Cherry Saturday, January 12, 2019

It’s Hot Tea Month.

It’s also Soup Month and Oatmeal Month. So basically, it’s It’s Cold as Hell So Put Something Warm in Your Stomach Month. Except, of course, in half the world where it’s hot now.

I’m assuming in those areas it’s Ice Cream Month. Although tea is good in any climate, so let’s just go with Tea Month.

And cookies.

44 thoughts on “Cherry Saturday, January 12, 2019

  1. Sitting in the salon having my purple hair recoloured and I just had a really well made cuppa.

    I’m in a part of the world where it’s hot and most of us like tea anyway.

    What y’all call cookies, we call biscuits. A copy of tea and a biscuit are one of the best things.

    There’s a scene from the BBC production of My Family has the youngest boy say something along the lines of how people actually as if tea will solve everything, even a weird catastrophe. And I have to say, the RITUAL of taking the time to make a good cup of tea gives you pause and a moment to ease into thinking and it helps us to think of solutions to problems.

  2. As I was pouring my second cup of coffee this morning, my husband informed me that I have bits of nutrino stars on my fingers.

    Turns out, gold and platinum are made when things collide in the solar system.

    This is good. I just had my rings enlarged because I’ve gained so much weight over the years.

    That means I’m carrying more of the universe.

  3. I woke up at 3:30 this morning. I listened to as podcast about Buddhist philosophy and meditated. Then I thought about a cup of hot tea, but plunked for coffee instead. And for a text from a friend at 3:46. I mute my phone at night, so I just noticed. Can it really count as insomnia when so many menopausal women I know are regularly awake at that hour? Maybe it’s just a normal post-50-ish sleep pattern. Too bad it doesn’t mesh well with 8-5 employment.

  4. Tea! <3
    My biggest problem is to hold myself back and not buy entire stores. It feels like a real achievement when I only buy exactly what I planned to and not two or three or four or….x extra teas I actually didn't really need.

    What many tea shops should offer their customers is the possibility to buy samples. If you could buy enough for a couple of cups, 2-5 perhaps, it would be enough to try a new tea out. It would mean less waste of products if you don't like it and customers would probably also be more willing to widen their taste-views if they knew they didn't have to "throw money away" onn something they might not like. Some teas tend to be quite expensive, and if you're not sure you might like it most people won't even give it a shot. I always feel horrible if I have to throw away something that has been standing here for ages just because I didn't like it but wanted to try it and did not have the possibility to just get a sample. People are throwing away too much food already.
    (I would gladly give teas I don't really like to someone else, but there's no one I know that is even remotely interested in tea here. 🙁 )

    There is this tea tin I really want because the description says there's a tactile/relief dragon on it, but I can't defend this purchase to myself due to having too many tins already… How do I solve this non-acted act of nonsense shopping?

    Oooh and I have applied for the Tea & Food Pairing Course again that was cancelled last November – And this one will happen! Got confirmation email a couple of days ago that enough participants have applied, which means green light for the course. I'm so happy about this! March 9th, hurry up a bit, will ya? 🙂

    Have a wonderful weekend, Argh cherries!

    1. Check out It’s the spice and tea company, and their teas are lovely, plus come in all different sizes, so you can actually sample new ones. (My favorite is their chocolate tea, but that sort of goes without saying.)

      1. I’ll have a look, thanks for the tip! …however I doubt they send abroad as far as The Netherlands, but who knows. Also, browsing is part of the fun, buying or no.

        I’m personally not really a fan of chocolate tea. I’d rather have a well-made cup of hot cocoa, then. 🙂 Melting dark chili chocolate into hot milk can be heavenly. (You can also put powdered chili pepper into it or slice the fresh ones and take them out before drinking, but that is a bit more work and experimenting than breaking up chocolate squares.)

      1. I will do my very best! We’ll get two- and three-course-lunches (quite fancy ones, according to previous menus I’ve read) and chocolate and cheese to taste as well as learning about the best ways to brew and which food/cheese/chocolate works best with which tea, and so on. It’s gonna be an adventure. Sooo much looking forward!

