And God Said, Let There Be Tea!

OK, maybe God didn’t say that but He could have!

Those who know me well happen to know that I’m a connoisseur of fine tea. For some people, their hobby is knowing all about coffee. A pastor friend of mine is even part of a group that roasts their own coffee beans, creating unique blends. Other people enjoy learning about and brewing their own craft beer. Another pastor friend belongs to this segment (yep, pastors can be quite finicky). For some, it is wine. For yet another smaller but growing segment of the populace, the fascination is with natural drink smoothies. A buddy of mine swore by a kale/banana/yogurt/other raw stuff smoothie. He said it was going to help him lose weight. (He tried to argue the health benefits but after I tasted it, I immediately went out to order a chicken fried steak…)

For me, life is tea. I’ve studied, tasted, experimented (but didn’t inhale) and enjoyed all kinds of loose-leaf tea. I’m still learning. To me, tea is fascinating to study and fun to drink.

WebMD released a quiz today on the health benefits of tea. Go ahead… take it! It’s only 13 questions long. Tea has been proved to be better for you than coffee, wine or beer.

Some “experts” claim that green tea is the best for you, but I think that’s a smokescreen from the same green parties who think kale is good for you. (I’m pretty sure they won some sort of “nutrition election” in recent years, defeating the superfruits party. Do they still manufacture… err… grow Acai any more?) Personally I like kale when it is prepared right —————— wrapped around a chunk of bacon, battered, deep fried once, re-battered, deep fried a second time, then battered one more time for good luck before being deep fried, preferably in lard for extra crispiness.

sheshan-shanghai-china-184868-oBlack tea is equally as healthy as green tea. All varieties of tea come from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant, a small tree that thrives in cool climates with well-draining soil. The only difference between the two varieties of tea is that green tea comes from boiled and then dried tea leaves and black tea comes from air-dried leaves.

One of my dreams is to be able to grow and blend my own teas and “herbal infusions,” the name for non-tea-leaf teas. I’ve started this dream recently with the purchase of fresh peppermint, lemongrass and hibiscus plants. I was growing chamomile leaves as well until an unfortunate greenhouse “mishap.” It seems that most plants have trouble surviving 120-plus-degree temperatures without water… On my agenda this fall is to buy actual tea trees, a vanilla bean plant and a few other natural tea/herbal seedlings.

Ambitious? You bet. To be a connoisseur of fine tea, one must always be pushing against his or her boundaries! AND they probably need a good greenhouse. I have a small one of those but a bigger one is in my dreams… How big? Well, this would work…

botanical_garden_conservatory_helsinki_finland_photo_finland_tourist_board Anybody have a cool $1.5 million they’re willing to give me? I’ll share the tea….

This would be the inside, of course…

For some reason, I’ve always found hot tea to be a comfort drink. I don’t know which I like the most: the smell, the sweetness (I like sugar/sweeteners), or the first taste. Sometimes a tea will bring back a memory for me. Two summers ago, as I sat shivering in my pop-up camper as a campground host, I drank barrels of “Comfort and Joy” tea, a spice black tea from Republic of Tea that my little sister gave me the Christmas before. Every time I drink that tea now, I think of camping and that amazing summer.

Well, now you know a bit more about me! I love tea. I dream of a big greenhouse. And I’m slightly delusional… Ha!

Be God’s.