Despite the fact that this is a teablog, there will be some talk of football (soccer) the next several weeks. You might not care about the World Cup in South Africa. Maybe you've heard it's happening, but don't watch the sport. Out of sight-out of mind.
Where I live, you can't exactly ignore the event. I wouldn't even want to. As Frank Deford (The sports guy on NPR) said recently, football is the ultimate team sport. Unlike other sports that are geared more for individual achievement, this is a game where you really need a team to win. The Italians are notoriously good at winning with players of questionable talent (and even more questionable ethics), but they play well as a team. A team of criminals, but they seem to be proud of the fact.
Just like the post I wrote while watching the Champion's League Final (where Inter Milan thumped FCBayern handily), I'll find ways to tie football to tea.
How can I associate the host country with any sort of tea? Well, one of the nicest infusions is Rooibus. Years ago, only people who travelled to and from South Africa even knew what this red tea even was. Gradually, the tea has conquered a corner of the tea world. The purists will say that the tea of this red bush is not factually tea, but I see it a bit differently.
Although it's not from the tea plant, herbal tea is, in fact, tea. Why not? My Yankee friend Jeffrey likes to contend that anytime you soak something in hot water (or maybe even just water), then the resulting sludge is called 'tea'. The example he uses is that farmers make a sort of manure tea to spread on their crops. And that they actually call it 'tea'. Manure tea.
Sounds delicious, right?