With a fresh pot of Mariage Freres Noel Vert, combined with almond milk, the tea cups became canvases for the spices, a la Jackson Pollack. Sort of like a savory posset, which is a hot drink, usually curdled with wine or ale, and spiced. Apparently this was big business in Britain for four or five centuries, yielding remarkable little chunky vessels with tiny spouts, especially made for holding the posset.

The five spices selected were: allspice, chipotle chili, cinnamon, curry, and paprika. The paprika clumped and sank. The cinnamon floated and would not mix in, leaving the allspice, chili and curry as the ephemeral winners.

It is said that the sense of smell provides the strongest memory trigger, so as the spices disappear, their scent lingers and pulls on those little grey cells.