I’ve been drinking tea since I was knee-high and loving it. My mom and I would make the drive to visit her grandparents, my great-grandparents (Nannie and Fafa as we lovingly referred to them) at least once a month.
Nannie was German and had a passion for anything sweet. She was a fabulous baker, but on our visits, she took a break from the kitchen because we always stopped at a little German bakery on the way and picked up a pink box of treats. I got to pick some yummy things to add to the box and, after it was tied with twine, I got to keep it safe until we reached our destination.
Nannie would lay out two plates of treats from the box. One for her and my mom to nibble on while they chatted in the living room and one for me and Fafa. Fafa was British and grew up drinking tea, practically as a religion. He felt it his duty to teach me how to be a proper tea drinker.
He would talk to me about heating the kettle, steeping the tea to perfection, then adding milk or lemon. We would sit together at the kitchen table with our plate of treats and our tea cups to talk about the world as only a young child and an old man can do. I was so small that I had to sit on my knees to reach the table.
I remember telling him once about my tea-brewing experience at home and told him that I had made two cups of tea with one tea bag. He said, “No love, you made one cup of tea and one cup of flavored water.”
Those visits are some of my best memories and I always looked forward to our trips. After Fafa died, I continued drinking tea because I knew it would make him happy. Now, I drink it because I love it. But I often think of him when I pour, remembering that I only get one cup of tea per bag, and wondering if he’s watching me and sometimes having tea with me.
When it’s my time to take my journey, I hope I have a little notice. I’d like to stop by the bakery and pick up some treats before I go to visit him.