    2. There is (or was, 8 yeas ago) a tea store in Seattle, on a cobbled street on the side of a hill near a fancy wine store somewhere within walking distance of Vain (and yeah, that’s all I can remember) which is amazing – they will sell samples and also they will brew you any tea they have to try and my experience of them was because I had a dream that involved a green tea that was smoky and tasted like pears. The lady working there spent about an hour finding me the tea I dreamed of, and teaching me how to brew it and – yeah. Good tea is very good and that store was like a dream in itself, except real.

      1. Are you talking about Post Alley? It’s downtown next to Pike Place Market. I was thinking you meant Main and not Vain.

        Forty or more years ago, I used to go to the original Starbucks in Pike Place (prior to franchising) and it was this wonderful small store with rows of bins of different coffees and teas and the back wall was covered with this amazing collection of tea kettles and coffee pots that you could buy and they made coffee and tea up to order. And they had a selection of pastries from a nearby bakery and a few tables. The current Starbucks is a travesty of the original. We had a house near the Arboretum and I would take the bus downtown and to to Starbucks to have a coffee while waiting to meet my husband (He worked in Bremerton and commuted by ferry and walked up the stairs on the hill at the Market) and we would buy something to take home to cook for dinner. We have always treated ourselves well even when we were watching pennies.

        1. Maybe Post Alley – quite possibly. It looks right when I google it, but I’m not properly sure. The friend who took me there lives in very rural Chile now and so we’re in touch by paper when at all, and this hasn’t come up.

          The thing is, slightly over 5 years ago I had a pretty bad TBI and there are some holes in my memory and it can be tricky to reacquire knowledge around the holey parts. I can – the best way I can describe it is that I can remember around certain things but not remember the name of the thing itself. Sometimes I can reacquire knowledge and other times no. So I’m not being obscure intentionally – it’s a processing problem.

      2. That sounds a lot like a tea shop I have been to that is close to Pike Place Market. I tend to be a Chai Tea fan but my daughter loves all kinds of tea and when she lived there we would always make a trip when I was in town.

        1. Not that far from where I live in Melbourne, there’s a tea shop up in the Dandenong Ranges that has an amazing range of tea (coffee too) and teapots and other tea-making paraphernalia. It’s a stunningly beautiful part of the world, and every three or four months I drive up there to restock my tea collection and have lunch at Miss Marple’s Tearooms. It’s good for the soul, and the aroma when I walk into the tea shop is something I always find therapeutic.

          1. Emily, I live in Tecoma, about ten minutes from Sassafrass, where the tea shop is 🙂

            I should go there more often, but I usually get my tea from T2 (who give away free samples) because they have my three favourite tea blends.

            Jenny, we don’t have things like ‘tea month’ in Australia – months are for charities such a Movember.

      3. Someday, I will go to Seattle. I’d definitely want to visit such a store. Smokey tea sounds very weird and very interesting, although smokey teas haven’t really convinced me of their greatness so far. Buuut it’s never too lat eto change your mind!

  5. This morning it was Belgian waffles and butter and fake syrup on top with a side of sliced pears and vanilla yogurt. Also a pot of tea. The tea unfortunately was decaf (doctor recommends) I usually balance that with honey as a sweetener to give the tea some kind of taste.

  6. I wish I liked tea or hot beverages in general more. Never liked coffee no matter how much you water it down. I can only drink tea if I put like half a hive’s worth of honey in first and a lot of tea places look at you baffled-like (or at one fancy SF tea place, they gave me to-go honey packets like you’d find at KFC) if you ask for it. I like hot chocolate but that might be about it.

    And just figuring out how to drink a hot beverage!
    (a) You burn your tongue if you start right off
    (b) You have to wait around for it to cool JUST ENOUGH to drink it without burning, which is hard
    (c) You only have a limited and unknown period of time to drink the beverage before it gets too cold, which for me might very well mean I need to CHUG IT
    (d) You can’t really “chug” hot drinks.

    Grr, argh.

    On a related note, there is a Lindsay Ellis/PBS video about food and fiction in literature. How I dearly wish there could have been a mention of the dinner party in A Civil Campaign in it, but there’s no visuals for that.

  7. I drink mocha first thing most days (really good hot chocolate made in my hot chocolate maker, with a cup of coffee tossed in), but with my periodic bouts of heart palpitations and tachycardia, there are days when I can’t handle the caffeine and drink tea instead. My favorite is a lovely chocolate tea I found (surprise), but on a brisk winter morning, I also love a nice cup of Russian caravan. With milk in it, because apparently I was British in another life, but no sweetener.

