’ve had my fair share of excellent espresso (I’m drinking an excellent latté with Arabica Ethiopian beans roasted in Alberta Canada as I write this), good wine, fresh squeezed juice (always grapefruit for breakfast), and tea. I’ve realized that I like wine on vacation and gin at home. I’ve realized that I like things that are sturdy, certain and yet…at least a little enchanted…even in my choice of Champagne. And…as much as I quiver to admit it, I’m starting to love Darjeeling. Yes. I know…

It’s not Earl Grey. It’s not as taught and plucky. And, I mean, I love Earl Grey enough to even have the Jo Malone perfume. But…Darjeeling is melancholy and remote in this super tea-like, elegant and comforting way. It’s tea tea. There’s nothing refreshing about it, in my opinion. It’s not what I’d pick to make a good pitcher of iced tea. It’s…like lace. It’s delicate and yet still (at least mostly) definable.

Why does it matter? Why do I go on about sensual (or perhaps common) delights like tea and coffee? Well, why bother showering or drinking anything other than water? *roll eyes* It’s because the little details of sensual experiences are life. It’s life itself. For me to stop noticing them or waxing poetic about them is to stop engaging with my life. It’s also just the way I’m made. I was raised by a woman who loves to create sculpture (she has a degree in art, as I’ve written) after all. There’s a brilliant iron bust of her grandfather that she made, many years ago, waiting at the old family property for her to pick up later this summer (her siblings and her are meeting there). I’m looking forward to seeing it more regularly when she displays it at her place. …She strongly encourages noticing the tangible beauty around us and both respecting and enjoying it fully. My father is somewhat similar… I was always encouraged to make things and enjoy things…

But I truly never expected to fall in love Darjeeling. AND I’ve been wearing my 1957 everyday for the last week. I bought it from Chanel this spring and it’s already got quite a dent in it… My goodness… This vacation and that beauty will be synonymous in my mind.