What Writer Wants Temple of Heaven When What You Need is Caffeine?

In the morning my wife Jean and I have a mixed marriage—she drinks tea, I drink coffee—which would be fine if she’d stop telling me how wonderful all her teas are versus my same old cup of coffee.

She’s a serious tea drinker—she buys loose teas from a catalog sent by Upton Tea Imports of Holliston, Massachusetts. Some of her favorites:  “Special Temple of Heaven Gunpowder.” “Formosa Oolong Spring Dragon.” “River Shannon Breakfast Blend.”  “Peach Sky Black Tea.”

My coffee offers: “100% pure premium coffee made with responsibly sourced beans.”

If you’re a tea drinker, you might enjoy reading the three winners of Upton’s 30th anniversary article contest: “Lessons in Love, with Tea”by Kendra Gaines.  “Turning Over a New Leaf,” by John Tynan. “Afternoon Tea: A Cup of Friendship, Memory, and Love,” by Cynthia Niven.

From Cynthia Niven’s entry:

“I left home after high school, but moved back to my hometown in my early thirties when my father’s sudden death left my mother alone after forty years of a happy, loving marriage. Because we were living close to each other again, we shared a daily afternoon visit over coffee, and began to get to know each other as adult women.

“Coffee had always been the beverage of choice in my family. In the United States, tea generally meant a tasteless cup made from a tea bag, but in the late 1990’s Mom and I stopped into a tea seller’s booth at a garden festival and discovered anew what tea really tastes like when steeped from quality leaves. It was an epiphany, and our coffee klatches became our afternoon tea time with loose teas purchased from small blenders.” . . .

You have to admire the good writing in the essays and the great names of the teas but I think most writers need the caffeine.



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