A world tea party

 

I love tea and have been wanting to do a post about it for quite some time now. It’s my addiction and I cannot make it through the day without it. I brew a pot every morning and am still drinking long after its cooled off, I’ll drink it at any temperature, but never spoil it by adding milk or sugar. My favorite is green tea with mint, but I’ll drink all sorts. In good times and bad, I’m always comforted with tea. So if you ever come to visit, you can be sure I’ll serve tea.

Back in June, a good friend and fellow tea drinker named Marita, (who at this very moment is on her way to Africa to climb Kilimanjaro!) informed me of a tea party that was being held at a local lighthouse. As most of you already know, I live on an island in Norway and there is a light house out on the very tip, called Eigerøy Fyr. 

 The tea party was being hosted by a Canadian artist, calligrapher, Asian scholar, and tea historian named Bryan Mulvihill. He travels the world talking about tea and its origins some 4,000 years ago, in China. He also talks about the global journey of this precious commodity and how almost every culture has a tea tradition.

He has served tea in a palazzo on the Grand Canal in Venice and in a greenhouse in Kew Gardens, London. He has also served tea at International art fairs, local community centers, Buddhist temples and Jewish synagogues. He has served to as many as 17,000 people at the Hollywood Bowl, during the World Festival of Sacred Music in 1999, and to as little as twenty people at Eigerøy Fyr in Egersund, Norway.

Marita and I took the 2km. hike out to the lighthouse on a winding path that ran both up and down green hills dotted with grazing sheep. Wind and rain pushing and pulling us all the way. Once we arrived, we were served four different teas, in tiny porcelain cups. Each of them tasted light and refreshing, with a flowery sweet aroma.

A few weeks later I received an e-mail from a Norwegian named Christi, living in Ningbo, China. She heard about my book and wanted to congratulate me, she would soon be coming home to Egersund for the summer, and asked to visit.

She came by last week, we had a delightful chat and to my surprise, she brought white tea, all the way home from China. There were two shiny bags inside a small canister, one held tea leaves, the other small rose buds, used in flavoring the tea. The canister was then covered in a silky green kimono.

Yesterday, I decided to share my good fortune with another friend named Anja.

As the sun shone down on a lazy Saturday afternoon, two friends whiled away the hours…

Enjoying fresh strawberries, sweet cake and a delicious Chinese nectar

In Anja’s beautiful rose garden, in Norway.

The tea was fantastic! Thanks again, Christi.

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About maggiemyklebust

I grew up on the Jersey Shore and now live in Norway. I have also lived in Houston and the Netherlands. I have written a memoir called Fly Away Home.

Posted on July 15, 2012, in Stories in general and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 25 Comments.

  1. annie siersema potter

    i so enjoyed having a wonderful cup of tea with you in your beautiful home in norway but the best part was you my dear friend to enjoy it with! xoxo

  2. I love tea also. Earl Grey is perfect for the afternoon, but for me, nothing beats a rich, warm assam for giving me the strength and balance to navigate life’s unexpected up’s and down’s.

    • I had to google assam… and I call myself a tea drinker, hmmm.
      I too like English Breakfast tea (and on the rare occasion, I’ll even add a little milk and sugar to that type of tea)

  3. What a wonderful post! I feel like I just enjoyed a delightful tea party myself. Thanks for sharing. 🙂 S

  4. Thanks for the tea party, friend! (I’m in Oklahoma and drink mine with ICE 🙂 )

  5. What a warm and welcoming blog site you have. And the tea, it looked so inviting. Thank you for sharing your experiences. Okay I’m actually a little envious about the tea party, sigh.

  6. Oh, this is definitely the ultimate tea party!

  7. i am a tea drinker as well. i like mine sweet!! boy we sure have grown up, haven’t we. i think we turned into great, strong, interesting women!!

  8. Ok Maggie, I am going to stop feeling sorry for you in Norway. This post is absolutely beautiful. Drinking tea in such a lovely place. Well, What could be better?

  9. Lovely and delicious post! ~ Lily

  10. I love tea….(but of course….over ice!) and adore this post! Great photos. ♥

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