Our British father was a tea-drinker, so as young girls we wanted to follow suit. My first few cups were mostly milk and sugar, but I grew to love the brew and look forward to a cup daily. When I traveled to Hawaii years ago, my friend Paige teased that I was the only one she knew that wanted to drink hot tea in the tropics. It grows on you!
The tea-plant is an evergreen tree which grows in tropical or sub-tropical regions. A high level of humidity, lots of sunshine and plenty of rain make the ideal planting conditions. It grows easily at altitude (Darjeeling teas are grown in the Himalayan mountains). Tea plants are cultivated in tea-gardens which often give their names to certain growths of tea.
In the wild, the tea plant can reach 10 – 15 meters tall, but to make it easier to harvest its leaves, it is pruned to a height of about 1.10 meters from the ground. It has a lifespan of around forty years.
The tea leaves are plucked three times a year and each harvest period imparts a distinctive flavour to the tea. In the Himalayas, the first harvest takes place from mid-March to mid-April and produces teas with a mild, vegetal taste (this is the “First Flush”) and rare and aromatic qualities.
The second or middle harvest takes place between mid-April and mid-May and produces teas with a more fruity and perfumed flavour.
The last period for tea-picking is between mid-May and mid-July, for the stronger and less delicate growths. Source: Kusmi Tea
When I worked in the costume shop at San Jose State, we used tea as a light stain on white shirts. True white is blinding on stage when hit with hot lights. The tea took the edge off the brightness. I’m employing this same technique to age a few pieces for my sister’s Halloween costume. She’s dressing up as the animated character Corpse Bride from the Tim Burton movie. We’ve pulled together pieces from thrift shops and items on hand along with a floral head wreath and bouquet from my garden.
Mom-isms: Tea Fixes Everything
Growing up, our Mom’s solution for most things was the pragmatic, “Have an aspirin and a cup of tea and you’ll feel better.” That still makes me smile. Mom died in 2008 but today is our shared birthday. Mom hated a fuss, so in her honor a simple “happy birthday!” is what made her happy.
I didn’t realize you and Mom shared a Birthday! Happy Birthday to you both!
Thanks Betsy! I was born on her 40th.
Happy Birthday to you! One of my closest friend’s birthday is today too! Don’t you love being a libra! I’m a libra too – my birthday is October 20th!
Betsy! Another Libra. That’s fantastic.
Oh my this is confusing. I have two Betsy’s posting here and you were both born on October 20th. What an interesting world.
Happy pre-birthday to the Betsys!
Very enjoyable blog, Alys. Oh, by the way, happy birthday one more time. My mom’s birthday would have been next week on the 8th.
Wow…your mom was an Alice and a Libra. My mom was born October 2nd 1919. My dad was October 4th!
I see you’re moving right along with my corpse bride costume pieces. ;0)I’m going to Kim’s to “practice/design makeup ideas” (hopefully) this Sunday. I can’t wait to see the finished product. This has been a fun process, don’t you think?
Sharon, it’s been a lot of fun. As I suspected, the veil didn’t take much color, but the other two pieces did. I also outlined the edges with a purple fabric pen. It really helped give it some dimension.
You’re going to look so cute!
Happy Birthday dear Alys!! I’m a Libran too and also love tea (especially with a slice of birthday cake).
I was wondering how the costume was coming along… I can’t wait to see the finished article.
PJ…a fellow Libran! Tea and cake do go well together. The custom of tea at 4:00 is one of my favorites.
When is your birthday?
On the 10th…. my Mum says I have a little bit of witch in me because I was born at 10:10 on 10/10!! I like to think that the Universe knew I was going to be awful with numbers so made it easy for me to remember!!
That is so cool! What a great birthday and birthday story. I’m terrible with numbers too. Math makes my head hurt.
10/10 10:10 Wow!
Before the Fashion Mister and I got married I found a very long, beautiful, vintage lace veil on ebay for $60. Trouble was, it was white and my dress was a sort of champagne colour. My answer…tea staining! It turned out lovely and the colour was a perfect match for my dress.
It pays to be crafty!
It does pay to be crafty. Congratulations on that great find as well. I’m sure it was lovely.
p.s. Happy Birthday!
Hope you have a fantastic one.
Thank you! So far, so good.
What a lot of birthday girls visiting today, Cheers everyone. Your family home must have been pretty chaotic at this time of year…You, your mom and then Dad all having a birthday, good fun. I see your mom, like you, was also artistic, talented bunch you Milners. Sharon’s going to look so cute. Goulish but girlie.
Goulish but girlie! Perfect description.
It was always fun to share a birthday with my mom. I don’t remember Dad’s as well, but I was so young when he died.
Yes, lots of birthdays on this thread! Betsy on the 20th, Betsy B. on the 20th, and PJ on the 10th.
I must always remember how lucky I was to share so many memories with my dad. I’m sorry you lost your dad so young, that’s so unfair. It’s nice that you have all his lovely albums ❤
I love his albums. They are such a gift, a small view into his past.
I’m a day late and a dollar short. Happy belated birthday! Love fall, winter and spring so I can have lots of hot tea. My daughter is a tea connoisseur. It has to be steeped at the perfect temp for the correct amount of time. Tea in a pretty cup will make anything better I love tea dying whites. Great information. Thanks for sharing.
I agree on the temperature being just so. I’m not a fan of microwaved tea. I’ll warm mine up if it gets cold but for starters, I needs to be super hot. Pretty cups can’t hurt either!
Thanks for reading and sharing, M.
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