Remember the game of “musical chairs”? Well, “musical tea mugs” is sorta like that. Sorta. The difference is there are no chairs. Uh, also there’s no music. Oh, and there are no people — just mugs. And teacups. So, I guess it is rather different. And the more tea mugs and cups you have, the more likely that they will start playing the game all on their own.
Tea is such a big deal in our house that it seems like everything in the kitchen wants in on the action. The first time we noticed this was when the cheese grater was caught sitting in the tea station (actually, inside the tea cozy for our blue 6-cup teapot we call “Betty”). Then, we started finding our teawares holding card games in the wee hours.
Now, we find our tea mugs in distinctly different places in the morning than they were the previous night. (Just in case you’re wondering, neither hubby nor I imbibe “strong drink,” just strong tea. So, there’s no chance of this being some optical illusion.) The game of “musical tea mugs” gets more frantic with every purchase we make of a new mug or teacup (they join in the game almost as soon as we bring them home). Often, they end up in the tea pantry clustered around their favorite teas.
Yes, tea mugs and cups have their favorites. And for every mug and cup there is a particular tea that seems best suited for it. Sipper teas are best in handleless cups and delicate porcelain and bone china cups. Fruity and fragrant Darjeelings, especially First Flush, are reserved for some of my best cups found while foraging in various antique stores. We purchased a couple of small handleless cups that are probably for saki but that work equally well for a pale white tea like Adam’s Peak or a fresh green Sencha. We keep the dainty teacups in the dining room and the small handleless cups on a shelf in the kitchen, so how do they end up snuggled next to the teas they (and we) love?
Our mugs are for the more hearty gulper teas and vary from some more delicate ones to others that are quite clunky. The smaller ones hold a mere 2 or 3 ounces while the largest ones hold a full pint (16 ounces), so when we say we’re going to “hoist a few pints,” we definitely mean tea! Our collection grows with almost every excursion we make beyond the threshold of our house. New designs and older, classic ones beckon. These mugs are partial to Assams, Nilgiris, black Ceylons, black Chinese teas, pu-erhs, and even stronger Oolongs. At least, that’s where we tend to find them in the morning after washing, drying, and putting them in the cupboard. We know as soon as we come in the kitchen and see the pantry door ajar that that game of “musical tea mugs” has been going on again.
I think at this point that hubby and I must concede that our house is now a “tea house” — that is, the teas and teawares are in total control!
Pinky pointing allowed on A.C.’s blog, Tea Time with A.C. Cargill.
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