Category Archives: This Day in Tea

This Day in Tea

This Day in Tea

This Day in Tea - The Orange Moon Tea SocietyOn this day in 28 BC one of the earliest observations of a sunspot was seen by the Han dynasty astronomers in China. In 1869 the first Transcontinental Railroad is completed linking the east to the west in the United States. And in 1908 the very first Mother’s Day is observed in the US in Grafton, West Virginia. Sidney Blower knows very little about these dates and their recorded events, but she does know a thing or two about the sun. You see, on May 10th in 1913 Ms Blower catches the sun and successfully brews it into her new tea.

The idea came to Sidney one night as she sat with her mother and father on the porch of their country home. The sun was starting to set in the distance and it took with it the last of the light her aging parents could see by. No matter how many candles she lit or how she tried to lighten up their home for those dark hours, her parents would see nothing but shadows and this distressed her so. As she watched that sun she wondered to herself if she could capture just a little of it and gift it to her parents so they had a small light in that darkness.

Sidney’s first few attempts were haphazard events that she didn’t like to think about. A sunburn came from one and a sun itch (something she would tell people you had to experience because no words could properly describe the sensation) came from the other. She knew she was onto something though. She just needed to find the right medium to work with.

There came a moment, as Sidney gently led her parents to the dinner table, where her mother reminded her to bring in their sun-tea. The young woman walked back to the porch and picked up the large jar of amber colored water that had been left with a light weave of material filled with loose tea leafs to cure in the sun. Sidney looked at that beautiful thing of tea and knew she could somehow get the sun into that jar better than just using its warmth to brew her tea.

After many failed experiments poor Sidney was starting to feel her ideas were something she couldn’t obtain. She woke to a bright and beautiful May day wondering if she wasn’t a crazy fool to think what she hoped to achieve was possible. Then something happened. Perhaps it was something she’d never be able to take note of, or maybe it was simply the joyish look on her mother’s face as a particularly bright stream of sunlight found her mother’s face… Sidney Bower knew on that day she would succeed.

With a determined step Sidney marched into the field of sunflowers across from her parents’ home. She moved through the slowly growing crop until she found the center of it. Once there she held up a hand to shield her eyes a little. She looked from east to west until she found a slight pulsating motion from the giant orb in the sky. She counted this throbbing and used the young sunflowers to gauge the waves that were coming in. She calculated and calculated and at the last moment decided to let her instincts take over. The young woman’s eyes closed and she held her breath. When the moment felt right she lifted her glass jar of tea to the sky and pulled back the cover.

It’s hard to describe what came next. There was only one person there to witness this event and that witness in question had her eyes closed as she reached for an approaching sun beam and caught it in her tea. All a young Sidney Blower would know was she felt an intense moment of heat and beauty and when she opened her eyes the tea jar in hand was glowing brightly.

There are so many stories that were to come after that strange moment in time. The woman at the heart of it would never add to any of them. All she’d wanted to do was bring the daylight into the night time for her parents and their ailing sight. She had been successful in that when she created her warm glowing tea that thrived from the sun. Every night from that point on her parents would not have to fear the shadows. Sidney would set them a cup of sunlight tea and their eyes would glow throughout the night with the power and warmth of that strange brew.

On this day in tea, May 10th, Sidney Blower captured the sun and brewed it in her tea so that her beloved parents would never be in the dark again.

Pagona Talbot is the daughter of famed alchemist (and a favorite of the ladies) Gray Talbot and a self proclaimed little witch. She’s famous for many of her strange edible potions but her most notorious one is her Punchnersissky Punch, which makes the stomach glow after one drinks it. Pagona has been heard to say this comes from milking fireflies for the punch recipe. In Orange Moon Downs she is the celebrated author of The Book of Tea, which includes tea facts, tea stories and this day in tea.

This Day in Tea: May 10th, 1913
is copyright 2017 Bethalynne Bajema. All Rights Reserved.

This Day in Tea

This Day in Tea

tea-party1802. During the course of this year Ludwig van Beethoven will publish his Piano Sonata No. 14 in Vienna and Marie Tussaud will for the first time exhibit her wax sculptures in London. Much is going on in the world and there is beauty and creation all around while at the same time many countries are caught up in wars. Lydia Monroe knows very little about these things. She prefers to be blissfully unaware of what the rest of the world is up to.

Lydia is happy to walk through the field of wild grass behind her parent’s home. It’s a wonderful and unkept place where the wild flowers have colorfully exploded over the land and made it look like nature has painted the scene with its rainbow of brilliant colors. The air smells delicious and fresh. And today there is just a light breeze, enough to blow her hair about and keep her from getting too warm. It is a very nice spring day indeed.

In Lydia’s hand is her favorite basket that holds the pieces of her traveling tea party. From party to party she never knows exactly where she’ll find the perfect tea table in nature. She’s always thoughtful to bring enough to serve three extra people just in case one of these days someone comes to join her. This is the only thing that makes her sad some days: The lack of people to share this beautiful time of the year and her tea with.

While walking through a particularly thick bit of wild grass something hidden within it is disturbed and rushes up into the air as the little girl moves through it. Quite suddenly there is a haze of white floating wisps that Lydia is happy to believe are pale fairies, at least until they gently move on the breeze and find the little girl’s nose. The nose is not humored by these tickling pale fairies one bit and decides to give her sinuses a good kick. The little girl’s face scrunches up and a massive HA-CHOO! explodes out of nowhere. The sneeze is comically large and loud, almost knocking the poor little girl onto her bum.

