My latest obsession

Do you get obsessive about food-related things? I do. (See Brownberry Bread.) This usually happens when it becomes extremely difficult to track something down.

My latest obsession is Murchie's tea, possibly because I'm having trouble finding the one I want. Shortly after my earlier tea post extolling the virtues of Twining's Irish Breakfast, I found the handsome tea tin pictured pushed to the back of a kitchen cupboard.


I remembered vaguely that a friend had given it to me, telling me how wonderful Murchie's tea was. She regularly ordered it from Canada.

I decided to give it a try and fell in love.

The only problem was that there was no name on the tin, and she couldn't remember which Murchie's tea she had given me.

She thought it was probably Empress Afternoon, which the company used to custom blend for the Empress, an exclusive hotel in Victoria. (The blend is now sold to the general public as Murchie's Afternoon.) ...

A couple of days after I called and ordered a pound of Murchie's Afternoon for $23.95 plus $10 shipping, my friend told me she had made a mistake. Maybe the tea was Prince Charles. Or Golden Jubilee. Or even the CBC Radio Blend. She wasn't sure.

Meanwhile I had fallen more and more in love as I finished the nameless tea she had originally given me. It was a robust breakfast tea but with a faintly smoky finish, as though a tiny bit of Lapsang Souchong had been blended in. I yearned for it and could no longer appreciate the Twining's.

So now, a couple of weeks later, a pound of Murchie's Afternoon has arrived at my door, and it's a good tea. Perhaps even a great tea. But it's not my tea.

And at $35 a shot, I can't keep ordering pounds of tea until I hit upon the right one.