I love tea.
On days like this, there is nothing better. And according to the main character of the series I love to read —Mma Precious Ramotswe, traditionally-built lady and owner of the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency– there is always time for tea. Time for tea and for cake.
And I agree. Especially about the cake part.
The act of collecting the water and getting it just below boiling –for me, never to boiling point, as I hold the belief that it charrs the leaves and makes them taste bitter– and in the meanwhile preparing the pretty pot covered in violets –which I got on the eve of my 28th birthday at the Empress hotel— and getting a nice and sturdy mug ready are among the best things anywhere, anytime.
I have mentioned that I lead an amazingly dull life before, I hope.
But hands down, the best part of tea-time is to pick the tea.
I guess this is the point where I mention that I’m a little bit of a teaholic.
There are currently about ten boxes of teas and tisanes in my pantry. Some remind me of my friend and teacher extraordinaire, Erinacious, because she loves Celestial Seasonings — with a big spoonful of honey, usually. Then there are my Yogi teas, like Mom-To-Be and Nursing Mom (<—-WHICH TOTALLY WORKS, HOLY COW. LITERALLY!) which remind me of my pregnancy, although I recently gave my pregnancy tea stash away through the Mom-Mafia listserv. I am hoping some newly preggos drink it and feel comforted, because I loved it and I think it might have worked. I love Yogi Teas: they are my get-well teas. Tummy trouble? Drink some ginger. Period pain? Drink some Moon Cycle. Just awesomeness.
There is one tin of Republic of Tea bags, and two tins of loose-leaved tea from them, and they remind me of my favorite store EVER. I know I had more memories associated with those teas, but I’m drawing a blank. Ohyeahduuh…. I started drinking those when I was in college. While everyone flocked to coffee, I turned to tea. And I take it with just water, thank you much: no milk and certainly no cream for this plain girl. And sometimes, not even sugar.
Going back to my collection: I also have a tin of some apple caramel green tea that is absolutely delicious and which I got in this little store in Santa Cruz–where it had been banned to the 50% off table and which the Monsieur helped me spot. And some carefully-kept Earl Grey-type tea I bought on my honeymoon in Alaska and which smells absolutely beautiful.
I also have a big tin of jasmine tea that Rev. Mom brought me from Hong Kong, and a smaller one with pearl green oolong from Rev. Mom’s acupuncturist– a truly lovely individual who can transform your energy and knows how to put you at ease.
I have a tin of a tropical rooibos mix, from the Mariposa, that the Monsieur got me on my 29th birthday (and which I suspect he was getting partly for himself, the big poopy pants), after taking me out for afternoon tea. Because he’s a sweet, sweet man who donned the delicate napkin on his lap and tucked into small tarts and drank out of flimsy cups because I said so.
Tea rooms are the shit, by the way. There is no celebration that can’t be made even more exciting (and yet, dramatically sedated) by the addition of a full afternoon tea spread.
I also have a tin of a beautiful rooibos mixed with rose petals and hips called “La Vie En Rose”, given to me by a dear friend who I miss very much. I’m sipping that one right now –in honor of Mma Ramostwe’s choice of tea– and thinking of writing to my friend.
And I also have a little bit of my favorite tisane ever left, called Scarlet, and which reminds me of so many evenings spent in my former life sipping it. It also reminds me of friends who are now far away but who were such a part of my daily life for so long.
Every time I drink a cup of tea, I think of one of my friends or of a loved one.
Every infusion is associated with a mood, or a person, or a special emotion.
Every sip is comforting. If I go back to my tea hours later, there is no disgusting milky film and no bitter nasty taste from caffeine that’s been sitting too long. The water is infused with the herbs, and the coolness lends a new wave of flavors.
I need three things right now:
1) More tea
2) A tea room to go for happy and special occasions and
3) A bathroom