Two Happy Teacups
Summer greetings to our wonderful customers, family
and friends! At this time of graduations and journeys into life’s
new adventures, we’re also graduating into new journeys at The
Talking Teacup. And if you have a taste for travel, be sure to
sample some of our upcoming Tea Trips.
We’re grateful to all who joined us on our first two
Tea Trips and judging by the wonderful feed back and pictures we
have received we’re so happy that such a great, fun time was had by
all of us traveling teacups!
In May we motored off to York, PA and had a fun
filled day of sightseeing, shopping and visiting local Tea Rooms.
Then in June, we expanded our horizons with a Tea Trip across the
pond to jolly old England. We explored the beautiful English
countryside, the regal sights of London and of course several fine
English Tea Rooms. By the end of our week we wanted to stay and
live in a little thatched cottage in the Cotswold’s’. Or perhaps
open up a second location in England, we had plenty of partners
wiling to sign up!
We’ve had so many requests for additional Tea Trips
that we’ve now planned some new great adventures. Be sure to check
out the Calendar of Events for the list of up coming travels and
make your reservations today. Space is limited, but the fun is
We look forward to seeing you soon at The Talking
Teacup and we appreciate your continued support. Until then, pour
yourself a glass of Fruity Iced Tea, sit back, relax and enjoy the
summer issue of Chatter!
Stories to warm the heart
Tea and Toast
My affinity for
tea started when I was young and it has never lost its ability to
warm my heart in times of trouble. My mother introduced me to the
soothing liquid at a tender young age of 4. I remember thinking
that having Tea with mom was surely as grown-up as one could
possibly be. Mom always prepared her tea straight, not wanting
anything, be it milk, sugar, honey or the days troubles to cloud
that beautifully colored cup of comfort. Those moments form some
of my earliest childhood memories.
whenever I was sick, mom would bring me a tray of plain toast and a
cup of tea. Nothing tasted better, or made me feel better! As I
got older and life’s troubles got broader, I learned that tea and
toast could help soothe more then physical illness. Tea had the
power to mend the mind and heal the heart. If I had a bad day, the
first thing mom would offer was a cup of tea and a slice of toast.
I began to associate it with comfort and somehow when that warm
beverage flowed through my body, my heart and head began to heal.
Through the trying
teenage years, when you sometimes just can’t talk to your mother,
tea was our common bond; a bridge that mom would brew to reach out
to me, to connect, to comfort. It’s amazing how this simple offer
of a cup of tea and a slice of toast could consistently convey
“everything is going to be okay and I am here for you whenever you
In college I would
tell my friends about my mom’s ritualistic offering of tea and toast
in times of trouble. Perhaps it made them think of their own
mothers, or perhaps the English Majors amongst us simply enjoyed the
alliteration, but “tea and toast” became our rallying cry when we
were tired, heart broken or beaten down by the day’s dilemmas. It
was our words of comfort to each other. I don’t recall us ever
actually brewing the beverage or making the toast, but the words
alone warmed and soothed our college aged hearts.
As time seems to
fly, seldom do I get to spend quality time with my old tea and toast
friends from college. That is until receiving some bad news and
attending a sad gathering of the crowd a little while ago.
Afterwards, while making my way home, I passed this Tea Room. In
an instant I turned my car around and pulled into their parking
lot. Composing myself for a moment I opened my car door. Wiping
my eyes I thought I heard the echo of someone saying” tea and toast
anyone?” A little bit blurry but standing clearly before me were 3
of my old college friends I had just left. They each had happened
to pass this same Tea Room, turned around and pulled into the very
same parking lot. Within a few moments,
2 more friends pulled in as we called
out “tea and toast, tea and toast!” We hugged, we kissed, we
smiled, we simply shook our heads as we stood together in that cold
parking lot warming to the happenstance of stumbling upon a Tea Room
at that very moment of need. Composing ourselves, the 6 of us
entered the building and quickly ordered tea and toast for 7.
