Monday, October 15, 2007


After 5 minutes of sitting and staring at the blinking cursor with my hands frozen in a hovering position over the keyboard, I still don't know what to say. It is now that I officially realize that I have never been good with introductions. Yes yes, I have taken English and writing classes in high school and college. I know I'm supposed to start broad and pull the reader in. However, where do I begin when talking about my life? How do I write something where I can't pull already proven facts from web sites or books? What do I do without a thesis? How do I site my memories and experiences in MLA or APA format? Where do I begin to tell the world how a simple substance literally changed my outlook on life?

That substance I'm talking about is tea. As of this moment in time, I have never seen a recipe start off with boiling water and produce such a colorful, aromatic, warm, comforting, bittersweet product as I have with tea.

The history of tea is amazing all by itself. The origins of being drunk by Buddhist monks before long hours of meditation should tell anyone that this is a sacred liquid. The fall of Buddhism almost destroyed the consumption of tea completely until the British got their hands on it. Tea was so well liked by the British that they ingenuously found ways to keep the supply of tea coming across their borders. The opium wars in China started because of the British’s' love for tea! Tea started a war! Not alcohol, not drugs, not boundary disputes, in this case, tea was the cause. I don't know about you, but to me that right there is a good enough reason for me to investigate this substance.

However, that is not the reason I became interested in tea. I let my own curiosity and, eventually, taste buds lead the way. At the time of my personal discovery of tea, I was simply looking for a hobby. I, at first, knew that I wanted to collect something. However, I wanted something with variety so I didn't get bored easily with it. I wanted it to be interactive, also. I didn't want something that just sat on a shelf. I wanted to use it. Another thing is I wanted this hobby to be different. I wanted to be one of the few to participate but also be able to talk to other people with this similar hobby. Also, this hobby had to be affordable for this poor college student. Above all, though, the hobby had to be good for me. It had to be a healthy habit. I was looking for something to improve my well being and not just drain my wallet.

And then there was tea. It was all the above. It was the two main things: affordable and healthy. I could collect the many teapots and teacups that I had found on the internet. I could interact with tea daily. After doing more research I found the variety of teas. There is not only the traditional black, but green, white, and oolong teas as well. I noticed that more people drink coffee so tea drinkers were "one of the few." However, there were still enough people who had experienced tea in order for me to share my thoughts and opinions about it. It was perfect!

I ordered my first kettle, teapot, teacup, and tea (of course) online and waited ever so patiently for it to arrive. When it did I was so excited about it that I tried the first tea that stuck out from the rest. The name of that tea was "Scarlet Glow," a floral blend.

I opened the package and was hit with the aroma of a garden. I was skeptical if I would even like the taste because I'm a very picky person. However, I carefully measured a teaspoon of leaves and placed them into the teapot. I waited for the water to boil and when it was done, I poured it over the leaves. I remember taping my fingernails on the counter as I wanted for 3 minutes to pass by. Once my tea was steeped I poured it carefully through a strainer and into my teacup. The christening of my tea ware with my first cup of tea was complete.

I sat there, nervously waiting for the tea to cool. It was here I noticed that tea actually forces you to slow down. When I received my package of tea ware, I torn it open like a ravage animal. I hurriedly set up everything: plugged in my electric kettle, picked out my tea, measured it, placed it in the teapot, poured boiling water over it. However, there was nothing I could do, but sit and wait for it to cool. So I sat there. And waited. And waited. And waited. All the while, I became aware that I not so anxious anymore. I stopped taping my fingers. My leg stopped bouncing. I relaxed. My mind started drifting to events that happened earlier that day. I reflected on life, family, friends, etc. I looked down and noticed the beautiful red color coming from my cup. I lowered my head to get a better smell of the aroma. However, before I knew it, my tea had cooled and I was able to take a sip. I did so and was hit with more flavor than any soda or soft drink could give me. No sugar, no artificial flavors, no preservatives, nothing but the essential vitamins, anti-oxidants, and nutrients coming from the liquid were being consumed. And yet, all that flavor! I was sold.

So, as you can see, there was no thesis, no parenthetical citations, and no bibliography. However, I'm hoping this introduction will, at least, give you an idea of what is to come as I take you on a journey through my life in a teacup.

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