      1. It’s the best thing on the planet. Sadly, they have stopped making it (it was the Mr. Coffee Cocomotion machine) and I can only find them on Ebay, used. You put all your ingredients in–milk, really good hot chocolate (I use a fair trade one I get at the local health food store), anything else like a smidge of cinnamon and a pinch of cayenne, and in my case, that cup of coffee, and turn it on. Presto, frothy hot chocolate.

        1. I just realised I have one! It’s a Breville milk frother (and the jug part goes through the dishwasher, which is MANDATORY in my house!) which also mentions on the box that it can make hot chocolate. I usually use it for coffee, but next winter (it’s summer here now) – yay!

          One of the nice things about it is that you can choose the temperature to heat the milk to – I have it very hot, but I turn it down for my grandson’s baby chinos.

        2. Deborah, I have something like that but it’s called a milk frother. You put the ingredients in the container and turn it on. When it’s hot, you put your cup under the spout and turn the frother on (or not, if you don’t like it) and there you are! I got it so I could have frothy chai lattes but it also works for hot chocolate.

  8. I love tea! I’m drinking some as I write this post. Like Shass, I have a challenge buying limited amounts of tea from a good tea shop. My cupboards are full of teas in air tight containers. I loved Teavana and was pissed at Starbucks for closing them. I dislike coffee – tastes nasty, smells burnt and awful.

    For those who don’t like tea hot, it also works cold.

    Happy Saturday everyone!

  9. I like tea but the continuation of my marriage requires that I start the day with two cups of coffee. That jolt of caffeine gives me a high and I float. Fortunately nothing else does it for me like caffeine in coffee or I would become an addict. Also my husband is not worth talking to until he has a cup of coffee. Absolutely everything offends him. Especially the good mood I am in from my coffee, which I have already had before he even comes down for breakfast.

  10. My marriage on the other hand went a lot smoother when my husband switched from coffee to tea. Unfortunately for me if I drink caffeineited tea after noon I’m up all night so the best stuff is strictly a morning drink.
    Sadly it’s now 11:55.

    One of the best family outings we ever had was afternoon tea with a tea sommelier. I gather there are only a handful such people but it was lovely with a menu of tea that built in intensity and appropriate food accompaniment. It was a splurge for I think my daughters college graduation.

    1. Try green or white tea. They have little to no caffeine. Another option would be to do a second brewing of tea because all the caffeine leeches out with the first brew as caffeine is highly soluble.

      1. I have tried white and green tea and am not fond of them. I do drink decaf earl grey but it’s not as good as caf.

        1. How about rooibos or honeybush? *
          Strictly speaking it’s not tea but an infusion (other plant), but everyone calls it tea so let’s hold on to that. Have you tried that? No cafeine in rooibos and there are a loooot of really really good ones out there, from plain rooibos to spicy to fruity to flowery and everything inbetween and mixed in. And it doesn’t get bitter, even if you let it steep for a long time. (I’ve tried leaving it in the water for 20 minutes and it was still nice. )If you haven’t tried it yet, give it a taste.

          * (You might also find it under the name Red Tea. That’s how they call it in Sweden, perhaps that’s true for other places too.)

  11. When I had the heart attack in 2004, caffeine was one of the sacrifices I needed to make. I took it a lot more seriously when a “too much caffeine” event triggered my ICD.

    Decaf coffee is generally caca. It comes from the way they make it. I was a coffee aficionado, I drank High Andes, Kona, Jamaica Blue Mountain… the good stuff. Now? Dunkin Donuts Decaf is the least worst.

    But tea! I always drank tea, and Earl Grey Decaf is still delicious, Lipton decaf is Good Enough. Decaf English Breakfast Tea is wonderful. I keep a stash at work as well as the man cave. I prepare it in a four-cup Mr. Coffee pot and add stevia.

    Just now, though, I’m having a half liter of bottled water with a squirt of lemon and a squirt of sweetener (liquid saccharin).

    Time to get ready for work. Where I’ll be drinking tea.

