Tea for Two

This past Saturday, my dear friend Kelly and I went on an adventure in the land of tea.

You didn’t know there was a whole land, now did you?

The LA Tea Festival was held at the Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo. Every kind of tea, tea vendor, tea connoisseur, tea snob, and tea lover was present. (Kelly and I associated ourselves with the last of the categories). There was tasting, sampling, coupons, teapots, and ceramics. Tea for health, tea for kids, and tea-flavored mints. Most importantly, though, there were restrooms. (You can’t invite hundreds of people to taste fifty types of tea and not expect them to need some relief…)

We sniffed, swirled, and sipped, treating these beverages as fine wines rather than leaves soaked in water. And some were truly flavorful! But I refused to shell out $15 or $20 for a tiny bag of tea. Unless that tea is going to solve my student debt or give me some kind of superhuman powers, I’m not that interested.

We took classes on Japanese teas, Indian teas, and tea parties. It really is a whole world of art and traditions and history. Like, did you know…

-Green, black, and oolong are all made from the same plant?
-High tea is the name for the lower class supper meal?
-And afternoon tea is the fancy tea party started by the Duchess of Bedford?
-The machines in Japan processing green tea take as long as if it were each batch were don by hand because they don’t want to miss anything?
-Pu-erh tea is made exclusively in the province of Yunnan and improves with age?

I also recently watched the Doris Day film Tea for Two, which was not her finest, but the man who plays her uncle and the woman who plays her secretary were pretty fabulous. And I sure do love that song! It’s darling. Did you know it was the most popular song in 1925? Here, enjoy the original.

So this is just a small post to appreciate tea and to mock its pretension. Cheers!

And here’s a poem for you. Because, why not? ;]

Happy October, beautiful people.

Our lovely souvenir cup!

There is Poetry in Tea

There is poetry in tea.
In the swirls of steam,
In the patterned leaves.
Eyes closed,
Gentle sip;
I found peace in a teacup.

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