I’m currently enjoying some of Kerry Greenwood’s mystery novels featuring her flapper heroine-detective Phryne Fisher; great literature they are not, but definitely a nice relaxing read, and being set in Australia in the 20s, there is plenty of tea being drunk all over the place as a sovereign remedy for just about everything.
Here’s a lovely little quote from Ruddy Gore; Phryne is taking breakfast with her Chinese lover, Lin Chung, who has just had congee and tea brought in for her:
An attendant girl poured out some tea for her. It was a bracing brew with an under taste of metal. ‘And this is what you gave me yesterday – was it only yesterday, Moon Lady? Iron Goddess tea. Later in the day we might try chrysanthemum. Tea is a cult in China.’
‘I’m not even going to ask what you think of Western tea with milk and sugar.’
‘To such a dreadful brew milk and sugar must be added; they mitigate the taste,’ he said politely.