Recently, I tried a tea named Lavender Butterfly Tea. The name gave me cause for pause. Butterflies? In tea? Lavender is one thing, but I draw the line at bugs. And, for that matter, other critters such as monkeys and pandas. Yes, butterflies are free, so they don’t add to the cost of the ingredients in the tea blend. But, still…
Okay, getting serious now. I opened the tea package a bit trepidatiously. Nothing flew out. So far, so good. I peeked in. No sign of a delicate, gossamer wing all mangled, it’s colorful wing dust (actually, teeny tiny scales) coating the tea leaf and lavender pieces, no tiny antennae bits looking like a bit of black pepper sprinkled in — urp! Nope. All clear. I even dumped the package contents into a bowl, and hubby and I re-checked it. Still nothing. Phew! We proceeded with the tasting. Delicious!
So, what do butterflies have to do with this tea? Well, it’s a cute name. The tea is a blend of French lavender (which butterflies seem to like a lot) and Chinese green tea. But it got me thinking about the close association in people’s minds between butterflies and tea.
Butterflies are a common decoration on teawares:
- Butterfly Fields Bone China Tea Set has white, pink, and red roses with bright green leaves and flitting butterflies among the blooms. There are also 8-inch plates, 10.5-inch plates, and 8-inch soup bowls. You can also buy additional teacups and saucers, creamer and sugar sets, and 6-cup teapots, so you can have enough to throw a tea party for your entire neighborhood.
- Various tea mugs and cups have painted on designs and even little sculpted butterflies on the handles. The Nimble Flight mug is my fave. Blithe makes a couple of designs: a mug and a teacup and saucer set.
- Ivory-colored porcelain teapots and mugs with sculpted butterflies on the teapot lid and the mug handle. So classy!
- A charming tea-for-one set called Morning Meadows, with frolicking butterflies along with dragonflies and flowers.
There is also a Butterfly Tea Room that has a menu full of butterfly names. For example, one of their breakfast teas is called “Meadow Fritillary” and their High Tea is called “Monarch.” It’s a menu designed to test your entomological acumen. There is also a butterfly tea company that oddly has no teas with butterflies in them or even in their tea names.
As for butterflies and one of their favorite treats (lavender), try planting a little in your garden. There are lots of varieties, and it’s fairly easy to grow. Hummingbirds and honey bees love lavender, too. (So far, I haven’t heard of either of these being used in tea, thank goodness!) Lavender makes great pomades, sachets, and nosegays. So versatile. In fact, besides tea, lavender shows up in all kinds of products, from soaps to soups. The tea is my favorite, though, and one of the few flavored teas hubby and I enjoy. Give it a try!