Saturday, May 21, 2005

Celadon Gaiwan

Traveling with Tea

I'll be gone for a few days. Business trip. This trip requires special packing of some special tea. (I don't mind the tea bag variety once in a while, but not for a week.) Fortunately, I pack pretty light. So, that means I have room for my very own electric kettle (a small one) and a stash of tea. I wouldn't dream of using the in-room coffee maker to heat my tea water!!!

Which tea to take? Oh, this is a tough decision! I'm waffling between a green and an oolong. I think I'm leaning toward the green. It's a special one - part of a gift from my Mom at Xmas. She enrolled me in a tea club. Every 2 months, I get a new (premium) tea. It's so exciting! This particular tea is called Snow Water Dragon Tips. It's best brewed in a gaiwan (see photo), tho for the trip my beautiful gaiwan will stay home.

The tea will go in my carry-on, of course! Let my clothes get lost, but not the Snow Water Dragon Tips! (It's a unique tea - and expensive.) I've had funny experiences with carrying on my tea. Twice my bag has been searched. I'm not sure which looks suspicious: the tea itself or the teaspoon strainer that I use when I travel. >-)

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Crash, boom, bang!

We're having an intense thunderstorm in the Midwest! It's loud and scary. I get anxious in storms. I always have. I can remember sitting on my grandma's lap as a child and having her sing "My Bonnie Sailed Over the Ocean" to comfort me.

As an adult, I sometimes still hide my head under a pillow when the thunder and lightning crash. And, I always indulge myself with a cup of my current favorite tea. I guess that's a reason to look forward to thunderstorms. Today, as it pours outside, I'm drinking a mint blend.

Often, by the end of my cup of tea, the storm has passed.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Sun tea

Sun Tea Season!

With warmer weather and sun gracing the Midwest, I find myself in the mood for sun tea. Having said that, I must admit that I'm not a big fan of iced least not the Lipton bag kind. (Tho my Mom's sweet variety does taste pretty good at Sunday dinner.)

Today I made sun tea in the green variety - from my Hermes Orange green. It brews up to a lovely celadon color and tastes quite refreshing. Later this weekend I will give a new Blueberry tea (black) the chance to bask in the sun.

What I enjoy the most about sun tea is the sensory experience: watching the loose leaves dance up in the jar as it reflects the sunshine. Simple beauty at its best!

Monday, May 09, 2005

Today Is A Green Day (poem)

Today is a Green Day

Today is a green day. For tea, I mean.
The green will fill the gaps in between.

Green is full of life and light.
Green gently stirs the seedling’s might.

Tomorrow may be a black tea day.
I’m never sure until it’s underway.

Black tea warms my soul and feet.
Black tea inspires the artist’s heat.

A nice oolong is for moment’s mirror.
And conversation as friends draw nearer.

I save pu-erh for special desire.
Of earth and air and and water and fire.

Then to my humble knees I go.
To imbibe the sacred from long ago.

And last, for special celebration.
A white tea for our confirmation.

To tea I give my heartfelt praise.
To life and love, unfettered days.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Wild flowers or weeds?

My husband likes to call weeds "nothing but misplaced flowers". Isn't life a lot like that? When something is in our way, we call it a weed. Even if it is something beautiful. Yesterday I was walking down the sidewalk and I noticed these lovely Brassica flowers. They're bright yellow. I imagine most of the car drivers rushing by didn't notice the pretty little flower, and those that did probably called it a weed. But this lovely little flower came home with me and is now glistening in the morning sun on the window ledge in my bathroom.

How does this relate to tea? I am reminded that most of our life is spent in everyday tasks. Working, eating, sleeping. We only have so many of the extravagant life moments (vacations, weddings, etc.) What if we turned the everyday into the extravagant? What if we all found the beauty in the simple wild flowers on the side of the road? What if every sip of tea were savored, rather than gulped? One of my favorite quotes comes from the Republic of Tea: "Sip by sip...not gulp by gulp." May you sip your tea slowly today!