T is for Tea

T is for tea,  I love the richness of coffee, but tea also has a fond place in my heart.   My grandmother, use to invite me to tea.  I think I was 9 maybe 10, when she would set her table, with sugar cubes, a tiny pitcher of whole milk and a plate of homemade cookies. Her name was Winona, but I called her Nannie Nonnie.   She loved to bake, her fav was lemon sugar cookies.  She would bring out  fancy china, tea ball, and her tea pot. She showed me how real tea was served. Pinky up!    I was fascinated with how much she loved tea.  The ceremony of it, taking time out of the day to pause and reflect.  We would sit, drink our tea and watch the birds. She had the feeder near the window, the view was perfect from the table.  Each bird that would visit, she would tell me what their name and characteristics.

No, she wasn't British, but I think she would of loved to travel with me to England.   I was 17 when there was an opportunity through the school, to go.  Our group was out sight seeing, when  it happened to be tea time.  We were invited to partake in afternoon tea.   It was 4pm, when we were served; high tea is a very formal n' elegant service. One thinks of royals and special occasions for high tea.   A silver tea service was used...they heat the milk, steam it a bit, so it doesn't cool the tea.  Lemons, sugar and milk is served, with various sandwiches, biscuits=cookies and lots of butter n' jam, and scones.  It was nice to have a spot of tea midday for a pick me up.   It was fun to bring back my grandmother tea. I went to a market and found a tin with Jacksons of Picadilly on it; I knew she would be pleased.  I also bought one for me, Mom.

Top pic is from a set of tea cups, my Mother-in-law gave me. She didn't care for the set; not her style.  She knew I would love them and I did.   She said, she thought there was an image in the bottom.
I was delighted when I drank tea out of them...you have to tip the cup just so, but you can see the Geisha.
They are very delicate and I don't use them often, but so much fun, to have someone drink out of a cup and
see the look on their face.   A face looks back at you, kind of spooky, but fun.   I have read they were
from the WW11 period; mailed home from men in the Navy.  I will have to research it further.  

A woman is like a tea bag - you can't tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water.
Eleanor Roosevelt

I love how there are so many kinds and you can actually travel everyday with  tea to England, Ireland, India,
China, Japan, Africa, etc. There are health benefits and it calms and refreshes, lifts your spirits, some like it hot, some like it cold ; I'm not going to rework the nursery rhyme.  

I had to make a message board at work, it was my turn.  I was a fitness rep...I used Tea bags in the shiny papers Stash  , I made a Christmas tree,   "Teas the Season" with quotes and then added words Serenitea, Ingenuitea, Serendipitea, and Creativitea.  Christmas Eve, I passed out tea to all the members of the club. 

 Here is a better look at the tea pot, Cari sent me in my May basket.  It is tea for one   You steep the tea in the top, it comes off and you pour into the bottom cup, very cute~

Remember the tea kettle - it is always up to its neck in hot water, yet it still sings!  ~Author Unknown

 Tidbit:   I grew up in Maine, my junior high Math teacher was Percy King.  He was a bit on the strange side.  Last summer, at my class reunion, a convo came up about teachers.   "Oh, remember how odd
Mr. King was" one guy said.   " He was living up to the hype" , I said.   "What hype?"  a few asked.   "You know, he is Stephen King's cousin", I replied.   Some classmates, did not know this.  My class asked, he said, they were first  cousins, but didn't see each other much.   He was a gifted Math teacher, but he did and does act a bit odd.  I have seen him outside of school and he seems more lighthearted and friendly.     My Mom shares the same birthday as Stephen King, every year she announces, she is going to email him and tell him, so far hasn't happened.  This would be interesting since her name is Shirley Jackson.   I told her I think Stephen would get a kick out of it!  Time will tell....

Here is a photo of my Math teacher; my son had him years later so this is a photo, from his 8th grade year book.    See the resemblance...


Raquel Byrnes said…
That was such a sweet post. I used to have tea with a friend of mine and she absolutely loved the ceremony of it all. Great Eleanor quote.
B. Miller said…
Nice post! I'm a fan of tea as well. I enjoyed reading about your family history!

