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A “cv” stans for “curriculum vitae”. Its basically a resume but for all the scholastic accolades you’ve apparently acquired. Initially, I felt pretty good about writing one; seeing my name with M.S., M.A. to the right of it, like a stamp of approval for all the hard work and hard times I went through.

As I completed it, though, I didn’t feel so good. My cv doesn’t look that impressive at all. I’m not technically published: I’ve written a thesis, a 98 page atrocity of short stories, titled “Toska”, that was dedicated and tries to pay homage to my favorite writer of all-time, Richard Yates. That’s it. No journals, no articles, no academic presentations. There’s no way one of those two community colleges looking for instructors are going to hire me. Granted, I’m fresh out of the gates but looking at my professors cv’s and their pages-upon-unfair-pages of publications and books written, it makes me feel like I’m not trying hard enough. Like I’m not good enough. Like I’ve got these little stamps of approval next to my name that don’t really mean anything.

So, I need a way out of my existential meltdown. Let’s steep.

My packets of Yu Lu Yan Cha Black, Hand Picked Autumn Tieguanyin, and Autumn Harvest Laoshan are just about depleted. This tea, though, is tucked away in the corner, behind my tins and some other packets. Even though I know where it is, I like to think its hidden. I should keep it in a bomb-proof safe.

I know I’m technically not supposed to rinse this tea but I’ve done it a few times just to smell the leaves as the water is absorbed into them. It’s so beautiful and calming. Chestnut, a roasty and nutty mellowness. Like peanut butter. Little bit of smoke scratches my nose.

My mom used to make me a “Skippy” when I would come home from grade school. It was a piece of bread with peanut butter on it. The name “Skippy” doesn’t make any sense now because she used Peter Pan peanut butter because I thought Skippy tasted too sweet. Regardless of that, the only thing that made a “Skippy” a “Skippy” and not just peanut butter on bread, was that she would use the knife after spreading the peanut butter to carve out a perfectly shaped heart into the tan spread. They tasted better that way, I used to tell her.

She stopped doing that when she started getting sad. Haven’t had one since. Thought I forgot about those days. This tea brought me there.

There’s something about watching leaves change from their dry leaf appearance during the infusion that fascinates me. With this tea, the color of the dry leaf is dark and light green and they trickle over the flat little shards like shadows. For some reason I think of ripped-up old book pages. There’s a barely noticeable gloss to each leaf if the light hits it right. Once they soak in the water, all that disappears and there are big, juicy, plump, tongue-like leaves with little ridges on the edges, the colors rich and deep, fleshy green and shades of dark.

I’ve had other Dragonwell teas before. The flavor of this one is a different breed. There’s that sweetness others have written about (that sticks to my lips), there’s that mineral quality, too (in the back of my throat). I get the contrast of a creamy, nutty spread on top of toast against the hint of a sharp, rock-like bite. I don’t mean that tastes like I’m licking a rock but there’s something “rocky” and “stony” about the aftertaste in the back of my throat that makes me think of rocks underneath a faint trickle of cold water. Maybe its because of the “family’s plot of land at the heights of Shi Feng” that it has this “mountainy” taste to it. I couldn’t tell you. I can tell you that its gorgeous and calming and I feel so, so much better now.

Is this the best Dragonwell I’ve ever had? It could be. I have a lot more tea to try and buy before I can sound like I know what I’m talking about.

And even if I don’t know everything there is to know about tea, even if I don’t have 200,000 posts and am not well-known in the tea world, even if I just drink tea and write about it on a website and don’t get published in some scholarly journal for snobby intellectuals…at least I’m using my time in this life trying my best at the thing I love.

That’s all we can do, right?

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 30 sec
Bonnie

Right you are. The best writer is the one who can sit still long enough to listen I say.
Tea has a way of creating that otherworldly space where magic is possible. (I sound like a blithering mystic but I think it’s true, at least to me it’s true).
I congratulate you on your achievement! Spend some more of those fine skills right here where they will be appreciated!
Tea and good writing seem to go together. Even the silly writers like me sound better with a good cup of tea.

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Bonnie

Right you are. The best writer is the one who can sit still long enough to listen I say.
Tea has a way of creating that otherworldly space where magic is possible. (I sound like a blithering mystic but I think it’s true, at least to me it’s true).
I congratulate you on your achievement! Spend some more of those fine skills right here where they will be appreciated!
Tea and good writing seem to go together. Even the silly writers like me sound better with a good cup of tea.

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Hey.

Tea has changed my life. First it was Lipton green tea at work. That evolved into Stash, to Tazo, then to Steven Smith teas. I started wandering down the tea aisle in Wegmans and started picking things off the shelf. Went to Teavana and then picked up Silver Needle and Dragonwell teas. Bought a book called “The Tea Drinker’s Handbook”. Started looking at various tea distributor websites. Found Steepster. Life altered.

I bring tea to parties for a nice drink before a beer or the morning after, which is always a hit. I drink it with breakfast and in the late hours of the night. It wakes me up and calms me down. It feels like a friend who I want to tell everyone about yet keep them all to myself. I love the history of it, the intimacy of it, the entire world of it.

Favs: Love me some green and white tea. Blends are okay when sharing with people but when I’m alone or have the late night blues, then Silver Needle it is. Matcha for when I need to calm down while making it and to refocus after I drink it.

About me: I have two masters degrees (in Education and creative writing), write short stories, draw a comic strip and have ridden my bicycle across the country alone.

Location

Rochester, NY

Website

http://www.crazyguyonabike.co...

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