I’d like to briefly apologise for the week long Parting Gifts hiatus I had to take in preparation for my trip to Petoskey last week. As only Providence could have arranged it, my party-going in the North somehow lead me to discover the best collection of Scottish and Irish teas I’ve ever encountered in Michigan. Here’s how:
One of my favorite authors, Marissa Meyer, was holding a booksigning Friday night at Petoskey’s own McLean & Eakin Bookstore. I’d never visited Petoskey before, but i really love the Traverse City area and was excited at the chance to explore a little farther north. For this event Meyer and McLean & Eakin had decided to throw a masquerade ball for their partygoers. Of course I’d never attended one (are these even still really a thing?), but the possibility of being able to wear a mask and pass as any other girl for the first time in my life was exhilarating. Having discovered the perfect vintage party gown (below: a 1950s Stanley Korshek of Chicago at Ann Arbor’s own Dear Golden gown shop), I spent ENTIRELY too much money on my outfit and didn’t have the funds to get a hotel room for this trip.
As such, when the sun dipped below the horizon and it was time to prepare for the party, i didn’t really have a place to change into my cosplay (definitely NOT an outfit i can drive in). I was just resigning myself to the thought of needing to somehow change in McLean and Eakin’s single restroom, when i found my parking spot a couple doors down from the bookstore. It turns out i had parked in front of County Emmet Celtic Shop which is open on Fridays until 6PM.
Now if you know me, you’ll probably recognize how little embarrassment i feel and can also probably imagine the kind of misadventure that might ensue…
The Celtic wear shop, seemingly cliented by some of Northern Lower Michigan’s rich and famous, was party crashed when I slipped in and asked if i could use their fitting room to don my gown for the ball. Although they were more than willing to accommodate me, it turns out they only have one small fitting room and i immediately started to feel horrible for using it when i wasn’t a paying customer. While putting myself together however, i happened to overhear one of the store’s real customers being invited next door to their new annex coffee and tea shop. Suffice it to say, my ears perked up like a cat who’s just heard the call of a defenseless bird.
Seeing as tea is my biggest hobby, you may well imagine that my first order of business when i got into town that day (after grabbing some Thai food for lunch as I am wont to do at Thai Orchid Cuisine) was to do a Yelp search for tea rooms. Sadly I hadn’t hit on much of interest and had already resigned myself to only having iced tea from the Grain Train Natural Food Co-op for this trip. To hear there was a tea shop attached to the Celtic Shop (which does not come up on a simple Yelp search for tea in Petoskey) was just perfect. Not only would i be able to make a tiny pathetic attempt at justifying my unsightly presence in the store (which has, occasionally, resulted in the unintended consequence of chasing all of a store’s other customers out, a fact that always leaves me feeling horrible) by becoming an actual paying customer, but i wouldn’t have to call this trip a total waste tea-wise either.
Imagine my surprise when it turns out County Emmet Celtic Shop’s owners have actually collected some of Ireland and Scotland’s FINEST and RAREST teas for their (potentially bourgeois) customers *swooon~*. Picture it: an ugly Transwoman wearing an outrageous bronze dinner party gown accosting the Celtic shops’ normally quiet and demure staff about their teas as if she’d just discovered a map to Atlantis. ^^;; *sigh* Will i ever learn how it is that one goes about NOT making a horrible comedy movie-like scene out of every human interaction? Perhaps not.
At any rate, after further making a fool of myself by staring dumbfounded at their incredible tea menu for a couple of minutes, I snatched up (and managed to bring home and refrigerate) a cup of Brodie’s Teas of Scotland (est. 1867)‘s Scottish Teatime tea. In retrospect I wish I had brought home a few more of these as Petoskey is about 250 miles from home and I doubt I’ll be able to return in the near future. :/
In aroma Scottish Teatime has every bit the gooey malt of my favorite Irish Breakfast (Metropolitan) with maybe a hint of molasses. Flavor-wise, a smooth, unique CTC blend that definitely reminds me of molasses, probably consisting of Ceylon and Darjeeling. In texture, a flakey semi-dry flat Ceylon Black with a souchong-like grit. Scottish Teatime’s liquor cups to a beautiful and impenetrable red-tinged mahogany. There aren’t a lot of CTC Black blends that I might actually recommend people try. Brodie’s Scottish Teatime however, would easily be one of them.
- Aroma – 93
- Taste – 94
- Texture – 93
- Spunk – 94
- Rarity – 95
- Availability – 97 (Not sold on Brodie’s online store)
- Appearance – 94
Mean score – 94%
A lovely unique showing. That’s what i call a souvenir. ;)