Last week, Eric at One Man’s Tea Journey posted “a day in the life,” where he talked about the teas he drank in a typical (or possibly not-so-typical) day, and wondered aloud what others’ tea days look like. So I thought I would oblige by sharing a day in tea for me. This isn’t the first time I’ve shared a post like this, but it will be the first time I actually talk about my tea habits on a typical day.
Now, similarly to Eric, I have never made money from my blog in my five years of blogging. I have received some free and discounted samples, and occasionally someone will use an affiliate link, which does technically earn me a little store credit to a place I used to shop, but really, this blog is a labor of love, not a revenue stream. I have flirted with the idea of monetizing, so if you’re a company and interested in paying me for the kind of thing you see around here (or on my YouTube channel), call me. I am definitely still a blogger because, well, I blog — Je blog, tu blogs, il/elle blog, etc. — but I am decidedly merely an enthusiastic amateur, not a professional.
Anyway, on to the tea. The day I’ve decided to record is a fairly standard Friday, with the small exception of the fact that I left work early to attend our company’s holiday party. But since most of my tea-drinking is done by 4pm anyway, that doesn’t really affect the tea.
My day generally starts at 5:15 a.m. when my alarm goes off. If I’m feeling diligent, I will get up right away; otherwise, I will usually set a 10-minute timer as a sort of snooze alarm. I often will use at least some of that time to check my phone, at least in part because I want the light to help wake me up. But this particular Friday, Elliot had woken up at 4:20 wanting to be nursed, so I hadn’t fallen back asleep when my alarm went off, which actually made for a rather leisurely morning. I got out of bed at 5:15, fed the cat, and filled the kettle. I programmed it and then went to shower. As I’ve discussed before, I only wash my hair twice a week, and always in the afternoon or evening, so my showers are quick affairs, generally about as long again as it takes the water to heat up. By the time I’d showered, washed my face, and put on vitamin C serum, the water was hot.
I went back out to the kitchen, where I set up my tea tray with my Chaozhou pot, a pitcher, and a cup. I used 4g of Shui Xian from Old Ways Tea (if I were Eric, I might note that this was $0.88 worth of tea) for my session, reserving the rinse/first steeping, and steeping it three more times, savoring each of those while I prepared Elliot’s bottles and lunch, and made myself a bowl of yogurt. After I’d steeped it those three times after the rinse, I started pouring the steepings into my favorite mug. I can get about four steepings into the mug, which I take back into the bedroom to enjoy with my first breakfast while Elliot sleeps and my husband gets up to shower. Elliot woke up before I finished, so I finished my tea while nursing him again, and then I got dressed, drank the rinse, and brushed my teeth and did my “makeup” (tinted sunscreen).
I will sometimes put the spent leaves into a travel mug with more hot water, but this particular morning, I was feeling the energy of the tea a bit more than usual and it was making me feel a little woozy, so I called the session there and cleaned up. After getting my shoes, coat, and handbag, I left the house shortly after 7 a.m.
On my way to work, I decided I wanted a pastry, so I stopped at my favorite bakery for a sweet fougasse, a delicious thing with orange blossom and sugar on the outside. The floral sweet called for just the right accompaniment, and I thought that would be the Bitterleaf Sugar Glider, but when I opened my tin, I found only dust and regret, so I decided to have some Iron Goddess oolong from the Easthill Tea Co. This was a gift from a colleague when she went to Chicago, so I honestly have no idea how much those 5g of tea would cost.
At my desk, I typically use either a gaiwan or my “fish teapot” — an easy gaiwan set my husband bought me for my birthday a couple years ago. This morning, I decided to go with the gaiwan. I have a kettle on my desk to boil water, so I can brew again and again without having to get up. I probably get at least seven or eight steepings out of a single batch of leaves, but I honestly almost never keep count. I just keep steeping until I don’t feel like steeping anymore. This day was no different, and a cup of floral oolong and a floral pastry made for a delightful second breakfast. I continued steeping this out until it was time to head to the party at 3:30.
The party did not afford me the chance to have and more tea, but I did have some lovely cocktails. They actually had a cocktail on the menu that was made with tea, but they had run out of the syrups used for it, so they couldn’t make it. But I had variations on a Manhattan and an Old Fashioned, which are usuals for me, since I love whiskeys/whiskies.
The party was lovely, though I am not used to having much to drink, so I appreciated a somewhat bracing walk to the train before riding home. At home, it was pretty much time to get Elliot ready for bed, so I made a cup of lavender-chamomile tea while I washed up and did my skin care. I always steep it, remove the flowers, and then cover the brewed tea to keep it warm so I can put Elliot to bed and then enjoy a nice warm cup of tea while I unwind. It was a perfect finish to a perfect day of tea.
So that is my “day in tea (and other beverages).” What does yours look like?