Suits Me to a Tea

I’m a coffee drinker for the most part. But I love a good, hearty tea when the autumn weather turns nippy. How about you? A new favorite is Trader Joe’s Harvest Blend.


Recently, a friend and I conducted an informal taste test of herbal teas. Among the cinnamon tea blends, we concluded that Trader’s Joe Harvest Blend was the best tasting. This is our opinion, of course. Yet others who tried the tea quickly headed to the store to buy it. They then gave tea bags to other people who then bought their own box of the tea. Yes, my friend and I are tea pushers. The first bag is free. 🙂

Isn’t it interesting that something steeped in hot water can produce such a rich, memorable flavor? Sounds like life, doesn’t it? (Work with me here. It sounds like life, doesn’t it? Just nod your head.) When we’re in hot water—troublesome circumstances—the flavor of our character is revealed. Are we bitter, as some tea is when steeped too long? Or do the “hot” circumstances bring out the best in us?

The subject came up as I recently pondered my reaction to disappointing expectations and problems. As others announced the joyous news of book deals, I contemplated the lack of positive news in my mailbox (including a no for the YA book I queried earlier this year). I soon realized that a thread of bitterness had crept in and wound itself around me, leaving me complaining and paralyzed. Kind of like a mummy in a sarcophagus. Only . . . mummies don’t really complain, do they? And if they’re of the undead variety, they’re not really paralyzed either. Instead, a mummy might break out of his or her sarcophagus and lurch about, terrorizing villages. So that metaphor is a bit labored. But you get what I mean.

A couple of quotes struck me recently:

Tom Ed quote 1-07-Harriet-1024x703

I guess it’s time for me to stop whining and do what I know to do: write and keep going. To celebrate the power of persistence, I’m giving away a box of this Harvest Blend Herbal Tea and some crocheted leaves. (If you want to know more about these leaves, click on crocheted leaves to get the pattern, which was designed by Michelle at The Painted Hinge blog.) I’ll choose a commenter at random. Feel free to comment on a tea you love or some aspect of autumn you love. Or talk about which quote above speaks to you. Perhaps you have another favorite quote about persistence. Winner to be announced Friday, November 6.


Thomas Edison quote from pinterest. Harriet Beecher Stowe quote from

57 thoughts on “Suits Me to a Tea

  1. We English are renowned for being tea drinkers. Although these days coffee shops are sprouting up everywhere. When I am out it is always coffee that I go for, but when I am home my first choice (first cup!) is tea. I’ve never thought to question this before.

    • I enjoy your coffee outings. You’re so good at remembering conversations you happen to overhear. 🙂 I usually make coffee in the morning. But in the afternoon and evening, I guzzle tea.

  2. I’m always surprised at the small amount of strawberry teas. They’re either part of an assortment pack or expensive. There is a strawberry pomegranate I found once, but never stumbled upon it again. As far as hot water and life . . . what’s the rule on if you feel like you’re swimming through magma?

    • Strawberry pomegranate sounds intriguing. I’m amazed at how many fruits are thrown together of late.

      I generally feel like I’m swimming through magma. I’m hoping I turn into one of those lava dogs on Atlantis 2–a movie many people avoided. They can swim in lava. 🙂 The Harvest Blend tea is a good tea for magma swimmers.

      • I think you always have that one popular fruit that gets mixed with everything. Then it dies down and a new one takes its place.

        Never heard of Atlantis 2. Not sure I even know what Atlantis 1 is.

      • Both were Disney flicks. Can’t recall offhand when they came out. Michael J. Fox voiced the main character in the first one. The second one was one of those direct to DVD movies that sometimes make people hostile.

  3. Sorry about your disappointments of late, and I know you have some other concerns with your mom – all of which can make tea a bit more bitter.
    Tom says I’m a tea snob. He’s right, but, I won’t admit it to him. tee hee My tea of choice is actually from Trader Joe’s as well. I enjoy a daily brew of their English Breakfast Tea. It is a good, strong bodied tea and whenever I’ve served it to others, they compliment and then are surprised at this thrifty brew. I sometimes splurge then savor a tin of Harney & Sons Paris Tea, sparingly, on cold winter afternoons.
    The Harvest Blend sounds good, L. Marie. I love Trader Joe’s. Have you tried their lemon bits? Yum.
    Here’s to bringing out the best in our teabags – and us.

    • Thanks, Penny. I haven’t had their lemon bits. Will have to try them. I went to Trader Joe’s on rainy Halloween. Totally packed in there. They had a ton of English Breakfast Tea and a stack of Harvest Blend. 🙂
      Love Harney & Sons teas. 🙂 Whenever I can splurge, I purchase a tin.

  4. I like your analogy of our attitude and tea, L Marie. Personally, I am a dark roast coffee snob. I will drink tea very rarely but the Harvest Blend sounds nice for the fall. A quote I’ve heard and love: Don’t quit before the miracle. 🙂

  5. I drink plenty of tea, both herbal and black, though more herbal as the season gets darker and colder. But I’m going to pass on the drawing. The fellowship of expectations disappointed and general frustration is welcome at a time when I’m feeling down, as are the shared quotations.

    My favorite in this area is from Vermont author Joe Citro: “Don’t quit any more times than you have to.”

    But I’m also always inspired by Ray Bradbury’s: “You fail only if you stop writing.”

    I’m taking part in NaNoWriMo for the first time, so I’m not going to consider myself a failure.

    • What a fellowship! (At least we don’t have to take a ring to Mordor.) I’m so glad the quotes were helpful! It’s tough being in this place, isn’t it? Great quotes from Joe and Ray.
      Best wishes to you on NaNo. Please keep me posted on your progress. I’ll have to pass on NaNo this year, because I’m working on a curriculum project. I started a novel last month, but will take my time on it.

