Friday, November 19, 2010


I've taken a new liking to Rooibos tea---a hearty, berry-ish rich tea, all on its own. I bought a tin of the bags last year---one of the Republic of Tea offerings, the can a step away from its cohorts on the Tea shelf at the store. Beside the frou-frou of the blossoms and the pink-embossed can tops and the fruity colors, this one is taken straight from a Warrior's shield, golden-orange with the incised cicatrix-interlock of a proved-man's cheek.

It's a bold brew, though the label touts Caffeine-Free with Vanilla Bean and a Hint of Cream. It tastes of sun and deep colors, with grapey notes and a lovely soft vanilla swallow.

I've had the can for quite a while now, all sealed tight in its little red/gold metal hermetics, and started to crave it again whilst reading three-in-a-row of the Precious Ramotswe series, which began with No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, and continues on with her cases and adventures and life in Botswana. Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi are quite a team, a round, kind, soft-hearted woman with great intelligence and a gift for solving mysteries, and a spare, kind, sometimes sharp-tongued younger woman whose chief achievement in life is scoring a record 97 per cent in her course at Botswana Secretarial College.

They have solved problems, encountered corpses, snakes, crocodiles, marauding babboons, quite a few straying husbands, and one very mean ex-husband.

And every morning, they take a break for tea. Mma Makutsi makes two pots: A big pot of regular tea, for herself and the three gentlemen next door at Speedy Motors (one of whom is Mma Ramotswe's husband and the owner of the mechanics shop), and a smaller pot of redbush tea, just for Mma Ramotswe. It is the tea of her childhood, of her raising, of her heart, for it is solace and surcease and refreshment and meditation time all in one.

I KNOW it has to be the Rooibos tea that I've liked for quite some time, and I brew a pot of my own, now and then, and meditate and ponder.

Tastes in tea vary, and perhaps you'll try the rich red tea---it's lovely on a frosty afternoon, poured steaming and fragrant from a cheery pot. And perhaps you'll also try some of the books---you may or may not like the tea, but no one can NOT like Mma Ramotswe.


Chesapeake said...

Ooh, my eyes lit on the tea cosy! Looks so much like the dishcloths I knitted a year or so ago, but I know it isn't. Will have to try to find that color yarn and knit a cloth for you as well!

Liked the first Mma Ramotswe, but not the second.

It may be a night for some tea; your Rooibos sounds wonderful!

racheld said...

Now, Chesapeake, Dear---can't you see the little pointy-toes peeking out from under that cozy? It's your fabulous BEST DISHCLOTH you gave me last year---the colors are an exact match, and I use it under the pot EVERY time, because the colors in it and the cozy will match any pot we own. And together, they keep the pot hot til the last cup.

Kat said...

I love her books! I especially love to get them on audio when I travel. They are all wonderful. Your tea sounds wonderful too.


Chesapeake said...

Oh, Rachel, I thought the toes were from the cozy! You need an exact match, now. One a those is yarn from WallyWorld and the other from Bernat.

I have several new yarns for knitting the dishcloths, so will have to send you some new ones. And they really, really do make nice dish "rags" as we always called them growing up.

Kim Shook said...

I love every, single thing that Alexander McCall Smith has written. Humorous, gentle, sweet stories. It's hard to believe that he's a man. I don't mean that in an ugly way - men can be all those things, but it's unusual to find his kind of stories and characters in a book written by a man.

Maggie McArthur said...

Precious, she of the Traditional Build, is a heroine of mine, and Smith's writing is so good I can conjure Speedy Motors by simply closing my eyes.

Anonymous said...

I have really liked all of the #1 Ladies Detective stories that our libary has carried - not any more or even as much as I love your blog stories, but .....