Thoughts and Travels with Tea

Monday morning. We enter into week 17 of the Shelter-in-Place, hunkering downness brought about by the global pandemic, COVID-19. On top of that, I enter into a new decade … It’s my birthday of untold years. Oh my.

Little joys help us pass time more pleasurably. I encounter one seasonal pleasure now when I go out my front door: the aroma of the last few blossoms on my late-blooming gardenia. I put the plant in when we first moved into this house; it’s so heavenly. This is the longest Constant Companion and I have lived in one location.

Another pleasure is the last remaining Poinciana blooms still seen when I venture out of the house. In our part of town, the flaming blooms hold on a month or two longer than elsewhere. Slowly the creep of the green leaves fill out the spreading branches of the trees to overtake and replace the brilliant orange and red flowers. In our neighborhood, many trees are still bright and blooming.

on the way to the library

I have no idea what Constant Companion and Daughter have planned to celebrate my milestone. As I enjoy my morning green tea, I have two pleasant thoughts. One was the recent segment of the Culinary Series from the local Betsy Hotel ( This particular episode featured one of their favorite vendors, Michael Ortiz of JoJo Tea ( I have enjoyed many of their teas at the weekly Artist in Residence salons at the hotel in the days when we got out!

Ortiz’s many knowledgeable stories about tea, from history to serving, took be back to my 2014 visit to Jeju Island off of Korea (see June 29 post). Among our many adventures on the island was a visit to the O’Sulloc tea plantation and tea museum (

Remember, tea is a much preferred beverage (see Dec. 30 post). In 2010, while touring near Shanghai, I visited the National Tea Museum in Hangzhou. It was a lovely visit.

National Tea Museum, Hangzhou, China

The visit in Jeju was a nice rest in between stops at the many museums on the island. I had visited the O’Sulloc tea room on Insadong, a main tourist shopping street in Seoul. The name sounds so unKorean, but it is. The visit to the plantation and tea room was informative and enjoyable.

More enjoyable was the lunch at their cafe/tea house. Beautifully served foods of rice balls, with noodles and fish cakes.

My dish was mungwort buns with blackbean sauce.

The shaved ice was the best – Jeju Canola Honey Oreum Shaved Ice.

We ate this first!

So, I wait to see what my family has planned to celebrate by latest “big” birthday and look forward to more pleasures!


  1. Happy 70th Birthday and many more. Thank you for being you. Such a giving and loving person deserves a special day.



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