Telling time by tea

My mother is a lifelong tea drinker. No matter what the trend – coffee with the other neighborhood moms in the 70s, stopping for coffee as a daily ritual today – mom always had tea.

And she has a ritual that’s all her own. One that you can tell time by. In the morning, she has Earl Gray or Constant Comment – starting the day with a strong black tea of which she drinks several cups. By midday, she’s made the switch to iced tea. Decaffeinated. Something Mango-based. She drinks iced tea the way I drink water – by the gallon. On snowy days, the iced tea is traded for hot but still decaffeinated. Too much caffeine turns my petite mother nervous. She knows it and avoids it without foregoing her tea. After dinner, it’s back to hot tea with the Republic of Tea’s Ginger Peach and Bigelow Peppermint in heavy rotation. Always decaffeinated, usually one cup.

And so it is that I need neither watch nor outside light to know what time it is when I visit. I know by the tea that is in my mother’s cup.


One Response to “Telling time by tea”

  1. thewritermama Says:

    That’s a great short essay. I love it!

    I’m bi-. I drink coffee in the morning and tea in the afternoon.

    But there is something very special about tea…something that coffee will never touch.

    I can’t put my finger on it, but I think you have here. You can tell time with tea and you can’t really do that with coffee.

    At least, not without being a nervous wreck!

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