Hide

Welcome to Steepster, an online tea community.

Write a tea journal, see what others are drinking and get recommendations from people you trust. or Learn More

99

What a beautiful, unusual tea!

I’ve got two tea gift bags and a swap package sitting next to me, so whatever it is I’m smelling is delicious – and likely something other than the tea I’m drinking. ;)

Huge green leaves, chunks of what look like potato and something else? are in this blend. Steeped, it was a very, very light color, which surprised me – I actually opened up the Breville to make sure the tea had steeped properly. It did.

I can taste the tea foremost (lovely!), the applesauce, and something very latke-ish. It’s comforting, sweet and full, like biting into a potato almost, although I find there’s little taste there the few times I have eaten a raw potato, so it’s more the mouthfeel I’m comparing it to than anything. I added sweetener only because I’m a huge applesauce fan, and because we used to make our latkes like they were applesauce with latkes instead of the other way around.

Interesting note, of only semi-relation to the tea: I was raised with little to no religious instruction or guidance. I knew there was a story there, however my parents both passed before I really was able to get any sort of fleshed out details, and asking the family members left was… puzzling and, well, met with negative reactions. We celebrated Christmas and Easter, occasionally went to midnight mass (my Dad was Italian Catholic, my Mom, Dutch), and then for a few years we attended these amazing get-togethers at what I think was UBC’s Museum of Anthropology, where we made dreidels, ate latkes and listened to people sing in Hebrew. It was magical and a whole lot of fun.

Fast forward to a few years ago when I’m in Seattle attending film school, and I meet a Jewish man that I end up writing a rom-com with. It’s Friday night Shabbat, and as he joins me in the ceremony, I start crying. Quietly. I realize, in that moment, I am Jewish, and that this is something I’ve done many times before, yet had zero idea why, or even when. I kept quiet, wiped my tears, and went on with the evening.

Later, I received confirmation that yes, my Mother’s mother was Jewish and therefore I am as well. Long story short, a great uncle of mine along with my grandfather, published Mein Kampf in Dutch to avert the authorities from realizing they were Jewish. I have a cousin in her 80s in Amsterdam who still runs the bookstore and art shop where this all went down. I should note that this all occurred before my Mom was born – the beauty of having a family so large there’s a generation that divides them.

Anyway. This tea is an emotional one for me, for many of the reasons listed above. I am thankful to all of you who chose to read this novel of a tealog, to Stacy for making it, and for the opportunity to share these details (for the first time in public) here. Chag Sameach!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 0 sec
JustJames

i have a jewish step family. it is important to note that judaism is one of the few religions where you can be a non believer and still be a member: a jew is a jew, regardless of belief. a rare thing. my step father always reveled in ‘jewish pork chop wednesdays’ lol, and griped as he helped us haul up the christmas tree… just like every year he would wince as we muddled the hebrew words of the channukah prayers…. we tried hard!

happy channukha MissB. Ba-ruch A-tah Ado-nai E-lo-he-nu Me-lech Ha-olam she-heche-ya-nu ve-ki-yi-ma-nu ve-higi-a-nu liz-man ha-zeh.

yyz

Thanks for sharing such and intimate and personal experience and memory. Interfaith families can flesh out to be really interesting but also confusing experiences. I have friends who have Hindu/ Muslim, and Sikh/Catholic as well as other various backgrounds. My family with a few exceptions has fallen out of faith which is kind of sad considering my G. grandfather was a Presbyterian minister, but I do understand the value of spirituality and have felt incredible energy and had incredible experiences in spiritual places and sharing in the rites of others. Most of the time, I kind of feel like a spiritual refugee. The faiths of my ancestors have been lost to time and I haven’t really found a form of spirituality that I connect completely with. Even my older Christian relatives used to go to different denomination churches every week when I visited them. I’m glad that you were able to find such an intimate connection to your faith and heritage. Enjoy this holiday season!

JustJames

yyz…. has anyone told you today that you are awesome?

MissB

More tears, the good kind. Thank you both. :)

Ysaurella

what a lovely review :) I have a sample of this tea and I should have it tomorrow

TheTeaFairy

Awww! MissB , you have me all choked up and full of chills…The irony that they had to print that awful book. I had to read it many years ago for a school project and I wished I could just forget about its madness.
What an incredible and inspiring story. You’re a very good writer, such a heartfelt story. thanks for sharing :-)

Butiki Teas

Thank you for sharing that! :)

Bonnie

Beautiful!

