I simply love tea – everything about tea. A baby boomer, I grew up with Lipton tea bags – didn’t almost everyone in the US after WWII? I didn’t know there was such a thing as loose tea until a friend of my mother’s, Martha Page, introduced us to Jackson of Piccadilly Earl Grey. And that was it.
Our after dinner routine at home was a pot of Earl Grey and Nabisco gingersnaps. (Sadly, my mom threw all of her tea tins away and although I have many wonderful tins from around the world, the square blue Jackson of Piccadilly tin from the 50s and early 60s continues to elude me.) We drank our tea in white Bavarian china tea cups and saucers, a gift from our German friends. They were very plain but very elegant and that simple pleasure shared with my mom and dad started my love of tea and my love of china and beautiful dishes.
My first tea set, Japanese with bamboo handles and traditional handle-less cups, was an essential part of my college experience. Many an all-nighter was spent with pots of whatever tea called to me to help me study. Teas of choice for me then were Darjeeling, Lapsang Souchong, and still that pesky Earl Grey. After college, in NYC, I discovered many more teas and enjoyed them, but moved to coffee. My college tea set disappeared somewhere in my mom’s house, never to be found again.
A few years later in California, a girlfriend had a lovely tea party in her rose garden in Palo Alto. It was elegant, fun, and delicious – a chance to sip, talk and share – a very special afternoon. This was some time before the current tea craze. That lovely party triggered something in me. I became interested first in tea pots and tea accoutrements, in recipes, and table settings. That wonderful garden party started a new journey for me – one that pushed me to discover new teas, travel, books, history, gardens, entertainment, table settings, recipes, and all the other wonderful windows and doors that enjoying tea has opened for me.
Today, tea is one of the great pleasures of my life. Having tea alone in my garden or with my friends lifts my spirits, bringing me both joy and comfort. I also love to write and to travel and have wanted to share my thoughts, discoveries, and the many pleasures that come my way over a cup of tea. I hope you’ll join me and I also hope you’ll share some of your own tea joys and pleasures along the way. And now – off to celebrate the joys of tea!