Silver Tea and Senior Moments

My grandmother (Dad’s mother) was a poised and gracious woman. I never heard her raise her voice; never saw her make any movement that was rushed or awkward. She was unfailingly kind and polite, with a gentle sense of humour. When she finally had to enter a care home after a devastating stroke, the staff affectionately nicknamed her “Queen Bea”. It suited her perfectly.

One of her little quirks has stayed with me all my life: Her preference for ‘silver tea’.

You won’t find silver tea in any internet search, because there’s no such thing. Maybe Grandma developed her taste for it during the war(s) or the Depression years when everything was either rationed or beyond their budget, or maybe it was just her preference; but its recipe was simple: A cup of hot water.

When offered coffee or tea, she’d smile and respond with her usual humorous twinkle: “I’ll just have silver tea, thank you.” And she’d pour herself a cup of hot water from the kettle. It became one of our family quips, and to this day I often drink silver tea when I don’t feel like brewing actual tea.

But the other day I inadvertently made ‘real’ silver tea. I didn’t think that was possible, since it doesn’t actually exist; but I managed it. I always have several tea infusers on the go, and I usually get two steepings from each. I’d brewed a cup of pumpkin pie rooibos in the morning, and decided to go for Round Two in the afternoon. I grabbed the infuser, dropped it into my mug, and poured boiling water over it. A few minutes later I checked on it, only to find no pleasant spicy aroma at all.

Yep, I’d accidentally grabbed an empty infuser. I wonder if I can market that as “Steeped Silver Tea”?

Normally I’d worry that I was showing early signs of ‘senior moments’ (and yes, I’m flattering myself by pretending I’m much too young for that). But since I was in the final throes of finishing Book 16, I wasn’t too concerned. After a decade of writing novels, I’ve come to accept that I simply don’t have enough brainpower to immerse myself in writing the final chapters of a book and stay on top of all the details of daily life.

Which leads me to my big announcement for this week: The draft of Book 16 is DONE, woohoo! It’s already been passed by my first speedy beta reader, and we have a title: Spy In The Sky. I’m hard at work on a blurb and cover art, and hopefully pre-orders will be available in a couple of weeks.

And soon (with any luck) my wrung-out brain will return to normal and I’ll drink silver tea by choice instead of by accident.

What’s your favourite cup of tea?

Book 16 update: The draft is done, and beta reading and final edits are speeding along. Then it’ll be into proofreading and production. Stay tuned for a cover reveal and release date!

(Want to get an email when Spy In The Sky is available? Click here to join my New Book Notification list.)

29 thoughts on “Silver Tea and Senior Moments

  1. Tea tastes like variants of feedlot runoff and boiled grass. That said, I do enjoy some of those variants once in a while. Earl Grey is one. Ukraine has entire aisles filled with different kinds and brands of tea. They also have not bad coffee but I prefer President’s Choice medium roast sent from Canada. Costs about the same as buying coffee in the shops.
    Congratulations on the completions on the first draft of #16.

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    • Thanks, I’m excited to have Book 16 moving toward the launch pad.

      Your flavour description made me laugh! It took a long time before I began to like tea — it was definitely an acquired taste. Even now I prefer flavoured green teas. Black tea? Blech. I wouldn’t quite call it feedlot runoff, but boiled grass is pretty close. 😉

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  2. I’d say that as busy and full as your brain must be on Book 16, if putting an empty tea infuser in hot water is the only issue you are doing very well. I’d likely go to the grocery store without pants, returning to leave then keys in the freezer and the ice cream in my purse.
    Congratulations on all the success!

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  3. I didn’t know what they called it, but I’ve been drinking silver tea for years. Sometimes, like you, I just can’t decide which tea, and other times it’s to warm up the body from inside out. I sometimes put a slice of lemon in it.
    Congrats on being ready to launch yet another exciting story. You are so blessed to be so creative.

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    • Thanks! I am blessed indeed — I don’t know how I ever got lucky enough to be able to make a living doing something I love!

      And I’ll have to try my silver tea with lemon sometime — that sounds tasty. 🙂

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  4. My favorite tea is English Breakfast tea. It must be brewed properly, in a tea pot and you add milk to your cup THEN pour the tea in. Don’t pour the tea and then add milk. It doesn’t work that way.

    oh, and no sugar – I’m sweet enough, thank you …

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    • I agree with you on the ‘no sugar’ point. And I’ve sidestepped the potential pitfalls of getting the milk out of order by drinking my tea clear (unless I’m making a chai latte, which isn’t really tea at all – it’s a dessert). 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I love that story about your grandmother. She sounds lovely. My grandmother always told us about buying their home and having to sit on apple crates until they could afford to furnish it, lol. And yeah that was early 40’s too. Creative and resourceful, that bunch. I have to admit to drinking “silver tea” (love calling it that) with lemon when allergies get tough. It’s soothing.

