Friday, July 20, 2007

Taking umbrage

For forty years, my mornings have started with a cup of tea - these days, sweet and black. Until about fifteen years ago, my preferred cup was Lipton. Now I use loose tea, easy enough with a basket that just pops into my mug. My tea ran out with my retreat. Every morning I'd invade the kitchens for hot water to brew my cuppa, then take it out into the eastern cloisters and watch the sun rise. I ordered more when I got home last week, but in the meantime have been drinking the tea in the photo. After seeing the Harry Potter movie, though, the color of this box so reminds me of Dolores Umbrage. Suddenly my morning ritual felt much less soothing, as if Prof. Umbrage would appear in the kitchen and start posting rules on the walls. "Do you really need so much sugar in your tea, dear, hmmm?"

the pink, pink tea


  1. Wow, has Bigelow's English Breakfast always been so pink?

    I guess I've been drinking loose teas for some time now. Where do you get yours?

  2. kb, I think Bigelow's English Breakfast used to be blue! I get my tea from Upton Tea. Do you have a favorite spot/type?

    Years ago I got a shareware tea time for my Mac written by a German grad student who asked not for money, but for a sample of your favorite tea!

  3. Anonymous6:59 PM

    Far be it from me to interfere with another's choice of tea but if you haven't tried Stash teas you are missing something. Make great gifts also.

    Marie, Rotterdam, NY

  4. Michelle, I also drink Upton teas. My dissertation director recommended them a few years ago. Amazing stuff. My favorite is their Rose Congou. It always cripples my writer's block, somehow. Before I moved to Chicago, a few friends and I used to order together, split the (already reasonable) shipping, and gather around the box to exclaim over each other's choices.

    Sharing tea makes everybody happy, it seems. Never fear, Marie, I like stash too, and get it for my relatives (very few of whom have been motivated to start brewing loose teas). But I can't give up Upton.

  5. kb, I adore the Rose Congou, too. Tea has been a fundamental part of my writing process since high school days - when I got my doctorate, my research mates gifted me with the group hot plate, so I could have my tea wherever I went.

    These days I'm drinking Assams for breakfast - and Rose Congou for afternoon breaks.

  6. What a great gift! Sentimental and useful.

    Assam in the morning and rose congou in the afternoon? I'm jealous. I make myself one pot of black tea a day, in the morning, but that's all the caffeine I allow myself, since I'm still breastfeeding. At night I drink herbals or fruit teas, or sometimes a decaf black tea.

  7. It fits my practical mystic personality?!

    I gave up tea entirely while breastfeeding my youngest. It hadn't seemed to bother his older brother in the least (who slept and still sleeps like a rock), but it did the Boy. I definitely missed it!

    Do you know how to decaffeinate your tea at home (something I didn't know way beack then)? So you might be able to have an afternoon cup of Rose Congou...

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  9. I do, actually, because Upton usually puts it on the front page of their newsletter. I haven't tried it with the Rose Congou though. That's a good idea, thanks!

    Unless you have a better way than brewing it for 30 seconds and throwing it out? That's the only way I know of.

  10. kb, that's the best at home trick I know, too. It works pretty well (an organic chemist friend has done it in the lab, and says it does get the bulk of the caffeine out).