Friday at the Thai restaurant picking up the chef’s special. This is what I’ve been doing pretty regularly on Fridays and then I catch the frequent bus which takes me to my streetcar.

Today was freezing with a harsh wind and I was underdressed. The wind howled through the bus shelter ten minutes, twenty, thirty, forty. The bus eventually came and it was packed. I just barely squeezed in there.

The bus driver was in a chatty mood and I was his person. Why were the buses so delayed today, I asked. The transit commission has let go all of the bus drivers who refuse to be vaccinated and today was the first day of the ruling. Ok then.

Don’t even get me started.

I had COVId and was in hospital for three weeks on a ventilator, the driver told me. One of my passengers was sick with it and then I got it, he said.

My wife was pregnant with our third child then. I slept in the garage and washed there too to keep my wife and kids safe.

It’s been over a year since I was on the ventilator, but my throat still hurts from it. My chest still hurts. I feel like someone is squeezing my left lung in a fistful of knives every time I breathe, he said.

I got home eventually. It’s been three hours or so since then and I am still defrosting. My skin is still chilled.

Sadly, I had been neglecting my non-caffeinated teas for a long while and this one got shuffled to the bottom of one of my Project Sipdown baskets.

However, this is all milk-chocolatey deliciousness and a wee bit of banana sweetness, even after all this time. Delicious. And warm and wonderful.

I really need to drink Anne’s honeybush blends more often.


I hope your evening and weekend turn out cozy, warm, and restoring!


Here’s to good tea and warm toes.

Evol Ving Ness

Yes, thank you both! Warm toes! Just the thought makes me happy!

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I hope your evening and weekend turn out cozy, warm, and restoring!


Here’s to good tea and warm toes.

Evol Ving Ness

Yes, thank you both! Warm toes! Just the thought makes me happy!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.



A monk sips morning tea

A monk sips morning tea,
it’s quiet,
the chrysanthemum’s flowering.

- Basho


Note to self—-you do not actually need any more tea.

My real tea obsession began in February 2015.

Not, sadly, when I had been living and working in China, though I very much enjoyed sampling a variety of teas during my travels there as well. No, no, that would have been far too sensible.

I am a reformed coffee drinker. I still enjoy a long double espresso with a good quantity or milk or cream from time to time, but for now, tea is my thing. All day.

*note—this is way out of date, so if we are doing a swap and you are checking to see what I like and dislike, mostly never mind what you find below. One of these days, I will update this. In the meantime, check what I’ve been drinking and use your own judgement. I like all the teas. Well, I am open to trying all the teas.

I tend to drink black, green, or oolong tea in the morning to early afternoon. Rooibos or
Honeybush or herbal in the evening. And perhaps some sort of sleepy-type tea in the wee hours.

This year, I’ve been discovering flavoured teas, so it may look like that is all I drink although that would provide a false impression.

Not a big fan of chocolate or mint in teas, but I will try them and, from time to time, have been pleasantly surprised. Also, usually I dislike a prominent cinnamon flavour, if untempered with other things, in teas. Again, I say usually, because there are exceptions.

Also, please note that haven’t quite gotten into the habit of updating my tea cupboard on Steepster, and it is unlikely that I will do this on any kind of regular basis.

I drink my tea black and unsweetened. If there comes a rare moment that I add something to it, I will mention it.

Finally, while I thank large and successful tea companies for tantalizing and beckoning me to the world of tea, I prefer to support independent ventures with real people, real enthusiasm and commitment, and real dreams.

Currently, I am researching monthly tea subscriptions. Perhaps it will keep me out of tea shops.

And here is Shae’s rating scale— which I am using with permission, of course— which more or less describes the way I have been rating teas. I am going to make more of an effort to stay very close to these parameters now.

Rating Scale

1-20: By far, one of the worst teas I’ve tasted. I most certainly will not finish my cup and will likely “gift” the rest to my sweet husband who almost always enjoys the teas I dislike (and vice versa).

21-40: This tea is not good but if I mix it with another tea or find another steeping method I might be able to finish it.

41-60: This one is just okay. I might drink it again if someone were to give it to me, but I probably won’t be buying more for myself.

61-75: This is a consistently good tea. It’s reliable but not necessarily special.

76-90: This one is a notch above the rest and I would gladly enjoy a cup of it any day of the week. I’ll likely be keeping this in my cupboard, but it isn’t one of my all-time favorites.

91-95: One small change and this tea would be perfect. I’ll definitely have a stash of this in my kitchen if you come over for tea.

96-100: No words can describe this tea. It’s an experience, an aha moment. Closed eyes, wide smile, encompassing warmth. Absolutely incredible. Perfect.


Mostly, but not always, Toronto, Canada.

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