The Grand Tea
Hosted by Vivian Caethe and Lori Holuta, featuring a special painting demo by Aria. Tickets are only available ahead of time (before pre-registration closes). Featuring glorious afternoon tea fare and hours of wonderful company and entertainment. An AnomalyCon special event! Tea occurs from 12pm-2pm.
Vivian Caethe is my perfect foil, always balancing my tendency to be goofy with her refined manners. Our co-hosting of the Grand Tea proved this to be true. During the Tea, Vivian read extensively from her own works, in a polite, soothing voice, and showed patience when the dish-clattering and conversations rose to high levels. (Do find her book, Drink The Tea. It will enhance your life.)
On the other hand, I do not think I laid my fork down on my plate correctly, even once, I possibly slurped my butternut squash soup, and in a last defiant act against elegant, civilized culture and manners, I turned afternoon tea into a blood sport.
You heard me correctly. My dainty bone china cup and I had a disagreement. Miss Cup flew off the handle (literally). The handle attacked my arm and left an inch-long gash on the outside of my right wrist. Miraculously, I did not bleed all over the tablecloth or the carpeting, and managed to staunch the flow with only two tiny crimson drops landing on my skirt.
Proof again that you cannot take me anywhere.
OH! And I stood up to read my original poetry, written just for this event. I did not fall over the microphone stand and somehow did not manage to set anything on fire. If you dare, you may read both poems below. They are fun to read aloud, as I’ve tried my best to write them in an amusing cadence.
When choosing a drink, be it evening or dawn
Consider the choice of a lovely tisane
The bounty of nature will fill up your cup
With more combinations than you can dream up
Dried flowers and fruits, and even an herb
Can make your next cup taste profoundly superb
These are known as “tisanes”, meaning “herbal infusion”
Its proper pronouncing can cause some confusion
One should kindly refrain from requesting “tis-ain”
But to order “tis-ohn” is precisely spot-on
Now, please don’t despair, or jump the drink fences
After all, a true tea is “camellia sinensis”
Make a tisane with a basket of fruit.
Dry it and steep it—you’ll find this a hoot.
Though I must caution, it would be contemptible
To try to tisane with a steak or a vegetable
In conclusion, tisane is a drink you should try
Gather plants, heat the kettle, no need to be shy
Soon you’ll be singing a gay herbal song
Then outside you’ll run, to harvest your lawn
Four Shades Of Tea
Please sit, let’s have a friendly conversation
About tea leaves and the act of oxidation
Did you know all tea leaves start out the same
Until age and oxidation begins to play a game?
White tea, so refined both in taste and demeanor
Is enjoyed everywhere—even downtown Pasadena
Young leaves, harvested early, eschewing oxidation
This dainty leaf brings fresh relief, and our admiration
Green tea often suffers mistaken identity
It’s not a tisane! It’s a tea leaf, authentically.
Oxidation grants Green just the gentlest of kisses
One sip and you’ll know just exactly what bliss is
Say Oolong, or Wu Long, it means the “Black Dragon”
Dark and twisted, but quite welcome on a proper tea wagon.
Well oxidized, earthy, both fragrant and fruity,
Even Mother Nature is saying, “That’s a real beauty”
And finally, Black tea… it’s sometimes called Red
(Clearly it’s trying to mess with my head)
Earl Grey, English Breakfast, they never would be
Without the most oxidized leaf of the tea.
So tip up your cup! Cheer the venerable tea leaf
Enjoyed by George Orwell and Georgia O’Keeffe
Please answer affirmative when you hear this plea,
Would you like to join me in a hot cup of tea?
Not… literally. Cause that would be messy.