  6. “Write and keep going.” That’s the best we can do. The Edison quote has always been one of my favorites. Don’t enter me since I won tea last year. In fact, this past weekend I enjoyed a few cups of chocolate tea. It’s so yummy.

  7. I love Constant Comment (orange spice) tea. But most of the time I stick to coffee. Sounds like your favorite blend will soon be a Best Seller!

    Your mummy metaphor is a good one. When our thoughts get the best of us, we are both jailer and jailed. We hold the key to the prisons we create.

    I’m reading “Loving What Is” by Byron Katie (2002) ~> about letting go of toxic thoughts that cause unnecessary suffering. Becoming aware of our “inner spin doctor” (who creates inner turmoil with stories based on lies and half truths) allows us to let go of the spin. When we begin to accept the “what is” as it is . . . our inner Joy and Peace resurface.

    • I need to read that book, Nancy! I’ll write a note to myself to look for it.
      I haven’t had Constant Comment in awhile. I OD’d on it back when I wrote textbooks. I went through boxes of it. It might be time for me to return to it. 🙂

  8. I prefer infusions to tea. We don’t have Trader Joe’s here. I like Clipper’s blackcurrant & acai berry.

    Well, you caught yourself and are getting your groove back, hurray!
    I watched a Neil Gaiman’s commencement speech where he said no matter what happens, “Make good art.” That has been my mantra through some pretty difficult times. 🙂

    • Hi, Timi. I listened to that Neil Gaiman commencement speech. I live by that too. 🙂 (And once again, I rued the dull commencement speech I wound up sleeping through during my undergraduate days. Why couldn’t we have had Neil Gaiman?)
      There are two tea shops near me which sell loose tea. I had a great chocolate one some years back. So good.

  9. I’m so sorry to hear about the latest no. You are overdue for some good news. I have everything crossed that you’ll get it soon.

    I’ve always used the Edison quote to stay motivated. It takes a ton of No to get Yes. I think that’s true with anything. Those who can push through the No are usually the ones who get where they want to go. But it’s hard to hear No and keep going. I’m stuck on my sequel right now, and part of it is because of how much work it is for so little likely return. Part of it is also the development of one character, so I’m going to focus on making her better. 🙂

    While I drink a ton of espresso, I love tea. I usually buy it while traveling. My last purchase was a Mariage Freres loose leaf green tea. A little piece of Paris to enjoy for a couple of months. I’m very English with my tea and always add milk. But I’ve found I’m not able to get it as hot as they do with their electric kettles.

    • You’re the hardest worker I know, Andra. I would love to see a return for you commensurate with your efforts.
      It’s hard to keep at it. But I guess that’s all we know to do, huh?
      I often go the English route too. I like my tea almost scalding and well steeped. But not to the point of bitterness. 🙂 The tea and I don’t need to be bitter. 🙂

  10. I drink black tea for the caffeine since I don’t like coffee. Some of the blends are so tasty. I the love pumpkin spice flavors of fall.

    The writing game requires extreme patience, doesn’t it? It’s a long process, one full of rejections and setbacks. But our passion keeps us going.

  11. I’m still enjoying the chocolate-mint tea you sent me!!! It’s soooooo good! I definitely amp up my tea consumption as soon as it gets nippy. I am not a coffee drinker and I need something to keep my hands and body warm. I also love everything pumpkin.

    I’m sorry about that thread of bitterness that has crept in and wound itself around you. Damn bitterness! And damn rejections! You have (always) a great attitude, Linda. You let yourself feel the feeling (because it deserves to be validated) then you move forward. That is what it’s all about. xoxo

  12. I love that Edison quote. It’s shocking … scary to think I/we might stop just before succeeding.

    Most of the time I just think about writing, and then I’m happy. But the time comes when we writers have to think about queries and agents and sales. That’s the hard part. It’s disappointing, sometimes depressing. I’m glad you’re pulling yourself out of it and enjoying your tea.

    Right now my favorite tea bag is Good Earth’s Sweet and Spicy, caffeine free. When I was in Victoria, BC, I bought three delicious (but expensive) loose teas from DAVIDsTEA: Gyokuro Yamshiro organic green tea, Kashmiri Chai, and Japanese Sencha green tea

    • As hard as writing is, it’s a cake walk compared to querying. It really is difficult to keeping going sometimes.

      I’ll have to try that Sweet and Spicy tea. I also love a chai! Had a great pumpkin chai at the tea shop the other night.

  13. I’m more of a coffee drinker, and as I’ve traveled and lived in different places, I’ve become aware of “coffee countries” and “tea countries.” Chile, for instance, is a tea country, while Portugal is a coffee country. When I was in Chile in 1990, lots of places served instant coffee, and that’s pretty much all you could get for decaf.

    I’m sorry about your disappointing news. I hope you get a yes soon! Because of changes with my small press publisher, I’ve decided to put my YA submissions on hold for a while and really focus on the translation, but I tell myself it’s not quitting. I will continue to write my new historical novel, but I won’t be in a rush to send it out.

    • Oh Lyn. 😦 I hope you can return to your YA. I totally get the need to take a step back though. I pray it’s only temporary for you. The world continues to need your voice.

  14. Love, love, love your crochet creations.

    I do wish this swampy place we’re calling home right now had a closer than 2 hr drive to a Trader Joe’s!!!!!

    No need to include me in the drawing as I’m 98% coffee-addicted. 😉

  15. Pingback: Bring Back the Joy | El Space–The Blog of L. Marie

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