Thursday, May 26, 2011

Sweet, Sweet Sin: The Tea Edition

Diana, this one's for you! 

I grew up in the south, which means that as a kid and teenager, sweet tea flowed through my veins.  I think, when I joined the church, that I missed iced sweet tea even more than coffee.  Plus I was something of an anglophile, so I also missed hot tea with cream and sugar. Yeah, I made do with iced herbal teas, and hot chamomile tea, but it just wasn't the same.

I will hereby confess that when I was angry and rebellious, I would go get iced tea.  My sister found that hilarious. Such a silly little thing, but because of the word of wisdom, it was verboten.

I usually have a glass of iced tea every day. Sometimes I switch things up and get diet Snapple peach tea, which is nectar, trust me. But I still enjoy my plain old sweet tea, even if it's now sweetened with the stuff in the yellow packet.

So enjoy a cuppa, or a glassa, and savour the following quotations:

Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea.  ~Henry Fielding, "Love in Several Masques"

Tea is drunk to forget the din of the world.  ~T'ien Yiheng

There is a great deal of poetry and fine sentiment in a chest of tea.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, Letters and Social Aims

Strange how a teapot can represent at the same time the comforts of solitude and the pleasures of company.  ~Author Unknown

Each cup of tea represents an imaginary voyage.  ~Catherine Douzel

I always fear that creation will expire before teatime.  ~Sydney Smith

Drinking a daily cup of tea will surely starve the apothecary.  ~Chinese Proverb

There is no trouble so great or grave that cannot be much diminished by a nice cup of tea.  ~Bernard-Paul Heroux

Bread and water can so easily be toast and tea.  ~Author Unknown

If you are cold, tea will warm you.  If you are too heated, it will cool you.  If you are depressed, it will cheer you.  If you are excited, it will calm you.  ~Gladstone, 1865

We had a kettle; we let it leak:
Our not repairing made it worse.
We haven't had any tea for a week...
The bottom is out of the Universe.
~Rudyard Kipling

Is there no Latin word for Tea?  Upon my soul, if I had known that I would have let the vulgar stuff alone.  ~Hilaire Belloc

Tea is a cup of life.  ~Author Unknown

The mere chink of cups and saucers tunes the mind to happy repose.  ~George Gissing, The Private Papers of Henry Ryecroft

Tea should be taken in solitude.  ~C.S. Lewis

If man has no tea in him, he is incapable of understanding truth and beauty.  ~Japanese Proverb

Tea is liquid wisdom.  ~Anonymous

Find yourself a cup of tea; the teapot is behind you.  Now tell me about hundreds of things.  ~Saki

Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves - slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future.  ~Thich Nat Hahn

Tea's proper use is to amuse the idle, and relax the studious, and dilute the full meals of those who cannot use exercise, and will not use abstinence.  ~Samuel Johnson

Iced tea may not have as much wisdom as hot tea, but in the summer better a cool and refreshed dullard than a steamy sweat-drenched sage - leave sagacity to the autumn!  ~Linda Solegato

Iced tea is too pure and natural a creation not to have been invented as soon as tea, ice, and hot weather crossed paths.  ~John Egerton a religion of the art of life.  ~Okakura

All true tea lovers not only like their tea strong, but like it a little stronger with each year that passes.  ~George Orwell, "A Nice Cup of Tea"

Tea does our fancy aid,
Repress those vapours which the head invade
And keeps that palace of the soul serene.
~Edmund Waller, "Of Tea"

The first cup moistens my lips and throat.  The second cup breaks my loneliness.  The third cup searches my barren entrail but to find therein some thousand volumes of odd ideographs.  The fourth cup raises a slight perspiration - all the wrongs of life pass out through my pores.  At the fifth cup I am purified.  The sixth cup calls me to the realms of the immortals.  The seventh cup - ah, but I could take no more!  I only feel the breath of the cool wind that raises in my sleeves.  Where is Elysium?  Let me ride on this sweet breeze and waft away thither.  ~Lu Tung, "Tea-Drinking"

tea leaves
tea loves
loves tea
lives tea
leaves tea?
~Uniek Swain

The best quality tea must have creases like the leathern boot of Tartar horsemen, curl like the dewlap of a mighty bullock, unfold like a mist rising out of a ravine, gleam like a lake touched by a zephyr, and be wet and soft like a fine earth newly swept by rain.  ~Lu Yu

