My plans however received a cruel kick in the nuts from the gods of the sharing economy. The rented house exuded a strong scent of mold, detergent, funk and patchouli so unpleasant my husband and I had an immediate allergic reaction; it was clear neither of us could be inside the house without feeling ill. Due to the cancellation policy, the owner was willing only to release $155 out of the $350 total bill. Friends- I have to tell you that it was having to deal with various puerh vendors and tea mishaps and that gave me the mental reserve to push through and receive a full refund plus an airbnb voucher. Actually in the back of my mind, I was secretly planning to funnel that money into my teaware fund if I was able to reclaim it since my husband had already given up on the $200.
We hastily transferred to the only inn in town. Although my husband procured the largest suite in the establishment, Captain Davenport's Retreat had three love seats but only one coffee maker and nary an icebox to keep my sausages chilled. I was so stressed over the earlier incident I unpacked my magic eraser and spent a good twelve minutes scrubbing coffee smudges off the filter basket. It's totally worth it to remove the coffee taste and odors- I was able to make many reasonable herbal dandelion brews without any coffee flavor. Serious tea was not meant to be on the coffee maker only due to inadequate water temperature. Next time, I won't be so woefully unprepared and will travel with my portable stove and teapot.
During breakfast next morning, I grudgingly ordered the standard English Breakfast which turned out to be a bag of Bigelow- at least the management truthfully labeled them as "Cut Leaf Teas" on the menu so I didn't have to get my hopes up. After a few sips I was firmly in regret city- the tea tasted terrible. I noted the exact same unpleasant dried anchovy profile I suffered from using hard water last month in Virginia. Can't do much about bad municipal water at the restaurant and vowed never to buy tea around these parts ever again. So on the second morning even after my serious tirade about water hardness and poor tea quality the day before, my husband confidently orders black tea while I give him all sorts of hairy eyeballs without effect. After the waitress leaves, he says with no amount of sass, "I'm not a proprietor of a tea blog and this Earl Grey suits me just fine".