MissB

Thank you all. :) When I was researching my heritage, I heard a story from a relatively famous rabbi who said, “Mein Kampf was the best book ever written.” Puzzled, the interviewer asked why he would ever say such a thing. I’m paraphrasing, however he responded something along the lines of, “Many a Jew kept this book in their home during the war, and that’s why I, and others like me, are/still alive.” So I too am grateful for the book, even if it’s an unusual take on the subject.

yyz

have you ever seen Europa, Europa? It’s a movie from the early to mid 80’s I think, but along similar veins. It’s a true story about how a teenage Jewish boy survives the second world war among the Nazi’s. His attempts at fleeing result in him being adopted by a German army unit, and he ends up having to play along in order to survive. It’s a movie I think you might appreciate, as I always find that it is also a message about how we can still find humanity and kindness among other even in very dark times.

boychik

Your story made me cry. Beautiful note

MissB

Thank you boychik. I mean, crying is a good thing in this case, right? :) Also, thanks for the suggestion yyz!

boychik

Amazing that you made such a discovery and bad that jews were prosecuted for many centures. i ordered Run boy run for my daughter last summer. turned out i was a reader, she said its too sad for her. i will make sure she reads it but dont want any pressure.

Lynxiebrat

Made me tear up, but that’s ok. smiles It’s hard for many people to contemplate the idea of doing distastful or outrightly awful things in the name of survival.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Comments

JustJames

i have a jewish step family. it is important to note that judaism is one of the few religions where you can be a non believer and still be a member: a jew is a jew, regardless of belief. a rare thing. my step father always reveled in ‘jewish pork chop wednesdays’ lol, and griped as he helped us haul up the christmas tree… just like every year he would wince as we muddled the hebrew words of the channukah prayers…. we tried hard!

happy channukha MissB. Ba-ruch A-tah Ado-nai E-lo-he-nu Me-lech Ha-olam she-heche-ya-nu ve-ki-yi-ma-nu ve-higi-a-nu liz-man ha-zeh.

yyz

Thanks for sharing such and intimate and personal experience and memory. Interfaith families can flesh out to be really interesting but also confusing experiences. I have friends who have Hindu/ Muslim, and Sikh/Catholic as well as other various backgrounds. My family with a few exceptions has fallen out of faith which is kind of sad considering my G. grandfather was a Presbyterian minister, but I do understand the value of spirituality and have felt incredible energy and had incredible experiences in spiritual places and sharing in the rites of others. Most of the time, I kind of feel like a spiritual refugee. The faiths of my ancestors have been lost to time and I haven’t really found a form of spirituality that I connect completely with. Even my older Christian relatives used to go to different denomination churches every week when I visited them. I’m glad that you were able to find such an intimate connection to your faith and heritage. Enjoy this holiday season!

JustJames

yyz…. has anyone told you today that you are awesome?

MissB

More tears, the good kind. Thank you both. :)

Ysaurella

what a lovely review :) I have a sample of this tea and I should have it tomorrow

TheTeaFairy

Awww! MissB , you have me all choked up and full of chills…The irony that they had to print that awful book. I had to read it many years ago for a school project and I wished I could just forget about its madness.
What an incredible and inspiring story. You’re a very good writer, such a heartfelt story. thanks for sharing :-)

Butiki Teas

Thank you for sharing that! :)

Bonnie

Beautiful!

MissB

Thank you all. :) When I was researching my heritage, I heard a story from a relatively famous rabbi who said, “Mein Kampf was the best book ever written.” Puzzled, the interviewer asked why he would ever say such a thing. I’m paraphrasing, however he responded something along the lines of, “Many a Jew kept this book in their home during the war, and that’s why I, and others like me, are/still alive.” So I too am grateful for the book, even if it’s an unusual take on the subject.

yyz

have you ever seen Europa, Europa? It’s a movie from the early to mid 80’s I think, but along similar veins. It’s a true story about how a teenage Jewish boy survives the second world war among the Nazi’s. His attempts at fleeing result in him being adopted by a German army unit, and he ends up having to play along in order to survive. It’s a movie I think you might appreciate, as I always find that it is also a message about how we can still find humanity and kindness among other even in very dark times.

boychik

Your story made me cry. Beautiful note

MissB

Thank you boychik. I mean, crying is a good thing in this case, right? :) Also, thanks for the suggestion yyz!

boychik

Amazing that you made such a discovery and bad that jews were prosecuted for many centures. i ordered Run boy run for my daughter last summer. turned out i was a reader, she said its too sad for her. i will make sure she reads it but dont want any pressure.

Lynxiebrat

Made me tear up, but that’s ok. smiles It’s hard for many people to contemplate the idea of doing distastful or outrightly awful things in the name of survival.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Profile

Bio

Teaholic, with a leaning toward rooibos, green, puerh and white teas, although I’m trying some black tea again. Missing living near a tea shoppe that offers a lot of options; my only (within walking distance) choices are currently mall-bound. Still, I have a whole cupboard dedicated to tea.

In addition to loving tea, I’m a dating columnist, single mom, nerd, and avid knitter. I read way too much, type even more, and spend my ‘free’ time either running, swinging kettlebells, or hanging with friends.

I love tea swaps, and will gladly swap anything I have that I have enough of to share.

Allergies: Strawberries and all grains. I’m having a mild allergic reaction to both lavender and some roses in tea, and thus I’m avoiding these for now as well. I also avoid sugar and Splenda where possible.

Location

Burnaby, BC, Canada

Following These People