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Passing on the love for tea

One of my most favorite memories is of when I was about 5 years old. I lived around the corner from my elementary school and my mom was home with my brother and me in the afternoons. On rainy days in particular, we would get home from school, my mom would have a pot of lemon or red zinger made, as well as fresh popcorn. We’d lay on the floor on the massive pillows she’d made, drink our tea, eat our popcorn, watch Alfred Hitchcock movies, and listen to the rain falling.

Now I have a daughter! Just a few years ago, we had a really great storm. I was home from work with her as she had a cold and couldn’t go to preschool. I made a pot of chamomile and some fresh popcorn on the stove. We sat on the arm of the couch by the back sliding door and watched the storm outside while we enjoyed our tea and popcorn.

She is 6 now. We’ve had a bit of rain lately, but have not had the chance to make tea and popcorn. She has been asking for almost a week. It’s just too late after work, and weekends are crazy with holiday shopping. But the thing is, I have to remember to MAKE the time for this event! It is special beyond words to me that she honors this tradition. Such a sweet soul she is.

She loves mint tea (“as super minty as you can get it, mama!”), as well as lemon ginger (check out Laughing Man. It’s DELICIOUS!). She likes to drink my oolong after it’s been in my mug for about a day so it’s nice and cool, and she really loves jasmine. I was typically hesitant to let her have tea at Asian restaurants because of the caffeine, but I remember always loving the tea at my family’s favorite Chinese restaurant when I was a little girl. I let her have the tea now, of course! I also showed her how to make fortune cookies taste even better… soak them in your tea!

It’s fortunate, if not a little odd, that both my husband and I are not coffee drinkers. We don’t own a coffee maker and rarely have passable coffee in our cupboards for guests. (We tell them where the nearest cafe is. :) My daughter may grow up to be a coffee drinker, but I hope she sticks with tea. It’s just so much more interesting, in my opinion. And there is still so much I have yet to learn about teas and what’s out there. I feel like I’m just embarking on a wonderful tea journey. Still looking for my perfect Oolong (and even open to the idea that maybe oolong is not going to be the one for me after all), and having fun trying other types and flavors along the way.

What are your tea traditions? Fond tea memories?

38 Replies
gmathis said

That’s absolutely precious! Love the together-time this is creating for you!

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Josie Jade said

Aw, I love this story! I’m sure your daughter will cherish her memories of tea and popcorn time just like you do. When I would visit my Grandmother during the summer and holidays she would make us a cup of Red Rose tea and some type of homemade dessert every afternoon. We would sit and play card games while enjoying our afternoon snack. I can remember even when I was a little girl, I would leave my friends to go back to Grandma’s kitchen for that special hour every afternoon.

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I love your story too! Red Rose reminds me of my best friend’s mom who always had Red Rose tea. When she (my friend) and I eventually lived together in our early 20s, she had all the little ceramic figurines she’d collected from years of drinking Red Rose placed in the potted plants around our apartment. She is the friend who introduced me to drinking black tea with milk and sugar. :)

Josie Jade said

Haha, I love those little figurines too, and they are perfect to put into plants! I remember playing with tins of them at my Grandma’s as a little girl. To this day, I still prefer strong black tea with milk and sugar!

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My Grandparents were from a part of Europe that regularly changed hands between Russia and one or two other countries. When they emigrated to the US they were poor, but still retained many of their customs.

One of my earliest and enduring memories is of my “Poppa” sitting at all times of the day, at the diningroom table (which always had a white table cloth, even if threadbare) and drinking tea out of a glass. They didn’t have fancy glasses with metal holders, he drank out of a Yarhtzeit Glass, which memorial candles came in. After the candle was burned the glass was cleaned and went to Poppa for his tea. There was also always a glass bowl on the table filled with rectangular shaped pieces of Domino Sugar, which he would carefully cut in half or thirds with a pair of black wire cutter pliers that had never touched any kind of metal, only sugar. The small pieces of sugar went into his mouth as he sipped his tea.

For me, the tea would be poured into a saucer, which he or my grandmother would blow over to cool it down so that I could drink from the edge of the saucer.

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Em said

I love all your stories!! If I ever have children, I definitely want tea to be in our traditions. My mom has been a tea cup collector for as long as I can remember (she got me collecting too). Whenever we had tea, we would drink it in our cups. We still do that.

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I can see why that memory would be so enduring. Wonderful images, from the tablecloth to the memorial glasses, to your grandfather at the table cutting the sugar, and you drinking from the saucer. Very sweet.

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I don’t have any stories like these, but I immensely enjoyed reading all of yours! All such amazing and wonderful stories! Thank you for sharing!

Thanks, Zim!

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Lynxiebrat said

I hope people continue putting their families tea traditions here! My family’s tradition is simple: When it’s cold out, I ask my dad if he wants tea. That’s pretty much it. Oh and the other night I was upset he asked if I wanted him to make me some tea, he guessed that it would help calm me down. But, had to run an errand before it got to late.

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Lazey said

I’ve been drinking tea as far back as I can remember. Started on black tea (Might have been Red Rose but more likely Lipton or a Store Brand) with a lot of sugar and some milk. We got a microwaves when I was 6-7 and I learned to use it to make tea. Though now I only add a little sugar, if any, and I only like my tea to be brought to boiling in a kettle, no microwaved tea for me! Tea was relaxing for me and I’d always make more if i was upset about something.

My nephew is 4 and he’s started drinking tea like his grandmother, black with milk and sugar (Probably a couple spoonfuls like I used to do) I tried introducing him to a tisane, Evening in Missoula, the other day, He took one sip and declared that he didn’t like it lol. I was in my teens when I started drinking herbals.

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I let my daughter have a full cup of jasmine at sushi tonight and I could definitely see a jolt in her energy after! I’ll give her a few sips of black, but that’s it! :)

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