Top off the tea... it lubricates the grey matter.  ~Good Neighbors, quoted from

Stands the Church clock at ten to three?
And is there honey still for tea?
~Rupert Brooke, "The Old Vicarage, Grantchester," 1912

As the centerpiece of a cherished ritual, it's a talisman against the chill of winter, a respite from the ho-hum routine of the day.  ~Sarah Engler, "Tea Up," Real Simple magazine, February 2006

The perfect temperature for tea is two degrees hotter than just right.  ~Terri Guillemets

It is very strange, this domination of our intellect by our digestive organs.  We cannot work, we cannot think, unless our stomach wills so.  It dictates to us our emotions, our passions.  After eggs and bacon it says, "Work!"  After beefsteak and porter, it says, "Sleep!"  After a cup of tea (two spoonfuls for each cup, and don't let it stand for more than three minutes), it says to the brain, "Now rise, and show your strength.  Be eloquent, and deep, and tender; see, with a clear eye, into Nature, and into life:  spread your white wings of quivering thought, and soar, a god-like spirit, over the whirling world beneath you, up through long lanes of flaming stars to the gates of eternity!"  ~Jerome K. Jerome, Three Men in a Boat

Remember the tea kettle - it is always up to its neck in hot water, yet it still sings!  ~Author Unknown

Tea, although an Oriental
Is a gentleman at least;
Cocoa is a cad and coward,
Cocoa is a vulgar beast.
~G.K. Chesterton, "The Song of Right and Wrong"

Tea is instant wisdom - just add water!  ~Astrid Alauda

When the news reporter said "Shopkeepers are opening their doors bringing out blankets and cups of tea" I just smiled.  It's like yes.  That's Britain for you.  Tea solves everything.  You're a bit cold?  Tea.  Your boyfriend has just left you?  Tea.  You've just been told you've got cancer?  Tea.  Coordinated terrorist attack on the transport network bringing the city to a grinding halt?  Tea dammit!  And if it's really serious, they may bring out the coffee.  The Americans have their alert raised to red, we break out the coffee.  That's for situations more serious than this of course.  Like another England penalty shoot-out.  ~Jslayeruk, as posted on Metaquotes Livejournal, in response to the July 2005 London subway bombings

The first sip of tea is the always the best... you cringe as it burns the back of your throat, knowing you just had the hottest carpe-diem portion.  ~Terri Guillemets

Harry found the [tea]... seemed to burn away a little of the fear fluttering in his chest.  ~J.K. Rowling

Tea! thou soft, thou sober, sage, and venerable liquid,... thou female tongue-running, smile-smoothing, heart-opening, wind-tippling cordial, to whose glorious insipidity I owe the happiest moment of my life, let me fall prostrate.  ~Colley Cibber, Lady's Last Stake

Never trust a man who, when left alone in a room with a tea cozy, doesn't try it on.  ~Billy Connolly

You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.  ~C.S. Lewis


  1. "Cocoa is a cad and coward,
    Cocoa is a vulgar beast."

    WHAT!? I beg to differ! A homemade cup of hot cocoa (preferably with a touch of hot peppers) soothes the soul like nothing else.

  2. Well, goodness me! Spare my blushes. I was also raised in the south (and haven't managed to get free yet), and according to my aunts, my mom, before she got religion, made iced tea that would make your hair curl. I wish I could taste it.

    I LOVE iced tea now, all kinds--sugary and lemony, iced Moroccan green mint (my favorite summer drink), iced fruit teas. And, like you, I'm an Anglophile, so when I went to London for the first time, I broke the Word of Wisdom and had a real British tea with some fantastic Darjeeling. And now my cupboards are full of the stuff: gunpowder green tea, blueberry tisanes, peppermint, chamomile, raspberry leaf, blood orange, Assam...a tea for every occasion.

    The only thing I ever get at Starbuck's is their bottled iced Tazo teas. I really like the pomegranate plum one. And Honestea's stuff is great too. Tea, tea, tea!

  3. Ah, a fellow Southerner. I'm not a sweet tea addict (I'm a victim of sugar terrorism and rightly scared to death of it), but I'm delighted with this great big, nanny-nanny-boo-boo of a post.