Have a fantastic weekend.
Glad you got to go to England. Sorry, not a hot tea drinker, although I occasionally drink iced tea. With lots of lemon. Lots.
chris weigand said…
Cool post, I collect teapots as well as drink tea. I have quite a few different flavors or tea in my cabinet some that I have never tried. I guess you could say I collect tea too.
Lisa said…
This is a great post. I love tea, both hot and cold. We drink gallons of sweet tea every week around here. Love that stuff! The teapot is beautiful. Love that you and your grandmother had your very own tea parties. Such wonderful memories for you to cherish!!
Anonymous said…
I love this post. I love tea as well (we drink gallons of iced sweet tea too... and have several kinds of hot tea available). I am fascinated by England and the idea of taking time out for tea. I'd love to experience it sometime!
Grammy said…
Hi, Ellie,
Oh, my! I love your post! It held me entranced as I read about High Tea with your Nonnie. I loved that you got to go to England and bring back tea for her. I love hot tea as well, but I never had any until I went to Indiana when I was married. They didn't do coffee, but tea. My favorite hot tea is Constant Comment and Earl Grey. Thanks for the really neat post.
Linda said…
My daughter is a tea drinker and instituted the afternoon tea break at work. Her favorite is something from England - or chai. I still love my coffee, but think afternoon tea is going to be a new institution at my office. Just a moment to chill. . .
Susan Fields said…
I used to love tea when I was younger, but now I'm a coffee addict. I once went to a ten-week training program with people from all of the world. I befriended a couple of young Irish lads (we were all in our early twenties at this time) and they used to serve tea in their apartment in the afternoons. I couldn't believe these twenty-something young men shared a cup of tea together every afternoon. I loved it!
Though my blog name would indicate otherwise, I am passionate about tea. I always loved the idea of tea (the slow pace of it all), as much as I loved the idea of coffee (percolution, but somehow much faster and stronger).
I was asked to stop drinking coffee last year, and appreciate tea even more now.
And that is quite an awesome tea cup.

And you had mentioned your London trip before, hadn't you. And the chocolates that shared your surname!

~ Rayna
Jen said…
I'm a fan of tea as well and it would have been amazing to have high tea while in England. What a great opportunity! I would love to visit England, it's one of the places on my list :)
Ellie said…
Raquel-Thanks it is fun bond our memories with
ceremonies, even if it is tea!

B.Miller-Thank you; Good to know another tea fan. I bet you love sweet tea...

Alex-I love my tea, iced, too with lots of lemon!

Chris-how many teapots in your collection? What is your fav tea?

Lisa-Thank you, it is nice to reflect on those childhood memories steeped in joy.

Melody-I think you should experience tea, now. Plan an afternoon tea until you get to
England. I have done this for my family.
Hot summer nights, I have offered hot and iced tea, sandwiches, small mini quiches,
veggies with dip, fruit and small desserts.

Grammy-Thank you for visiting me; I also love
Earl Grey and Constant comment, Oolong and Chai.

Linda-How wonderful what your daughter instilled at work. A moment of peace and pause to reflect. I love that~

Susan-I love that; I am sure they were raised like that, how cute!

Rayna-Yes, I feel that way, strong n' quick
coffee in AM. I like my tea, midday. I can pause and reflect on my day. It is an elixir for the soul. I commented on your L post;
I went out alone in London...found tea with my surname, good memory!
Ellie said…
Jen-I hope you get to go; It is amazing over there, drenched in history(funny, I never saw
London fog).

Wasabi Mom-I love have a Mad Hatter tea party, how fun!!! Very creative of you; How many tea for one pot do you have? I have 2 of those and
5 tea pots, some are passed down. Thank-you!
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Marian said…
well, i think it's about time for me to enjoy a spot of tea. thank you!
aprille said…
High Tea, Ella, I know it well. a substantial meal indeed. cucumber sandwiches are often joked about, but actually, they taste very good on a hot day.
Thanks for the outing.
Hannah said…
LOVE tea!!! I'd love to drink it with you, too, Ella!! This was fun!! I really enjoy the relaxed atmosphere and conversation here...so befitting of a spot of tea time!!

Smiles to you!!