I’ve never been one to stop everything like the British and steep tea between 3 and 4 o’clock straight up, but I think I was in fact meant to be a proper sipper. Maybe it started somewhere in my childhood at Christmastime when my mother made instant spiced tea with Tang, tea, lemonade, and spices that awakened all my senses.
About four years ago, I developed a sudden surge of fascination with hot tea, and realize that despite my denial, I am in a strange coffee-to-tea transition at this stage of my life.
On my kitchen counter, I keep a large woven basket heaped with three tiers of tea bags (from trying new ones all the time), yet I always reach for the same variety – the orange box of slightly spiced Constant Comment by Bigelow. Does it go back to my mother’s instant hot spiced tea with orange? I wonder.
Imagine my surprise when the Amazon Treasure Truck’s daily noontime feature of a steal of a deal offered a tea sampler 3 weeks ago. Twinings. A full box of 6 bags of 8 flavors, presented in a colorful cardboard box kind of like those fancy dark mahogany wooden tea boxes you see in Europe and on cruise ships where they walk around and show you the selection and you pick one and tell them honey or lemon, or one lump or two.
I bought the tea sampler and left it wrapped in its shiny cellophane for the feelings of hope and discovery it offers in its newness.
It thrills me, it does.
My 23 and Me Ancestry spit results explain my persuasion for tea: I’m 99.5% European (97.5% Northwestern European, predominantly British and Irish). My life is coming full-circle as my plane circles the airport in a holding pattern the way a teaspoon swirls and sweetens. I approach retirement age and consider the china tea cups and saucers of my future sitting room beverage. It simply wouldn’t do for a proper British descendant to sit around drinking soft drinks from a can or water from a thin clear plastic bottle when the chromosomes scream otherwise.
And so I’ll sip, pinkie extended upward, as my ancestors from across the pond straighten their hats with their white gloves and look down approvingly with their tight-lipped smiles of pride at me on the davenport, spine straight, feet crossed at the ankles, celebrating my true heritage.
Fruit trees of all kinds will grow on both banks of the river. Their leaves will not wither, nor will their fruit fail. Every month they will bear fruit, because the water from the sanctuary flows to them. Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing.”