Back in the day, well, WAY back in the day, I attended a three-week scientific conference in Les Houches in the French Alps. It was perhaps the best perk in a fifteen year career in science. During breaks between sessions we would queue up in front of this massive machine run by a cute little French girl. The machine dispensed coffee and espresso at the touch of a button. But ask for tea and the world would darken just a bit. The cute little French girl would roll her eyes, then turn to the machine, turning handles and pushing buttons in a blur of motion. The machine would huff and puff and finally dispense a weak trickle of hot water into the cup. Another roll of the eyes and a hastily dunked teabag and it was clear that you were dismissed.
Beyond the problems of holding up the line and having a cute little French girl roll her eyes at you a fundamental truth soon became evident: tea drinkers are second class citizens. If you have ever watched your host scrabble in the back of the silverware drawer for a dusty old teabag you know I am right. It is not fair and here thirty five years later we are doing something about it.
Here at the Martin Hill Inn we do tea right. The former owner, Margot Doering, was a tea fanatic, and we are happy to carry that particular torch. We have 23 different varieties of loose leaf tea (the only proper way to make tea), tea strainers that actually work, a specialized hot water dispenser. Our teas are from the Portsmouth Tea Company (now Teasy Teas), White Heron Tea, and Upton Tea Imports.
So if should ever visit our bed and breakfast please give our teas a try. We promise not to roll our eyes.