I love tea. It’s one—no, it is—my most favourite drink in the world. I like rum, cranberry juice, gin and wine, but I love tea. I love it so much that if I couldn’t make a good cup where I lived or have one shipped in, I’d move. I think I might survive a week—maybe seven days—without tea if I had one of my other likable drinks or hot chocolate, but that’s pushing it.
Coffee doesn’t factor into the equation.
Tea drinkers—I’ve found—are often in search of two best things: the best type of tea and the best vessel in which to drink it from.
About four years ago, I found my perfect vessel. Some might call it a sacred grail or the Stanley Cup of drinking cups. I call it my Newfoundland Mug.
I was on the tail end of a fantastic trip across the rocky island when our little band of travellers stopped at a gift shop in Spanish Rooms, just outside of Marystown. Souvenirs and collectables from the Island of Newfoundland filled the little shop. The difficult task of any tourist is to choose an item that will ignite vivid and pleasant memories of their vacation, as well as serve them well in everyday life.
That’s the hard part, the last bit.
Many souvenirs become clutter, things to throw away after a few months. What I searched for was something I could use that might remind me of this trip to my mother’s homeland for years to come.
Little did I know my perfect tea vessel awaited me there.
The lovely design on the grail first attracted me to it. I picked it up and examined it. Beautiful. I recalled someone saying that tea drank from a clay cup tasted better, and I wondered if they were right or spreading unproven rumours.
Clay Petals Pottery, located in Westport, NL, had created the item I held. That alone was appealing. The last thing I wanted to buy was a Newfoundland souvenir made in China.
The size was perfect. I wasn’t a pinky-pointing, cup and saucer, dainty handle person. I needed a mug of tea that sat beside me through an entire page of writing, not one that disappeared after the first paragraph.
But you have plenty of mugs, said the practical voice in my head.
Yes, I did. They filled my cupboards to the point that when yard sale season came along, I put out a few in an attempt to clear the clutter.
No, I haven’t. So I shouldn’t pass up this opportunity.
I still recall my first cup of tea in the Clay Petals mug. Oh, did it taste good. I was hooked. Never again—unless lost in a wasteland—would I drink my tea from any other vessel. This was my sacred grail, my Stanley Cup of mugs.
After more than 1,600 cups of tea, it still looks beautiful.
To pay homage to my perfect tea mug, it appears on the cover of “Miss Tuttle’s Lemon Tarts”, a short story about a lady who drinks tea, eats lemon tarts and gardens.
Time for a cup of tea.