Doulton’s Shakespeare: A Tasting Note in 5 Acts
Act V scene 2
The quality of mercy is not strain’d,
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath: it is twice bless’d;
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.
The Merchant of Venice, Act IV scene 1
When I tore open this teabag’s packet this morning I was quite intrigued by the smell. I think that I actually inhaled some of the escaped fannings while my nose was jammed into the packet. I was trying to figure out the scent. I had been expecting a Constant Comment-esque smell, but this was completely different ::sniff-sneeze!:: I had to trust that my subconscous would eventually figure it out. As it steeped I read the little packet and was surprised by the ingredients: Jasmine? Really? Huh…
I swear that for the whole friggin’ cup I was trying to figure out what I wanted to compare it to (so much for subconscious). It wasn’t bad, it wasn’t teagasmic, but it was utterly distracting. The orange was probably the most mellow of the flavors, but I couldn’t tell if it was because it melded nicely with the rest or if it was just barely there. I also think that my mind goes to a default “anise-flavored” when uncertain of a fragrance. I have no clue as to why. It was one of those teas where if someone was giving some away I’d be fine with taking it, but I’m not going to go out of my way for more.
After reading some other comments hoping to find the “mystery association” I found it: orange creamsicle. I think that I’ve had less than 5 of those in my lifetime, so after I removed my palm from my forehead I laughed at my sipping intensity as I had pondered similar tastes.
Oh, but where does this tea fit into the Shakespeare cannon? More pondering! It’s feminine, more comic than tragic (not worthy of a sonnet), not the best but not the worst. What play haven’t I touched upon yet? ::ponder, ponder, ponder:: Merchant of Venice! But all I really know of that play is a few quotes, anti-Semitism, and Shylock. ::research, research, research:: I came close to dubbing this tea Shylock’s daughter Jessica, but I felt that this tea had more oomph of a larger character. Portia! Yup, I’m calling this tea Portia. She’s the catalyst for a lot that happens and then does the whole “dress up like a man to set men straight” deal. I think that nowadays she’s portrayed as a strong feminine character, but back in Shakespeare’s day she would have been seen more as “the Fool” or a lot like Kate in The Taming of the Shrew. Yes, she’s allowed to get some great digs at the men (who are all not the sharpest spoons in the toolshed’s lightbulb) but once the shennanigans are over with, well, she’ll go back to being a humbled wife. NE