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 not!

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!

Thank You!

 

 

"Time Out"

 

                                                    Eric Heck

     

Chamomile Moments

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. 

 In childhood, 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 need me.”

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.

 

 

Talking Teacup

Wine and Tea

Sipping Sisters

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 religions.

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 and Coffee!