Thursday, April 02, 2015

Slow Evolution of a Tea Drinker

I was born for coffee. My Danish Grandmother gave it to me as a treat whenever I'd spend time at her house, laced with lots of cream and plenty of sugar. It made me feel so grown up! By the time I was 16, I was drinking it regularly.

When I became engaged to my future husband, there was one little snag. He didn't drink coffee! My Dad fixed that, encouraging him to replace his daily Pepsi with java. Perhaps he just wanted to fit into the family, but he learned to enjoy it and I've been spoiled for decades because my guy has turned out to be one great barista. He even travels with his coffee grinder!

Tea? Not so much. Oh, I'd try it from time to time, choosing herbal blends from the grocery shelf with exotic names ---but the chemistry just wasn't there.

Until. . . one day I dropped by my friend Michelle's house. Michelle and her family had spent half a dozen years living in England, and were bonafide tea drinkers. Michelle wasn't home that day, but her sweet teenage daughter offered me a proper cup of tea and I accepted. With cream and sugar, thank you.

Oh my! THIS was heavenly! What was it?

"P.G. Tips," was the reply. Only I misunderstood her; I thought she said, "Peachy Tips." I looked high and low for this brand whenever I went shopping, to no avail.

A few weeks later, I took my daughters  to a little cafe that served tea. When I perused the menu, I saw clearly my mistake; it was P.G.Tips, not Peachy tips! I ordered a cup and yes! it was just as good as the first one.

From then on, I kept P.G. Tips in my cupboard for a rainy day. I'm not quite sure why I preferred it over coffee on rainy days; perhaps I subconsciously associated it with England's drizzly weather. There is something gentle about a cup of tea, as opposed to the boldness of coffee. When I steep a solitary cup, it  evokes the feeling of relaxation and quiet contemplation, but when prepared for company it oils the internal conversational mechanism.

My evolution to tea took a giant leap forward when I discovered a local specialty shop that carries dozens of exotic, loose leaf blends. Cherry Blossom. Pomegranate. Black tea with rose petals. Orange rooibos heavy with spice. What a delight to the senses!

When my hands encircle a steaming and fragrant cup of tea, I'm encompassing a realm of pleasure both ancient and new. Such is the joy of living; discovering new things that link us to ancient traditions. It makes me think of the old adage,

"Bread and water can so easily be toast and tea."

This is the elegant tea cup my daughter gave me for my birthday.


Lisa said...

that is awesome i am and have always been a tea drinker, i really like the smell of coffee but not the taste i ave tried it many different ways but nope just don't like it, but tea has been a huge part of my life ever since i was a Lil'In.i can so relate to your amazing articulation of how tea makes you feel i agree with every word. God Bless.

Poiema said...

What kind do you drink Lisa?

Lorigirl said...

I am a fan of lemon tea. I am not a huge tea drinker, or should I say "sipper" but lemon puts me in a place that makes me happy.
Thanks for sharing Teri

Janie said...

So glad your back on the blog (like me, I'm pokey about getting to it most of the time now)!

PG Tips used to be my favorite until we were in Ireland and I had the best-ever-tea-in-the-world at a beautiful little hotel. Finally unable to find the tea with many taste tests, I contacted the hotel and found they served Lyons Original Irish Tea (in the green box). I love it with cream and brown sugar. It's the only tea I drink now. :)

Poiema said...

Janie, you can tell I am rusty with the blog because my comments are repeating 3x! I would live to try Lyons tea and am going to keep my eyes open for it. Do you find it at the grocer or at a specialty shop? And, I'd love to visit Ireland someday. My maternal Grandparents came from Fermanagh (Northern Ireland).

Janie said...

I can find Lyons tea only through some online tea shops occasionally, so I've started ordering it from Amazon (link attached below) in quantity. So, so good! Very robust. I mentioned (gushed) about it on Seasonal Soundings several times, just search "best tea" and those posts will pop up.

Be sure to let me know if you try it. Many who has thinks it's so good. :)

Lisa said...

Chamomile Fabian & I grow our own n than dry it so I can have it especially during our very cold winters ;-) I will also drink what is at hand.I will add milk n sugar in earl gray,but others sugar only...

Poiema said...

Lisa, how cool that you grow your own! I haven't tried chamomile but would love to. Why don't you plan to come to the conference in Sept and bring me a sample :) I'll share some of mine with you in return.

Poiema said...

Janie, thank you for the link. I'll look back at your blog articles, too. That will be fun. I'll definitely let you know when I try the Irish tea, which I plan to do.