Tea

February 26, 2011

This is the cup of tea I had this morning. A simple cup of Earl Grey tea with a swirl of milk and a spoonful of sugar. It was perfect. 


I have always been a tea drinker. I can actually break up chunks of my life into different teas: herbal tea obsession in college; lots of earthy green, twig, and buckwheat teas during my year of teaching in Japan; chai tea during grad school and our years in Seattle; back to green tea with our move to Okinawa; a love affair with Turkish fruit teas that started during our trip last year and continued until this year when my stash dwindled and I am now left to rationing off the final bags; and every winter no matter where we are I return to my roots with Earl Grey tea. 

Earl Grey is the tea of comfort and long standing tradition in my family. As a result of my grandmother's English roots, Earl Grey is the tea that is offered during family visits or if someone is feeling poorly or sad or overwhelmed or just in need of a pick-me-up. It is also the tea that is served during the Wednesday Night Tea that is held each week in my grandmother's kitchen. Every Wednesday night the women of my family (have I ever mentioned that my mother is one of seven girls and that I have lots of girl cousins?) gather in that yellow kitchen to sip tea, eat cookies, laugh, share family news, swap family pictures, listen, laugh some more, and then head back home for bed. I love that weekly ritual and I wish I lived closer to take part in it every week. 

Are you a tea or coffee drinker? 
affectioknit said...

Yum that's how I drink my Earl Grey - Love it! - I think it's my favorite tea! I'm definitely a tea drinker...probably up to 2 quarts a day...

Sara, Ms Adventures in Italy said...

I never was a tea (or coffee drinker, for that matter) but my British friend started me drinking tea with milk at her place a few years ago, now I'm starting to incorporate a cup into my routine in the afternoon - I prefer chais and spicy teas, but trying out the green teas lately, too. And I always turn to tea when I'm sick (like at the moment).

Nancy said...

I'm starting to feel like your stalker, but that is also how I drink my tea. I will admit I'm very particular about the brand of Earl Grey--it has to be Twinings. I'm not actually a tea snob, it's just that I've found that different brands of Earl Grey have widely differing amounts of bergamot oil (that distinct Earl Grey flavor). Have you noticed that too?

Wednesday Tea Night sounds like a special time ~

Dim Sum, Bagels, and Crawfish said...

Glad to see I am not alone in the Earl Grey fan club! And yes,Nancy, I agree with you about Twinings. It's my favorite brand of Earl Grey, too.

Sara, hope you feel better soon!

Annie said...

Oh, man. I have become a ridiculous coffee drinker. It was unintended, and kind of needs to stop, but nonetheless, it's the truth. I love it. So much. I think we are going to have another optimistic go at this whole pregnancy bit in the next couple of months, however, and then I really will have to stop. Until then...

se7en said...

What a beautiful tradition... I love it!!! We have a Wednesday tradition of having my mother in law round for dinner and I have to say... I would so much rather be sipping tea and nattering with the girls in my family!!! I will try not to think about it when Wednesday rolls around but you have painted a rather delightful picture!!! Have a fun weekend!!!

upatreecupatea said...

That is so crazy that you can break up your life into tea!
I usually drink coffee every morning and then a cup of earl grey with milk or chai with milk in the afternoon...or vice versa!
I looooooove early grey though. Iced earl grey with milk and sugar is delicious...I got hooked on it in Guam.

Oh and I sent you an email about May :)

Loralee said...

I love love love TEA! Living here in Omaha, I have found the greatest little tea shop. Its called the Tea Smith. You can order online with them too. I adore their teas from all over the world. I too have had obsessions over the years, the time of the year and my mood will depend on which tea I select. Hot or iced, bold, smooth, rich, or subtle. I have been in a more hot and smooth mood lately. Must be the weather. I go out with a friend here to meet for tea and chatting. It would have been great to have a house full of women to share those experiences with. I grew up with 5 brothers. One day I will be albe to sit with their wives and chat!

Dana said...

Coffee. Community. Dark Roast. Every single day.

A friend recently introduced me to Good Earth tea, and I love it. It will never replace the coffee, though.

D

Emily said...

wednesday night tea sounds so, so wonderful. when i was little i actually wanted to have 7 children (my favorite movie was sound of music), and your family's tea night pretty much sums up why!

i am definitely a tea drinker. and that only happened when we lived in switzerland and i was so lonely and anxious to fit it that when i did go out with other moms to a cafe, i drank tea to try and fit in better. felt more grown up than hot chocolate. ha! now it seems kind of silly, but i'm glad i did because i really enjoy tea now.

i've tried many times to like coffee..it smells SO good...but i just can't. doesn't help that the caffeine has no effect on me.

katy said...

amazing picture, Lucia! I am a coffee drinker. I do enjoy the occasional cup of black tea (with milk and sugar,) though.

The Andres said...

I love both. Peppermint tea is my fav, hot or cold. Just plain, no sugar or milk. My coffee, however, must be both sugary and creamy. I didn't used to drink coffee much, but now that I have my own machine, it's becoming a habit. I blame it all on Phil, of course! Earl Grey has always been my dad's tea choice, just like yours, with sugar and milk. I can smell it right now! Ciao:)

Mama said...

I have to say I am both a coffee and a tea drinker. I enjoy my Brazilian cup of coffee every morning, but late afternoon, nothing better than a hot cup of tea. Just like you, I had my phases of herbal, green and chai tea, but growing up in Brazil we drank a lot of Mate tea (South American green tea). You can drink it in a cup with a tea bag, but more tradicionally we drink it "chimarrao style" http://www.das.ufsc.br/~emerson/chimarrao/index-en.html

Kim Hosey said...

Coffee, sometimes. Soda more often. But I love this, even if I've never loved tea. I love how you associate different teas with different phases of your life.

Dim Sum, Bagels, and Crawfish said...

Well, this turned into quite a lively post. Loved, loved reading all of your comments and your hot beverages of choice. Wish I could invite you all over for a cup of tea right now!

Juniper said...

Oh, I love a good cup of earl grey tea! lucia I so enjoyed your tales of tea, can map something similar myself but with various types of coffee thrown in at certain times. Earl grey always makes me think of my host mother in Norway, snowy mornings on an apple farm, coming down to breakfast and smelling the pot of earl grey tea.
Your Wednesday evening family girls night sounds so sweet, you must really miss it sometimes living so far away.
My husband's mother and her two sisters and their mother (when she was alive) used to gather on a Wednesday afternoon as well, usually sitting to sew together or make large batches or ravioli.

Danielle M said...

I keep flirting with a recipe for Earl Grey ice cream. I'll let you know if our flirting leads to something more serious.

sarah said...

Oh my- I love tea so much. But I am picky about it- in a funny way. I only like plain strong cheap black tea-(Canadian Red Rose)with whole or 2% milk and sugar (preferably brown)-drunk hot. I travel with tea bags. I am doing a cleanse right now but I couldn't give up my morning tea- always made first thing. Better than not doing it i figure... Wow, I sound obsessive about my tea.

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