  12. I like tea and I love coffee and I am a fan of both hot chocolate and drinking chocolate, but ever since some medical bad luck thrashed my lungs my default hot drinks have become miso and ginger lemonade. Hot ginger lemonade made with hot honey and a packet of freeze dried lime juice is delicious. I have lucked into some thermoses that actually keep things almost undrinkably hot all night (or day!) and so it’s sometimes thermos picnic.

  13. I love green tea, and making it and drinking it is one of those morning rituals that soothes me and makes things right with the world. Luckily for me, my brother lives in Hong Kong, and once a year he sends me a care package of amazing Chinese green teas, which are vastly better than anything I can buy in Tassie. One of them, Xihu Long Jin, has a slightly nutty aroma, and was a major plot point in Kevin Kwan’s China Rich Girlfriend. (It was the only thing I liked about the book.)

  14. I’m pretty conventional with tea, preferring Earl Grey to most every other version of black tea. And I’ve never been able to train myself to like green teas, even though I’d like to.

    The most delicious tea I’ve ever drunk though, is an herbal blend with ginseng called Mu 16. I don’t know exactly what the 16 ingredents are, although I think one must be licorice root. But it’s satisfying in a way that chocolate or good coffee are — sort of a depth of flavor and a rewarding, nearly sweet aroma base.

    Less of a fastidious civilized sort of drink, and more of a naughty pleasure, I think. Although don’t get me wrong — I like oatmeal too, y’know? Mom? Grandma?

  15. My tea of choice is Earl Grey, which makes me an outcast in my family. According to my mother it smells and tastes like plasticine, and none of my siblings like it either. I don’t mind – more for me.

    I also like white tea and rooibos. Dilmah make a rooibos blend with peppermint and ginger that I use to soothe my insomniac nausea. It’s delightful.

  16. PG Tips is my favorite tea. Nothing else tastes quite like it. Milk and honey with my tea, my friends think I’m nuts, but my mom learned to drink tea in England and I learned from her. And some of the tea I drank the first time I went to Ireland was so black that I couldn’t have swallowed it without sugar and cream.

    I once had a really nice white tea. Now I’d like to find that again. And of course, my cupboard has about nine different teas in it, one of which is a loose breakfast tea that my son bought me for Christmas along with a mug equipped with an infuser. I also have five different kinds of hot chocolate, Which I also love. Some of those require I make them with milk – that takes a certain amount of commitment because I have to remember to buy milk. I don’t always have it in the house.

    What is the difference between hot chocolate and drinking chocolate?

    1. Drinking chocolate is a blend of cocoa, powdered milk and sugar. Often made up with hot milk. You can call the finished drink hot chocolate, but that name can also mean the kind I make, by mixing a generous amount of cocoa powder with a bit of sugar and cold milk, and then adding hot water. It’s like drinking dark chocolate as opposed to milk chocolate. Then there’s the really rich stuff they make on the continent with shavings of bar chocolate. That’s like drinking melted chocolate bars: extremely rich.

      I always thought cocoa powder was pure chocolate, but in fact it’s a side product with much less fat; so it’s variable in richness.

      1. There was a BBC show about a guy named Willie who wanted to make his own brand of chocolate. His wife lost weight by drinking cocoa in the morning. Turns out it is thermogenic!

  17. Arrived home from Australia yesterday and already miss the Aussie black tea Mum uses. It’s just Lipton. I did have toast with Vegamite this morning, but no tea. Not the same with coffee.

  18. I am a tea drinker too. Some of my favorite teas are Tazo’s Zen tea and Green Ginger tea. I also like Earl Gray Green and Lady Gray tea (both by Bigalow). What I drink most often now are herbal blends I get from a place near Albany (NY) called Jeans Greens. They carry a large assortment of blends but my favorite ones are Mandala Centering, FizzleFrazzle, A Peaceful Place, and Sweet Slumber. Hmmm, I see a pattern in my selections here. I like my job for the most part, but there are all to many days where I need to unwind and regroup myself when I get home.

  19. April will be tea month for me, when we’re travelling in Sri Lanka. It’s now this year, so excited.

    Any yep, ice cream. But also yesterday I was feeling grateful for summer’s bounty. Berries and stonefruit and even the vege garden is full of good stuff. So lucky.


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