Monday, August 20, 2007

Tea, truffles and cheap luxuries

One of my favorite phrases as a female shopper: "Cheap luxury." It's been years now since I first heard the term, but it clicked with me immediately. Remember when $8 disposable razors for women came on the scene? I heard someone on TV call them a "cheap luxury," and they're right. It's something that costs a good bit more than the typical item in its category, yet the cost is still comparatively cheap. It's not like, say, a new Lexus or a bottle of Chanel No. 5. So what is my favorite cheap luxury these days? It's the new Cacao Reserve Truffles from Hershey's. I paid $2.49 for a tin of eight tiny truffles at my local Publix grocery store last week, and I have to say these are just deliciously rich. The package calls all eight truffles a single serving, but I disagree. One at a time (or at most, two) is the way to go!

On Saturday, my mother, aunt and I were returning from a shopping trip when I popped an Afternoon Tea CD I'd purchased into the CD player. Hearing the tea room-ish tunes, mom said, "That music makes me wonder 'Where are the truffles?'" For once in my life, I had a great answer. "Oh! They're in my purse!" I said. You should've seen my mom's face as I whipped out a cute little tin of truffles and shared them.

An even cheaper "cheap luxury" is the new dark chocolate candy bars on the market today. Last night, my sweet husband brought home some of the Milky Way dark chocolate bars, and I employed my usual rule of drinking something hot to magnify the flavor of the chocolate. There in the tea cabinet was a sample tin of Vanilla Tea from Adagio Teas ( Once again, I have to say that several-year-old tea CAN retain its flavor. I'd forgotten I had this tea, but the vanilla flavor of the tea was a great companion to the dark chocolate. So here's to cheap luxuries!


  1. I saw this at Wal-Mart the other day. I picked it up. Put it down. Picked it up. Put it down. Next time I'm in there, I'm going to pick it up and put it down again: on the check-out counter!!!

    Looking forward to trying these. Thanks for the info!

  2. Finally had time to read your blog and will make it a regular part of my web reading. I've read all of your August entries and enjoyed each one. I, too, have a tea corner at work. It consists of a teapot, tea cup and a small silver tea caddy I picked up in an antique store in Marietta. I only brew tea bags right now, but maybe I will add a few more accoutrements in the near future.

  3. Denise, I always try to remember the excellent advice of Mae West, who said that whenever she was forced to choose the lesser of two evils, she liked to choose the one she hadn't tried before! (It hadn't dawned on me that the discount stores might have these truffles. Thanks for the tip!)

    And welcome, Cynda, and thanks so much for the encouraging comments. (BTW, if you bought your silver tea caddy in Marietta, Ga., since I was at three antique stores there on Saturday I was probably in the store you visited!)


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