Seasons of Tea ~
Iced. With lemon, summer’s flavour. Sometimes honey.
And sometimes plain, hot as climate change.
Rooibos, Darjeeling – taste of muscatel, they say.
They’re wrong. Unless it’s a first flush private reserve.
Dragon pearl – jasmine leaves rolled into perfect green
globules of fragrance. Brew until liquid gold. Ice.
Hot. Lapsang Souchong, the drink of winter. Or mixed
with the bergamot of Earl Grey, summer. Hot or iced.
Hot with milk and sugar – Chinese Keemun. Ceylon,
in its name the whispered sibilants of Orientalism & its
colonial cousins. Assam, masala chai of spice & romance.
Iced. The fruit teas of the South: hibiscus, mango, apple.
The digestif ginger, mixed with pepper to augment the bite.
Thai iced tea, with boba – the bubbles of my childhood.
Creamy vivid orange, nothing I can make at home.
Hot. Verveine and linden flower, tisanes à la Français.
Verveine lemon verbena dressed in Chanel. Each scoop magic.
The tray: one my mother-in-law’s my 2nd mother, who never
had to love me; one a sister gave me. One of wood and glass,
the centre embroidered by a friend I never saw again. Peter
Rabbit, his blue coat forever velvet. On it I place the teaset
I bought for my young sons, now the choice of grandsons.
Large pot, small pot. Creamers & sugars. Mugs, cups, saucers.
Cookies. A necessary element of the season of tea. Lemon bars
in warm weather, chocolate in fall. In the winter, scones laden
with cream & jam. At Christmas? Misshapen sugar cookies
torn from the mouths of metal cutters by hasty hungry hands.
The season of greed, of want, of tea and all its luxuries.