When you are sipping that tea while doing other things (reading, writing, wiping runny noses, etc.), you can lose track of the level of the liquid in your teacup. You sip, set the cup down, then read/write/wipe, then sip again, and so on. If you’re not careful, you run the risk of coming down with empty teacup syndrome.
Empty teacup syndrome is the state of shock you fall into when your mind is sure there’s more tea in the cup and you raise that cup to your lips and see it’s empty. Sometimes it can take a moment or two for reality to kick in. You blink. You look again at the cup. The cup stares back at you, silent, sad, and, yep, empty.
What you’re in the middle of will determine your next steps — after you recover from the shock, of course. If you are at a point in the book where you can put it down without being left hanging too badly (will she kiss him or won’t she?) or have finished that meeting you were the lead of, etc., you’re in luck. The solution is as simple as refilling your teacup from the teapot or steeping up another quick cuppa. Having a loving spouse on hand to fetch that refill is also good.
Of course, you always have the option of getting a bigger cup. A much bigger cup! Just as those quickie mart places have their big gulp soda cups that hold a liter of soda, so you can find really large mugs and cups for your tea, assuring that you can make it through that book chapter or the lengthy slide presentation on that oh-so-important departmental project that you are not quite sure about. Yes siree, a really BIG tea mug or cup will assure that you never suffer from empty teacup syndrome again. I’ll be looking into what choices are out there for you in a future article.
Another option, of course, is a teapot kept full and close at hand. And then there are samovars where a small teapot full of strongly steeped tea sits atop a spigoted urn full of hot water that not only helps keep the teapot warm but also serves to thin down that strong tea to a drinkable level. If you have one of those little Yixing teapots, you can steep some tea, pour the liquid in your cup, leave the loose tea leaves in the teapot, and steep some more when that empty teacup syndrome kicks in. Lots of possibilities for you tea lovers who, like me, just can’t get enough tea during your day.
Happy sipping, slurping, and gulping!
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