Rallying around our 7 cups of comfort, the 6 of us took shelter in
each other’s company, some shared conversation and memories, and of
course that heart warming tea and toast.
Recently I’ve come
to realize the extraordinary gift my mom has given me in the
familiar form of tea and toast. In the twilight of her years, I
now bring to her tea and toast. Her eyes sparkle. We take comfort
in our shared memories and our moments together. No matter how
difficult a day she is having, no matter how cloudy her mind may be,
when she tastes her toast and sips her tea, always prepared straight
with no milk, sugar or honey, her troubles momentarily fade, her
mind clears and we find some comfort there.
Wine and Tea
The origin of Wine
is well grafted into the root stock of Western civilization while
Tea’s roots tap deep into the soils of ancient Eastern culture. As
these cultures cross pollinated throughout history, Wine and Tea
naturally co-mingled. Wine and Tea. Two beverages worlds apart,
yet sharing similar soil. While Wine can be rowdy and refined, its
daintier little sister Tea tends to be relaxed and refined. Though
dissimilar when taken out in social settings, these two liquid
ladies reveal their common characteristics to those willing to spend
some quality time getting to know them a little better.
On the religious
front, Wine is entwined with Christianity while Tea is at one with
Buddha. In the history of Tea in China, Buddhism plays the same
role as Christianity plays in the history of Wine in Europe. For
example, Christian monks, under grant from Charlemagne, were
planting Rhineland’s first Riesling grapes at the same time in China
that Zen Buddhist monks in the Tang dynasty were planting the
precursor of Dragon’s Well Tea. Each mothered by monks, Wine and
Tea are firmly grounded in the good graces of their respective
The language of
Wine and Tea are likewise linked. Wine speaks with a French
accent, and Tea talks proper English while retaining its Far Eastern
upbringing. Though the dialects differ, each reflects a respect
for their upbringing, as each embodies in their present day
vernacular tiny tales from their rich history. For example take
Orange Pekoe Tea. Pekoe in ancient Chinese means “white down” for
the covering found on a young tea leaf. Orange derives from
Holland’s royal House of Orange. Over time Orange Pekoe came to be
known as the largest or finest grade of black tea leaf. Similar
stories can be found for Wine if one researches the origins of terms
such as Brut Champagne.
If beauty is in the
eye of the beholder, then taste is in the mouth of the drinker. It
is within the topic of taste, subjective and sensory, that our two
liquid ladies strut their true sisterhood. Lovers of Wine and Tea
use common adjectives to describe each beverage’s beauty. Words
such as fruity, mild, noble, dry, earthy and nutty can often be
heard at Wine or Tea tastings, so to the ear the two may sound
similar. But look a little closer and the sibling rivalry becomes
apparent. Tasting Tea can be more demanding then wine tasting.
While wine never fails to have flavor of some sort, it can be
misleading to speak of tea as having taste at all – sometimes it is
simply an effect on the palate. In the mouth, tea is the only
beverage which can be subtler then wine. Like sisters, there
sameness at once defines and distinguishes them from each other.
But there is one term in the Tea tasters jargon without a linguistic
counterpart in the wine lovers world. Very rarely used, and then
only with hushed voices, this term denotes the finest quality rarest
tea, harvested under perfect conditions. The revered term bestowed
on such a rare tea is “winey” and it’s the ultimate tea tasting complement.
It’s like saying, the best qualities in me, I see in you. The
sisterly side comes in because, well tea, unlike wine, does not
improve with age and the term “winey” is used to describe a rare
black tea that improves with age. That certainly sounds like Tea doing some wishful
wine like thinking!!
Wine and Tea. Soul
sisters linked in history, religion, language and lexicon. But
there is a much more important bond linking these two liquid
ladies. It's the bond they help replenish when shared with another.
So, be it a glass of gladness or a cup of comfort; wine and cheese,
or tea and toast; enjoy, converse, drink up and here’s to family and
friends! Just don’t invite those pesky little brothers, Beer