Lydia’s eyes blink back against her threatening tears and she takes several deep breaths to make sure all the nose annoying wisps are gone. Quickly she moves out of that patch of upsetting wild grass and into a small clearing. Obviously there is something in there that has a vendetta against the little girl’s nose and she will not allow it to cause her afternoon to be spent sneezing. Sneezing has no place at a tea party.

As the little girl steps from the clearing she hears a strange noise low to the ground. Grrr! Grrr! it sounds like in a very small and squeaky voice. Lydia looks all about and sees no one there. “Excuse me?” she calls out to the empty clearing. No one answers back so she turns back to her flat patch and continues walking. There again comes more grr’ing and this time it is louder.

Lydia stops and sets her basket down. The noise is vexing and she doesn’t like to be vexed. “Alright now.” the little girl calls out to the unseen noise maker. “I don’t have time to play games with anyone or anything. I have a tea party to set up.”

Behind her there is rustling in the tall grass and there she sees what looks like a small pair of yellow eyes watching her. This is a strange thing to see and the eyes are like no wee furry creatures she normally comes upon out there. So the little girl kneels down so that she’s at eye level with the mysterious gazer. “Who are you then?” she asks it. Read the rest of this entry

This Day in Tea

This Day in Tea

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA1956, February 23rd the woman born Norma Jean Mortenson legally changed her name to Marilyn Monroe and her life, for better or worse, will never be the same again. Just a few months later on June 5th a man set to be just as iconic takes the stage on the Milton Berle Show and scandalizes those looking on with the way he moved his hips. His name was Elvis Presley. Neither a watcher of films or a listener of popular music, Olivia will not take notice of either event. Her mind in squarely focused on the task at hand.

In front of her a table is laid out with countless small glass bowls filled with a variety of herbs, dried flowers and clippings from her garden. The herbs have been carefully selected from the overwhelming number of glass containers lining the shelves of her tea work room. The flowers have also been thoughtfully chosen from the drying flower field that hangs from the ceiling above. The clippings from her garden don’t have as much important except to keep the tea maker’s stomach from rumbling. This thought crosses her mind as her tummy gives her a small groan, which prompts her to reach for a carrot and begin nibbling on it in her best impersonation of a rabbit.

This day, May the 12th, she woke up and knew it was the day she would finally succeed in making her grandmother’s fabled arcanus circumpono tea. She didn’t know how she knew this, the knowledge was just there beating at the sides of her waking mind. Get up! Go to your tea room! Grab a little of whatever feels right! And play little Olivia, play! It was a wonderful feeling. All morning she had thought lovingly of her grandmother as she worked. Read the rest of this entry

This Day in Tea

This Day in Tea

photo from, there was a great many things taking place during this year so long ago. The United States would elect its first president on February 4th while many months later on July 14th the French Revolution would officially begin with the storming of the fortress of the Bastille. But on this day, May 9th, a strange little man, who didn’t care about either thing, would find himself walking on a lonely path that cut through a very old forest. He wasn’t quite sure why he was walking on this particular path as it wasn’t one he could ever remember taking. Perhaps that was why he had taken it, he reasoned to himself, it was something new. And though the old man was a fierce creature of habit there was just something about that particular day that said to him something new is needed for a change.

The path went on for quite a long while and the strange little man kept wondering if the path would ever lead somewhere, but more importantly he wondered how on earth his short legs were still happily taking steps. Typically he did little more than walk around his very small house and now and then he’d make the short trip to the well for fresh water. By the end of the day he was always quite tired and his short legs felt as though they had run in mad circles for days. Yet here he was! Walking and walking and stepping and he thought perhaps skipping might be fun, so he started skipping along.

This was all very odd for the strange little man. There was something like a small itch in his thoughts that asked him to consider how strange this situation was. The itch was small though so he choose to ignore and besides! The forest air smelled fine, didn’t it? It was probably being around all of the trees and fresh air that was giving him the extra umph! in his steps. And didn’t that just feel fine? Oh yes, the strange little man was feeling quite fine. So fine he decided to move from a skip to a slight run and on he ran for what amount of time he would never know. Until… Read the rest of this entry

This Day in Tea

This Day in Tea

tea-flowers1910, eyes were pointed towards the sky as Halley’s Comet made its return on April 20th. It won’t be seen again until 1986. Many months later in October Professor Robert Williams Wood will publish the first infrared photographs in the Royal Photographic Society’s journal. However, Caleb Castell cares nothing about what has passed or what is still to come because he is on a quest to find the most precious and rare of flowering teas. A quest that started many, many years earlier.

Tea had always been a big part of Caleb’s life as tea was a very important thing to his mother. His father had died when he was just a little boy and left him alone with his mother. She worked very hard and long hours as a seamstress for an uptown men’s suit shop. It was barely enough to get them by so treats were few and far between. When his mother wanted to treat them it was always with tea.

Now his mother and tea were almost like a sacred experience. She kept a small tea cabinet that held the very best pieces of china that she had either inherited or managed to purchase over the years. On their tea nights she would make a special setting at the small table where they took their dinners. She would light candles and drape everything in beautiful scraps of material she had managed to sneak from her work. It was all about atmosphere for her and creating a warm and intimate setting for her and young Caleb. For each one of these special teas she picked a different flavor. She would brew the tea and put it in her special silver tea pot and go through great dramatic gestures serving her son. Then she would sit, serve herself and together they would slowly sip their special tea. Then, with the tea warm in their bellies and the air smelling richly of its aroma, his mother would tell him old fairy tales that had been told to her in much the same way by her grandmother and mother… Read the rest of this entry