We usually hang out on this night. I mean, I see her other nights, later on in the week but tonight is, well, in my mind tonight is our night. Its usually a movie, one that I think she should watch or vice versa. She always sits to my right on the couch. Sometimes she’s lying down, curled up in a ball of comfy sweatpants and a big hoodie. Sometimes she puts her feet under my leg because her feet get cold. Sometimes I think about telling her all those things I want to say but can’t. Won’t. Shouldn’t.

Yet, here I am, lying on my back, computer propped up against my thigh which is crossed over the other, a mug of tea resting on my chest just under my nose. Here I am, inhaling Jasmine Silver Needle as my fingers flutter around the keyboard. Here I am, alone with my tea.

Not that big of a deal, really. She’s sick; a legitimate excuse. I just wanted to see her tonight, that’s all. Its fine. Gave me an excuse to write about tea.

Its was too late to drink a green or an oolong so I pulled my neglected little Jasmine SN pouch out. I’ve been avoiding it for a reason: I know I won’t dig it as much as most people do. It just doesn’t make any sense to me to mess with my SN taste I like so much.

Actually, its kind of cool, the exactness of the process. The leaves have to be plucked in April and then stored until August, which is the time the jasmine is harvested. The jasmine has to be picked at twilight because that’s when the flower buds begin to open up. After three hours of resting, they’ve opened the entire way and their temperature has cooled enough to be mixed with the tea. There’s more behind it, how many layers, how many times fresh jasmine flowers can be added, etc. but I won’t bore you (if I haven’t already).

The color. Its got that SN color I adore. I steeped for shorter than recommended because, well, that’s what I do: the color is lighter and the taste cleaner. Faint, golden yellow with the slightest, I mean slightest, tinge of peach. Its not pink or orange. There’s just a dark-peach hue that is barely recognizable.

There’s that hushed, almost muted woodiness that I look for in SN. But the jasmine adds another layer of airiness to an already feathery, soft mouthfeel…and I don’t know if I like it. The jasmine doesn’t linger and it doesn’t overpower. It doesn’t do anything wrong. In fact, its great. Its really great. Its damn near beautiful. This is a smooth, light, clean, refreshing up of tea. Its calming and just tastes nice. I just don’t care for it. I get it. I do. I can see why people love this stuff. Its a great tea. Just not for me.

Its actually one of the few teas that I can say is the perfect cup for enjoying alone.

Just wish I wasn’t doing it.

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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Tea has changed my life. First it was Lipton green tea at work. That evolved into Stash, to Tazo, then to Steven Smith teas. I started wandering down the tea aisle in Wegmans and started picking things off the shelf. Went to Teavana and then picked up Silver Needle and Dragonwell teas. Bought a book called “The Tea Drinker’s Handbook”. Started looking at various tea distributor websites. Found Steepster. Life altered.

I bring tea to parties for a nice drink before a beer or the morning after, which is always a hit. I drink it with breakfast and in the late hours of the night. It wakes me up and calms me down. It feels like a friend who I want to tell everyone about yet keep them all to myself. I love the history of it, the intimacy of it, the entire world of it.

Favs: Love me some green and white tea. Blends are okay when sharing with people but when I’m alone or have the late night blues, then Silver Needle it is. Matcha for when I need to calm down while making it and to refocus after I drink it.

About me: I have two masters degrees (in Education and creative writing), write short stories, draw a comic strip and have ridden my bicycle across the country alone.


Rochester, NY



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