Well, folks, it’s been a while. So much has been happening and blogging has not so much taken a back seat as moved into the luggage compartment.
However, I have been honour-bound to write about a particular cup of tea, and it’s been preying on my mind.
On Tuesday, July 13th I had a cup of tea.
This is not surprising.
But I was, as they say, living in interesting times.
It’s taken me eight weeks to write about it, and it took me about five weeks to get around to actually making it and drinking it, so this is a September review of a July Cup of tea that I should have had around the start of June.
Why? Well, my mother was dying.
It wasn’t the only serious thing going on in my life at the time, but it was the only one with no hope of a good outcome.
At this juncture, I’ll remind you that I have a policy about vendors that send me tea – I’ll drink it. And I’ll review it. And some of them have found this to be a great idea, and some have lived to regret it.
Back in May I was contacted by Umi Tea Sets, and they offered to send me something to try. Not necessarily tea, maybe a teacup? What would I like? I did what I always do, and just asked them to send me what they thought I might like. The response was “what teas do you like?” and I helpfully responded:
I like most black teas and white teas, most oolongs. Not into puerh. I like non-bitter, non astringent greens so I don’t like Japanese style greens at all. I am allergic to all citrus fruits so no lemons, oranges, earl greys etc
So, I was not surprised to get an oolong. Marked “Tai Wan Bai Hao”. Terrific.
So, I decided that I would make myself a special cup of tea.
I made that decision immediately, but it took weeks to get around to it.
I had an immediate family member that was very unwell, and of course, my Mum. I had work issues. I travelled. I spent hours on the phone.
I did this:
I won’t bore you with steeping details. Instead, I’ll answer the question that’s burning you up: Was it good?
YES, it was a delightful cup of tea (or several, in fact)
YES, it was a joy to use the delicate little pot.
YES, it was an oasis of calm in a sea of troubles.
YES, it gave me time to reflect.
YES, I felt grateful that this tea had come my way at this time.
Sometimes, you can elevate a tea because of the context in which you drink it, so I later tried the tea again using a filter. It was still good.
But it was the teapot that really brightened my day.
In May, when I was first contacted, naturally I checked out Umi Tea Sets website. And it is an absolute masterpiece. It’s beautifully written, and the tea sets are the absolute stars of the show. I sincerely want them all, even though that would involve building an extra room on the house, maybe two.
And I felt that little teapot was a representative of those tea sets, a little green shoot of a coming tree, an advance party for the day I give in and just buy some of those beautiful sets.
The buttery oolong did justice to the teapot, but it’s the pot that now sits atop our china cabinet. It’s a confident little thing, no flashy colours, no modern filter, no pop culture references, no interest in Facebook or String Theory or Netflix or Covid. It just sits there, saying, when you’re ready, let’s have a cup of tea.
Like a friend that comes into your life at the right time, and is always up for a cuppa.
That’s the perfect friend.