Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tins and Tea

The last two times I was in Dubai, I spent a lot of my money on fabric. I still have a lot of that fabric sitting on my shelf, so this time I was more focused on jewelry supplies and tin.

It was my sister's idea for me to look for interesting tin; I didn't even think about it. And while they don't have thrift stores all over the place with everybody's used tin in it, I was able to scrounge up 11 containers, albeit over half of them new. There is a good story about that extra large tin in the center back. I went into a little shop in the Spice Souk, an old winding alley sort of place and haggled forever with the shop owner (Jamal) to sell me the tin. It was full of saffron and he was completely baffled why I would want some ratty old tin and not the saffron. But capitalism won the day and he took the saffron out and even cleaned the tin with a feather duster and let me purchase it for 20 dirhams ($5.55).

Most of the other tins are tea containers. Tea drinking is rampant in Dubai. With a huge Arab, Indian, and Pakistan population (not to mention the British ex-pats) good tea is easy to find. I bought these basic teas at the Arabic grocery store. I can't wait to make jewelry with the Arabic script on it.

The other sides of the tins have English. That red tin in the back is a semolina container.

My sister took us to a special tea shop where they give you tons of samples and sell lovely tins for putting the tea in.

In the Global Village, we scored these hand painted Moroccan tea glasses. Lovely. Tiny because Moroccan mint tea is strong on flavor and sugar. Great for after dinner or mid-afternoon.

I love the purple color.

When I went to the grocery store yesterday to replenish our empty fridge, I went searching for a teapot as well. We already are big tea drinkers, but usually we put the loose tea in individual metal tea infusers, but they are sort of a pain to clean and not good for more than 2 people so I thought it was time to get a teapot. Of course, Fred Meyers had pathetic choices and I am going to have to look for a better one, but I picked up this $12 cheapie; it looks like it might fall apart any second.

But the funny thing about it was that it was this gimicky teapot (As Seen On TV!) that came with these "flowering tea buds" that are supposed to become lovely flowers that unfurl in the water.

I decided to give it a try. They were green tea with jasmine and smelled delicious despite their gimickyness.

I was doubtful.

The instructions said wait 5 minutes to see the beauty of the flower, but after 5 minutes it just looked like some invasive pond weed.

I poked it with my finger and it opened up a little more.

The end result is nowhere as dramatic or as lovely as the picture. Of course, what was I expecting?
It tasted pretty good actually, but I am looking forward to trying our new teas instead.

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