“Come on in – the water’s fine!”
Upon receiving this greeting from my teabag label, my initial response was to peer suspiciously into the water.
The puffs and swirls of steam and the relaxed-looking tea bag floating carefree seemed to indicated that, yes, the water was fine. But I was still cautious – the water looked a little hot. Besides, how was I supposed to submerge myself in a teacup anyway?
Bet the teabag didn’t think of that when it blithely asked me to join it’s tropical ocean bliss…
But do not be alarmed – I’m not in the habit of taking my teabags too seriously.
The opinion of a square, muslin bag filled with dried, squashed plant leaves is really not something worth worrying over. So I didn’t even blush when the first teabag I pulled out said “Hello Brew-tiful…”
*sigh* Really. Who falls for such lame puns anyway?
Fortunately, I already knew that this day was going to contain certain elements of the ridiculous. For starters, I was brewing myself a cup of fruit tea.
I don’t even drink fruit tea.
Mind you, I don’t really drink coffee either (caffeine does weird things to you, peeps, and I refuse to believe that I am alone in the side effects, which I will not go into now because this is a post about tea and not coffee… still, don’t say I didn’t warn you…), but I’ve now had coffee three times in as many days. Not sure what’s up with that, but it’s probably part of the reason that I found myself absentmindedly nursing an orange-colored elixir that smelled faintly of nectarine and called itself “tea”.
Fruit tea, to be exact. Ah yes – who can deny being tantalizingly drawn to the delicate yet rich smell of a brewing cup of fruity tea? But if there’s one thing I’ve learned about fruit teas, it’s this:
Smell is deceiving. Every time.
Better to go by looks, judge the book by its cover, and ascertain that this watery and apathetic brew probably tastes watery and apathetic, plus a third indefinable adjective that wasn’t even part of the equation when the tea-making first began.
But, it being Wednesday and everything, I’d kind of forgotten all formerly gained knowledge. So I thoughtfully stirred my steaming fruit tea, and watched the bag trailing lazily through the tinted waves, and allowed the soft sweetness of nectarine to drift through my day.
But I should never, no matter how falsely lulled I was, have taken that sip.
Now I understand the meaning of that provocative label.
Now I appreciate fully the life experience that my patient beverage was trying to provide for me.
AND NOW I know that I should never have been naive enough to actually drink that so-called “tea”.
Because when I did, what rolled across my tongue was not light and delicious fruit tea-ness.
It was warm bubble bath. Slightly tinged with nectarine.
Next time, I will know to use my fruit teabag as a scented drawer sachet. Or a sock-sized deodorizer.
Next time, I will make it then fake it and not actually drink it. Or brew it and bottle it and wear it as perfume.
Next time, when my tea invites me to “Come on in”, I will take it seriously and meet it halfway with my sponge and towel.
© Emma McGeorge 2014