Tea cups, I have noticed, all have their unique personality. When I awaken in the wee hours of the morning they speak differently to me, so I am careful who I bring to my lips.
If it is around 2 AM to 4 AM, I reach for a light, white cup with soft butterflies, flowers, leaves, and words that begin with “a mother is love,” and there after follows a sweet poem. One of my children gave this cup to me.
If I am drinking chai, I enjoy the cup given to me by my younger brother. It is from a café in Santa Cruz, California we called Dr. Pergolesi, though I’m not sure if it was owned by an actual doctor. It’s closed now, but their unique chai was the first I’d ever experienced. The cup is 8 ounces and has a simple design with the words “Caffe Pergolesi.” Memories escape the past, floating to the present when I called myself a designer. It was another life, but it comes to visit me now and then.
My favorite time in the morning, right before dawn, generally calls for a little bigger vessel. My midnight black cup feels smooth; it has no words, and the rim of the cup meets my mouth in a way that the tongue and hands and lips can all agree is quiet.
At cafés, I bring my personalized cup with one of my café characters drawings printed on it. The handle feels good, and I have the additional welcoming company of the character on the cup. “She“ has her own personality, just like I have mine. It’s good to drink tea with someone you like.
In the afternoon, a variety of cups could join me. There are cups that contained gifts of flowers. Delicate little things that held a sweet bouquet, and the cup now holds a “bouquet of flavors.” The lovely memory that someone cared about me, and thought to send me one of my favorite things, flowers, delights me! These are a couple of my sweet tea cups.
My working sessions call for cups that say “relax,“  like some cups my students gave me which each have words that end in “tea.” Creativi-tea, Sereni-tea, Prosperi-tea. These are my favorites at the office for any type of tea but mostly fruit teas like peach, blueberry, orange, or flower teas like hibiscus, chamomile, and lavender.
The evening calls for a wide, round barrel cup that my hands, both of them, can wrap around. A cup one can hang out with, like a guy who’s funny and warms your spirit. One who can tell you a story or poem or a good joke.
Now each cup has its own personality and I save one in particular for certain clients. It has the word tea in several languages. This cup I reserve mostly for my distant sessions online, with clients from far away places. I love listening to the beautiful melody of different accents, and imagining how wonderful it would have been to speak five to seven languages like my great-grandparents. My clients from India and Mexico, Slavic countries, China, Germany, Denmark, Portugal, and others are connecting with me, and somehow my multilanguage cup connects us with the beauty of respecting every nation and language. Each person from each country is acknowledged in my heart and through my tea cup.
When my dear friend from England visits, I pull out the teapot and matching cups. I have a couple sets, one with Asian designs for green tea and one, an Italian fruity pot that holds cups for two for tea. Another set I like is actually for Christmas, matching the creamer and sugar bowl. They add just enough formality to say that this is a special time of few distractions, so that we can enjoy one another’s stories.
I have a couple sets of small special cups with gold rims that I use when making a special recipe of chai the way my good friend Pushpa taught me, with ginger, pepper and spice, milk, honey, and black tea. These cups might also be used for hot spiced apple cider. They have known cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, pepper, and many smiles. You might be interested in what cups are used for coffee, but that’s another story.
For now, let’s enjoy our cup of tea.
What do you think about the cups you use? Are there special characters living in your cabinet? Do you save cups for particular guests?
You can leave a comment on this post, or contact me at Apositiva. I’d love to hear your stories.