Passing on the love for tea

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When my Mum was young, growing up in Poland, a communist country at the time, they had very limited resources. She was also the youngest of four children, so one teabag would be shared between all of them. Of course, she was also the last to have a crack at steeping her cuppa, so would end up with a very light infusion. With a squeeze of lemon to hide any staleness, it was even moreso.
To this day, that is how Mum makes her tea, just dip the bag for five seconds, add a slice of lemon and a dash of sugar… and that’s it! tastes like hot water to me haha

Anyhow, I love reading these stories. Thanks for sharing everyone :)

Lazey said

That’s the sort of thing that makes me feel wasteful for only using teabags once. My landlady would get like 5 cups out of one tea bag. Since I’ve been buying so much tea I’ve been trying to get more than one use out of the bags and leaves.

My father in law’s Dutch fiance steeps her tea for MAYBE 10 seconds. She basically dunks the bag in the water just a few times and that’s it. I thought it was rather odd, but maybe she has a story similar to yours, Indigo! I surely do not get the best use of my teas as I could. I let WAY too much oolong go down the drain after a mere 2 steepings. By the 2nd steep, though, it just doesn’t have the flavor I want. It’s like I’m drinking hot water.

I know what you mean Lazey. What’s worse is that I don’t drink the stuff Mum does, so her bags usually end up in the garbage after a ten second steep! because she thinks it keeps bacteria and doesn’t want to risk getting sick. Granted she only drinks maybe two cups a day.
It just seems so wasteful when I know the bag has so much more potential lol

Stephanie V,
really? I find that sometimes, the second steep is even better! depends on the brew though.
Let me know if you find out about that 10 second steep story.

Will do, Indigo! I’ll be seeing her during the week before the New Year. I will hazard the notion that it’s even less than 10 seconds. I’ll silently time her. :)

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What wonderful stories! I’ve enjoyed reading each of them.

I grew up in a coffee drinking household, so I don’t really have stories with my parents and I. However, I have started making my daughter, who is in middle school, a cup of tea each morning. She drinks it at the bus stop while waiting for the school bus. A few days ago she told me how much she enjoys having her morning tea. She said it helps keep her warm on chilly days, and that it’s like a hug. That made me smile.

I LOVE this! I’ve been adding lemon to my daughter’s cold thermos for school, just to make her water drinking experience more interesting. But I will get her a thermos she can keep ‘hot’ tea in, too. :) What kind of tea do you make for her? Your comment made me feel so good inside. “It’s like a hug.” Makes me smile, too!

She likes Celestial Seasonings’ Candy Cane Lane or Oatmeal Raisin Cookie from Della Terra. I prefer for her to have the CCL only because it’s decaf, but I would never deny her a Della Terra tea because… yum!

This is a great topic. Smiles for everyone! :)

I have never heard of Della Terra! I will have to look them up. I can’t believe the plethora of new information I’m picking up from this site… Tea clubs? Book club with a tea tie-in? All the teas I’ve never heard of?! This site is blowing my mind.

And thanks for the reminder of CCL. I really need to get some of that! My daughter really loves mint teas of any kind. Oatmeal raisin sounds delish, too!

Oh, go look them up. They are wonderful (and they’re having a sale right now)! This is a great site. I must admit I spend far too much time here.

Usually I’m very “purist” and don’t drink flavored tea, but as soon as I read about the oatmeal raisin cookie tea, I looked up Della Terra and ordered some. I got an e-mail saying it has already shipped. I can’t wait! Thanks!

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Serenity said

Thank you for this lovely thread, I’ve loved reading each account. My love of tea was instilled early in my life by my mother. She made tea for me in the morning and after school while I grew up. Our mutual love for tea expanded into loose tea and matcha when we were both adults. She died one year ago of pancreatic cancer at age 64. She was vibrant, strong, energetic; into health food and yoga, walked miles each day and came home to a steaming cup of tea. Her diagnosis shocked us profoundly. Within four months she passed away. She approached dying with incredible bravery and grace. She was the kindest person I’ve ever met. I still can’t throw away some loose tea she mailed me. I can’t bring myself to drink it; then it will be gone. I just have it in my tea cupboard and I think of her so often and miss her very much.

It sounds like your mom was an amazing woman. I think it’s wonderful that the two of you shared a love for tea and tried new types of tea together.

Serenity said

Thank you, Veronica!

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JasonCT said

Reading this brought back many great memories for me. I can say that I have fond memories of tea with both of my grandmothers.
First my mom’s mom – It was always such a treat for me as a little boy to be rewarded with dunking ginger snap cookies in my grandmother’s tea. I would be there watching cartoons or scary movies with my grandfather, and my “memere” would have made a cup of tea with milk and brought me some cookies. I would love how soft and tasty they got in the milk, while every once in a while I’d lose part of the cookie to the tea.

My father’s mother (also a memere), was my memory of Red Rose tea. It’s all she drank, and she had literally HUNDREDS of those little figures. All over the kitchen window sills, stove, any little nook. I can remember having to take baths there and using those figures as toys in the tub. After she died my mother actually saved those little figures as we both sort of always associated them with her.

Ahhh, thanks for the trip down memory lane Steph!

The response has been fantastic! And you canNOT beat dipping cookies in tea. Milk is great still, but tea… and the chunks that fall in the cup are just gravy, if you ask me. Sweet, sweet gravy. :D

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mrmopar said

for those of us whose mothers passed early on, i think you have outlined and given us a glimpse into what might have been…. keep up the good work it is always the small things about your mother that you will always remember later in life.

Indeed. Those “small” things help shape who we are and how we get through the rest of our own lives without them.

Serenity said

My heart breaks to think of your losing your mothers when you were young.

It was the singlemost worst experience of my life (not to break your heart further; writing about it publicly feels good). She died suddenly, was not sick (well, no major illnesses/cancer), at the age of 46. Her bday was Christmas. It was some seriously f*cked up crazy sh*t. Sorry. Won’t swear on this site but this one time. your words are very much appreciated.

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Lynxiebrat said

Mmm. Bittersweet memories:) Unfortunately no tea memories with any of my grandparents, though my father’s mother is still alive. but she has always preferred Coffee or Coca Cola.

Veronica, love what you said about giving your daughter to drink in the mornings waiting for the bus…perfect time.

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My first memories of tea are of the rare rainy days, usually Sundays, when my dad would come in chilled and ask my mom if she’d like a cup of tea. It usually only happened once a year or so. And then the occasional evening after dinner, instead of scattering we would make a pot of tea and just sit around the table drinking it. I’m happy this thread made me think of this m homesick.

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For Mother’s Day one year (this was about 1977 or so; I was about 7 and my brother was 10), my brother and I walked up to the corner gift store and bought our mom a really beautiful teapot. It had a sort of autumnal floral painting on it, as far as I can remember. I THINK my brother still has the teapot (fingers crossed!). If he does, I will have to take a picture of it and make it my profile pic. We were so proud of our purchase, and I think our mom cried when we gave it to her. It was such a “grown up” gift from such “little” kids (not that 10 is THAT little). I have no idea how much it cost, or where we even got the money, but we knew we wanted her to have that teapot!

I emailed my brother and asked him about the teapot. This is what he had to say:

“I might. If I do, I’d love for Mrs. Tea (you) to have it.

I’m off next week. Let me see if I can find it.

You remember that???? We bought it together.
I’ll never forget it."

My brother is my rock. Without him I’d be lost.

mrmopar said

amen to the “rocks”. i have had this duty since i was 10 with a younger brother and sister, but even us rocks crack and weep water more than we let others know.

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