Posts Tagged ‘tea’

No flowers around yet, so instead I’ll share this photo of a flowering tea.  Tea leaves are wrapped around dried flowers and tied at the bottom.  When steeped, the leaves open, revealing the flower/s.  It’s a joy to watch the unfurling as well as to see the finished “flower” and drink the tea.

© janet m. webb

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© janet m. webb

for Six Word Saturday

© janet m. webb

for Six Word Saturday

Another hot, humid summer-in-spring day on tap for the Chicago area.  This morning I found that the spammers had been out in force on WordPress, depositing 84 comments in my spam folder and 3 that slipped through.  That’s a record!  Spammers, get a life.  Go outside or write a book or something useful.

Today’s WordPress Photo Challenge theme is: “Heritage.”

When I backpacked around Europe for almost a year in the mid-seventies, I stayed in a number of B&B’s in Ireland, England, and Scotland, all with marvelous breakfasts, complete with wake-up cups of tea.  However, I was not at all used to tea and tea so strong it could probably have stood without a cup or pot.  Diluted half and half with milk, I could drink it, but by the time I returned to England prior to returning home, I was drinking it straight, just as I do today.  Having a cup (or pot) of tea on the patio in France on a cool morning is a tradition I’m looking forward to enjoying again soon, but a cuppa anytime, anywhere, unadulterated is an inherited heritage I treasure.

© janet m. webb

As I posted a photo from France for yesterday’s photo challenge, “Treat,” I thought I’d post another, perfect for a relaxing Saturday morning.  Whether you’re in France or not, I hope today is that start of a wonderful weekend and some time for relaxing and refreshing.

tea on a French patio copyright janet m. webb 2014

Sunday is oddball photo challenge time. I’m having a little fun this morning and hope your week’s off to a great start.

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In the mid-seventies, I took off between my junior and senior years of college and set out to backpack around Europe.  We started in Ireland, spending a week before heading across the water to England.  In both places, I was introduced for the first time to hot tea, tea so strong that if the pot had been broken and removed, I believe the tea would have stayed together in the shape of the pot.  In order to drink it, my cup had about half milk and half tea. After spending the better part of a year on the continent, I returned to England prior to finally flying regretfully home.  But now I drank my tea straight, something I still do today.

However, for much too long thereafter, the only “tea” I could get was Lipton and I couldn’t really get into that.  So when real tea finally began showing up in the stores, I was thrilled.  Later, when Starbucks pioneered the coffeehouse phenomenon, tea wasn’t far behind and the variety grew and grew.  I learned more and more about tea and began drinking it almost every day.

In the meantime, I finished college, had more adventures, began teaching, go married, had children, homeschooled them through high school, and ran a personal training business (among other work, paid or unpaid.)  Last year, with both our daughters no longer at home for some time, I began to think about looking for a part time job in some area of interest–writing, fitness, or tea.  Less than a month ago, our two daughters and I were in Wheaton, Illinois in a teashop, when I thought I’d ask the owner whether they needed any part time help.  They did and I came home with the now copious paperwork necessary to get a job.

Yesterday marks the end of my first two weeks. A number of you have asked how the job has gone, so here’s my report. My main concern was the register; in reality, a computer.  While there are plenty codes and things still to learn, it wasn’t nearly as difficult as I thought it might be.  We sell over 100 teas and becoming familiar with them is one of the biggest things to learn.  Every day I work, I taste teas, looking at the appearance of the dry leaves as well testing the scent of the leaves before brewing, smelling the aroma of the brewed tea and, similar to wine tasting, trying to identify the various flavors, natural or added, tea itself.  Not that this is an onerous task, but as we all want to be on the same page as to what we tell customers, there’s a lot to learn and I’ll be working at this aspect for a long time.

We also sell lots of tea-related products: teapots, infusers, cups, kitchen items, jams, scone mixes, spoon rests (or places to put the infusers so they don’t drip on the counter or stove), and so forth.  Of course, we also sell baked goods to go with the teas as well as bagged tea.  And that’s just in the shop itself.  The back room is an entirely different story.

We have regulars and I’m learning their names and preferences, as well as the day-to-day procedures.  On Monday, I’ll be helping with inventory, always an interesting time.  🙂  It will be some time yet before I graduate to actually brewing the tea itself.  For now, I’m more of a go-fer, a tea-rista in training. But talk about brain stimulation! I love dealing with people, so being able to marry that with tea has really been fun so far.  And that’s at only two weeks.  I think that bodes well for the future. I have a long way to go before being an employee who can step in anywhere at any time, but I’m getting there as fast as I can!

Want to see where I’m working?  It’s called SereneTeaz and if you’re ever in Wheaton, it’s a lovely place to relax and enjoy some amazing tea.  Of course, if you stop by, be sure to say hello.

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Happy Valentine’s Day and may your day be filled with love!