    Congratulations on book 16!!! I’m super excited for its release!

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    • Thanks, Michelle! I’m super excited to get Book 16 out there! 🙂 Your grandmother sounds wonderful, too. It’s truly amazing all the things we take for granted that weren’t even a possibility for our grandmothers.

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  6. English Breakfast Tea, but I think you are definitely onto a terrific idea with the Steeped Silver Tea. Living just south of the border I can tell you there are a lot of folks just ripe for picking. They will fall for just about anything.

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    • Hubby is an English Breakfast fan, too. So, it sounds as though my new Silver Tea product offering is a ‘go’. Now I just need some of those fancy silk tea bags. Empty, of course. And a fancy package to put them in. Ill-gotten gains, here I come! 😉

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  7. Huge congratulations are in order. Authors are my heroes and I am endlessly grateful to all of you.
    I do drink silver tea – but had not known its elegant name.
    Sadly on days when my mind has gone out to lunch without inviting me I have served it cold (forgetting to turn the jug on before pouring it into my cup.

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  8. My late father in law often drank silver tea although he never called it that. He was born in 1926 so perhaps it was a generational thing. I never drank tea until years ago when I was working in England for a few weeks. It seemed like an appropriate place to try my first cup. I don’t drink it often but I do like Earl Grey tea.

    Congratulations on Book 16!! I am so looking forward to reading it.

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    • Thank you! I’m eager to get Book 16 out in the world. It was hard work to write sometimes — even though the pandemic didn’t really affect my work-at-home life, it certainly used up a lot of my mental and emotional energy.

      I didn’t start drinking tea until I discovered flavoured teas. My only experience of tea was what my parents drank when I was a kid, and it was made from the cheapest teabags available. I thought it was awful, and I never touched the stuff until about 20 years ago. But now I’m hooked! 🙂

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  9. My better half has done this with the Nespresso machine. Although it’s not “silver coffee,” it’s very weak. As in, yesterday’s pod still in the machine, already having been completely wrung of flavor from its last usage. That was a Xmas gift for 2019, and she’d planned to use it every so often for a change. Now it’s often a twice-per-day “hit.” The nice thing is that the pods are recyclable–they give you free bags to send the pods back to them The aluminum is recycled, as are the grounds.

    My big thing here is iced tea–we go through a couple gallons per week. Lately it’s been bags of Red Rose tea, a dozen per gallon. (Its not fancy, but it does the job.) I’ve made it so many times in the past several years that I could almost do it blindfolded.

    I had a few specialty teas from when I lived near an upscale market on the other side of town, but by now I’m sure they are long past stale. One of them was a tea based on chocolate–I used to call it “diet hot chocolate.” Basically cocoa and other spices–it was good every once in a while. Another tea had different floral and fruit notes to it. It was good but not something I’d have every day.

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    • I’m fond of floral and fruity green teas, but I never could get excited about the chocolate-flavoured ones. Or vanilla or caramel — blech. They’re just a sad shadow of the real thing. I like coffee, but rarely drink it because it usually leaves me vibrating (and not in a fun X-rated way). And I chuckled at your wife’s ‘silver coffee’ because my step-mom has made it a few times with her Tassimo machine. It’s great that your Nespresso has fully recyclable pods! I’ll have to mention that to her when she wears out her current machine.

      Your iced tea sounds interesting — do you sweeten it and/or add lemon?

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  10. Yup, my Mum often drank just hot water. WWII thing? Not sure if she still does. She turns 100 this April!
    Oolong! I love a really good cup of Oolong tea. Kinda half way between green & black.
    Miss you but not the ID all nighters! Way to old for that now. Hugs. 🌷

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    • Wow, congratulations and best wishes to your Mum! That’s a major milestone. And it’s interesting that she’s a silver tea drinker, too — maybe it was a wartime thing. I love oolong, too! Yum. I’ll soon have to buy more.

      I don’t miss the ID all-nighters, either, but maybe they would have been more fun if I’d actually been good at interior design. I sure do miss you and those great times, though. It might be time to reenact the good parts: The music and art and laughter. I think we need an “art camp”! (And an end to the pandemic.)

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    • Completely forgot. My own work is getting what I hope to be it’s last hard (and so-far-uneventful) editing pass. And if this summer is not the same disastrous train wreck that last summer was, I might even get it published. Might. I’m certainly not promising anything. But here’s hoping. 👍

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      • That’s awesome! I’m so glad your manuscript is still progressing. The last edits are always the most difficult (and often the most important), and you’re smart to take your time with them. That’s why I never set anything but general deadlines for myself: Writing the best book possible takes as long as it takes. And if a pandemic swoops into town, well… then it takes longer. Will you be publishing under a pen name or your real one?

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