Have you ever looked at tea?

Photo by Theresa Barker.

This morning I made a cup of tea.  Have you ever looked at tea?  If you take a look at tea, before the leaves are brewed, each leaf is curled up into itself, like a little piece of a mystery.  And then, when you add hot water, voilá!  The leaves unfurl and emit their special fragrance and taste.

Doesn’t that seem magical?  Every time I scoop out a spoonful of tea leaves and drop them into a tea leaf infuser I just think, wow.  It may be a tiny thing, but it’s a lovely and wonderful thing, all the same.

Photo by Theresa Barker.

And here’s the result! A lovely cup of oolong tea and the basket infuser of unfurled leaves. Doesn’t that look amazing?

Do you drink tea?  What is your favorite type of tea?  I’m partial to Oolong, but I also enjoy Darjeeling, Assam, and other flavors and types of tea.  If it’s really good tea, the first swallow makes me feel happy.

Indie Bookstore Day, part 2

Photo credit: Third Place Books, Seward Park, Seattle.

This weekend my daughter and I had the chance to go to another bookstore and claim our “prize” for making it all the way around our bookstore tour earlier this month.  We had refreshments, including yummy spice cake with cream cheese frosting, and we visited with other bookstore lovers and staff.  Super-fun!  Here we are!

Tea and Writing . . .

. . . My adventure with tea (above) reminded me of the power in small details.  If you are a writer, photographer, artist, you know what I’m talking about!  There is a talent – isn’t there? – in being to take a moment to see things, really see things, that are small and easy to miss.  And they say, that’s the way into poetry and other art, noticing small details.  And making something out of them!  What do you think?




22 thoughts on “Have you ever looked at tea?

  1. So strange . . . as I was reading your post and looking at the photos, I was thinking, “yes, as long as it’s oolong.” You see, it looked like oolong, but I thought that was fanciful because I’ve been drinking from a new tin of oolong which is my FAVORITE TEA EVER. Yup. So glad you and your daughter continue to have fun!


    1. Oh! Oolong is my new favorite. What brand is your tin of tea? I’ve got some from a Houston tea shop when I visited my friend late last year, a shop called Path of Tea. I got more via mail order. It’s lovely. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I do love tea, but I’m fickle and change my favorite a lot. It’s very ironic but I have a favorite tea shop, in St. Louis Missouri of all places. Here is a link: https://thelondontearoom.com or at least their web address. Anyway, I think they do very nice blends of things. I am awaiting a package from them as we speak. I do also have a local supplier, but that’s more just for the basics.
    And yes, the Devil is in the details as they say. And while he may be a bit of a demon, he’s also a very interesting fellow.


    1. Amy, that’s so fun you get packages of tea from favorite sources. I just ordered tea from a little place in Houston, where my friend took me when I visited her a year ago March. (It’s called The Path of Tea) It was so fun to be able to order their tea and to have that memory of being there with my friend! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This was such a creative post, Theresa. Tea. It’s such a common drink and so many of us drink it, and yet each cup can look so different especially with the ones with the tea leaves floating around. Growing up, tea was big in my Chinese family – more specifically, Chinese tea. This tea was often boiled in a teapot with loose tea leaves at the bottom and it wasn’t common for our cups of teas to have leaves floating all over – which gave the tea flavour. Chinese tea was always served at yum cha/dim sum meals and really in general when we ate out at Chines restaurants.

    As I got older, I grew a taste for English Breakfast and like you, liked some Oolong. These days I don’t drink tea that much as I try to avoid caffeine in my diet.

    Such a simple drink does seem magical, all that flavour seeping through those leaves that actually make some sort of pattern when we let our imagination run a bit wild.

    So lovely to hear that you and your daughter enjoyed your bookstore gift from a few weekends ago. That cream cheese frosting on spiced cake sounds delicious and I hope there was enough to go round 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mabel, I really enjoyed your description of the tea tradition in your family. So interesting to hear. It reminds me that I grew up in a family with no tea, really, and when we did, it was just Lipton, which my daughter (a tea afficionado) warns me against (she says they use mostly the “leavings” of other teas in teas like Lipton). Like you, it wasn’t until I was older that I developed a taste for English Breakfast or Earl Grey tea, and at first I made it very weak, mostly just flavored water. Later on, in the past few years, I have come to really enjoy a deeper flavor. I don’t happen to like flavored teas (other than Earl Grey), like those with lots of floral notes or vanilla. Funny how the taste buds vary!

      Thanks for your kudos on our bookstore tour! It was a wonderful chance for a mother-daughter time together, and now that she’s an adult (24 in a few weeks), I feel privileged that she values the time together. 🙂 Have a great day, Mabel!

      p.s. Oh, wanted to ask, do you notice improvement in your energy or health without caffeine? Curious. 🙂


      1. Lipton tea! I used to drink that a lot on weekend mornings as kid. Couldn’t get enough of it. Come to think of it, it seems to be a very popular go-to tea 🙂

        Can’t really do an energy comparison as I haven’t been drinking caffeine for a long time, maybe 16 years 😀 No coffee or energy drinks, rarely ever tea. People who drink coffee fend to be amazed I don’t drink coffee 😀😀


      2. Interesting! – about your experience with caffeine. As a side note, I also experimented last year with cutting out caffeine in my tea. I was asking mainly because I didn’t notice a difference in my “before” and “after,” so I was curious if I’d missed something. Thanks, Mabel!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Such an innovative and fun post Theresa – I’ll make sure to wear my specs tomorrow morning when I make tea 😀 I never felt the need for tea or coffee when I was young. Actually I started ‘drinking’ only after my son was born and i had to stay up nights and work at my thesis during the day. Indians are mostly tea drinkers with pockets of coffee lovers. And we mostly have it really strong, sweet and with lots of milk. But of late I have begun to enjoy plain black tea but for the real ‘kick’ i would have to have one of those masala chai and in no time I feel fresh and energized. Your day out with your daughter sounds lovely and I feel quite quite envious 😉


    1. Ooh! Masala Chai sounds wonderful, Dahlia! – And tell me, your thesis?! What was your topic of study! Fill me in! 🙂 I knew you had a secret side. 🙂

      Everytime I see trees with a special shape I think of you, Dahlia. Thank you for your kind message about my daughter’s day with me. We have to enjoy them while we can, don’t we?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. 😀 Oh well it was a long time ago and can only faintly recall those days 😛 I studied medical science and you did Math right?
        It makes me so happy to know you not only ‘look’ at trees but remember me too 🙂
        Indeed we have to carpe diem!


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