In my current fantasy, I quit my job and spend my days writing not for magazines, or websites, or cookbook publishers, but for Steven Smith Teamaker. I went to this soothing little shop recently in Portland, and I'm quite smitten with their whole tea vibe/genre/mystique/aura.
Each individually-wrapped tea sachet is numbered by blend, and has a funny, pithy little saying. Steven Smith, listen up: I can write funny, pithy little sayings! I'm even saving my tea trash for inspiration/research. No, I'm not saving the spent, soggy leaves, just the colorful sleeves your teabags (sorry, sachets) come in, with instructions like:
"Bring filtered water to 190 degrees. Steep 3 minutes while practicing ikebana, or Japanese flower arrangement."
That was on the full leaf, antioxidant-rich #72, with white peony tea leaves, Egyptian chamomile petals, and Chinese osmanthus flowers. Osmanthus flowers!
Or how about these instructions, which appear on the Lord Bergamot, an Earl-Greyish tea (#55):
"Bring filtered water to a rolling boil. Steep 5 minutes, while pondering the Earl's affair with the Duchess of Devonshire."
I think I could do this, too.
Let me try...
For mint tea, I would write:
"Bring cheap tap water to a rolling boil. Steep, while you make the kids' lunchboxes. Don't forget the ice packs or they'll get food poisoning and die, especially if it's 110 degrees and you've used mayo. Sip, and picture your feet in Bermudan sand, a minty mojito in hand, convincing yourself the Bermuda Triangle is just a hoax, and that you'll probably be perfectly fine."
Or, for a full leaf black tea, how about:
"Bring water to a rolling boil. Steep while you wonder why you're not funnier, and why you seem to be making more typos than usual. Brew a second cup. Maybe the caffeine will help you focus?"
Now let's try green tea:
"Bring filtered water (I'm only saying this because Smith Teamaker says this, but do most people really use filtered water for their tea? I don't, but maybe I should. Is something wrong with me?) to a very hot, tea-like temperature. Steep, while you think about why you don't lift weights, even though you're really weak, and, let's be frank, you're really not getting any younger."
Steven Smith Teamaker, I'm not making fun of your tea. Quite the contrary: I've developed quite a fondness for it, especially the Kandy (#23). I like your style, your humor, and, well, your tea.
I can do this.