Back about a lifetime ago, in February, I bemoaned that my year had begun badly. Understatement of the year. As 2020 winds down amid global tragedy, my own year brought not only the pandemic, but personal loss. I've written about bereavement in years past, but this time it's different. The social structures that help cushion … Continue reading Grief, Tea, and the Disruption of Ritual
Do you have a favorite cup, and if so, what makes it your favorite? My dad has a favorite coffee cup based on its shape and how the lip curves in just the right way. My husband's favorite is simply the one that holds the most liquid! Back in the 700s, during China's Tang Dynasty … Continue reading Do You Need a Green Teacup for Green Tea?
Think of any object you can and I'll bet there's a verbose description of it somewhere. Take the simple tea cozy (British, cosy). For many years tea connoisseurs have used a tea cozy in brewing tea in order to secure a beverage having the desired flavor and stimulating effect. Such devices usually have been formed … Continue reading Tea Cozies, Yesterday and Today
Americans—used to having tea or coffee whenever we want—might be a bit flummoxed when visiting countries that have more codified ideas about when and where it's proper to have tea or coffee, or if additives are customary. Even here in the States, an Ethiopian restaurant once asked my husband to please try their coffee black … Continue reading Is It Afternoon, High, Low, or Full Tea?
Having looked into my metal Moroccan teapot (previous post), I next pulled out some pieces from India, believing that I could discover some interesting info about them. Not so much, or, at least not in the way that I expected. Teapot (for sure, or pretty for sure) The bottom of this teapot is stamped "INDIA … Continue reading Brass Teapots from India
As probably all of us have been discovering, staying at home brings some unforeseen minor inconveniences. We dismiss them as petty, especially in light of those who are currently working so hard to ensure we still have groceries and garbage pickup and emergency furnace repair and health care despite an overburdened system. But for those … Continue reading My Moroccan Teapot: Graceful and Functional, but Is It Safe?
It's interesting, although rather unfortunate, that "tea" means so many things in English—and I view our often limited choice of words as one of the (many) downfalls of our language. (For example, I can think of several words and descriptions for "snow" but the Sami have 180 and the Scots apparently some 421!*) The Oxford … Continue reading “Tea”—May the Odds Be Ever in Your Favor
In this season of gift-giving, gift-giving itself can be filled with landmines. Will they like it? Will it demonstrate that I know what they like? Will it demonstrate that I have good taste? Because a gift can say as much or more about the giver than the recipient. Indeed, most, if not all, of what … Continue reading The Quality of Tea Both Shapes and Reflects Social Standing
A cozy evening with family and friends—preferably around a cheery fire—begs a nice, hot spiced cider, wine, or tea! Mulling is easy, and because the spices are potent, you don't need a high-quality base. Rather, a cheap wine or any strong tea or some inexpensive cider will be fine. Simply throw in mulling spices, heat … Continue reading Mulling Spices Transform Wine and Tea into Seasonal Treats
Assumptions drive our lives. Some have little bearing on our day-to-day lives, Neanderthals were dumb. whereas others can have a huge, potentially life-altering, impact, The water from our taps is safe. while yet others might actually shape history in odd ways. These are teapots. But Neanderthals were NOT dumb, the water from our taps may … Continue reading When a Teapot Is Not a Teapot