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A Personal History of Tea

June 15, 2006

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This comes from an amusing blog entry about finding something to blog about. (Kinda meta, isn’t it?) The author muses about several categories of writing, all inspired by a cup of tea. I found it clever, as I’ve been struggling with self-consciousness about blogging, and then nostalgic in spite of the fact that none of the following experiences directly correlated to any of my own.

Let’s see, there were those big communal tea urns at boarding school, and you drank the thick strong milky tea while eating baked beans and bacon in the refectory. Then, a bit later, Twinings introduced Earl Grey tea bags, which seemed at the time like the height of sophistication. (Now they’re what junior estate agents in London drink as “normal tea”; the perfume is just another form of sugar.) Then, when you went to university, a Roxy Music fan introduced you to Darjeeling and smoky, mysterious Lapsang Souchong. (Ah, the Indonesian poetry of these tea variety names — the texture they add to your prose, an exoticism of the palate!) The next big revelation was tasting Japanese green tea in Japan, and the slow graduation from insipid green tea bags to top-grade loose leaf. A period of iced oolong one hot New York summer. The discovery of Yunaan in a Paris adventure travel agency on the Rue Saint Anne… Or what about telling people how one of your first recorded songs was a punk parody called “Tea”?

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More tea soon – thanks to some well-thought-out birthday presents, I have some new things to try!

And iced oolong sounds like something I need to enjoy this summer.

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