Tea Chronicles Pt.4 - Colin Fletcher

Fletcher at camp

Fletcher at camp

This is a tea story I've been looking forward to posting but has taken a little preperation.

As a British ex-pat Colin Fletcher upheld the "Britanic Afternoon Tea" ritual despite having lived away from Blighty for more than a quarter of a century. In "The Complete Walker Pt. 3" Fletcher details his approach to tea and hiking.

A little to my surprise, I find plain, straightforward Lipton tea the best for sheer resuscitation power. Thirty bags see even me through the thirstiest week. I normally include a few fancier jobs, mint- or orange- or cinnamon flavored, for rest-day kicks.
— Colin Fletcher -The Complete Walkerm, 1984

Fletcher goes on, in his unique and entertaining way, to detail the use of both tea, coffee and cocoa. He quotes a paper by the Addictions Research Foundation of Ontario.This gives the hard line on the effects of caffeine. Fletcher however  jumps to the defence of tea calling coffee and cocoa "mere foods" and "such calumnies against tea are enough to depress the mood, if not the performance of an Un-British Activities Committee"

In weighing up the pluses and minuses of loose leaf vs. tea bags vs. tea powder he provides a recipe for a blend given to him by "a lover of tea and a hater of tea bags"

The blend is

3 parts Darjeeling
3 parts Keemun
1 part Ceylon
A dash of Lapsang Suchong

which, he avers can actually be smoked and “will cure all ills, including future smoking of anything. You carry such leaves in a Ziploc plastic bag and steep by means of a lightweight metal basket.
— Colin Fletcher -The Complete Walkerm, 1984

This I had to try, I sourced the various teas and the blend is complete. It's a delicious hearty black tea- a no-nonsense blend.  I am a big fan of Russian Caravan Tea and this is similar with Keemun and the dash of Lapsang Suchong but the Celyon gives it a lighter edge steering it a little closer to an English style tea.

A lover of tea and a hater of tea bags blend

A lover of tea and a hater of tea bags blend

I was so impressed I've made a full batch if anyone out there is interested in trying some shoot me an email and I'll figure the best way to get it out to you.

Posted on January 12, 2012 and filed under Tea.