My daughter, who is now 17, became very interested in tea when she was in middle school. It started with tea bags. Every opportunity she took to influence my generosity, another box of tea would find its place in our pantry. I didn’t think much about this, other than how wonderful it was that she enjoyed tea and not teenage drama.
One day on a treasured girl’s day out, we happened upon a tea ceremony. A whole new world opened up—-we learned to tap our fingers to signal “thank you”; we learned about puerh, oolong and fermentation. She brought home her first bag of loose leaf tea.
A few months later, Roberta Fuhr opened her tea shop in Issaquah, Experience Tea. I remember thinking how fortuitous it was to have a local source of this interesting elixir. Madison, my daughter, took Roberta’s classes. Not long after, my friend asked me to thank Madison for all the boxes of tea. My daughter had given away all that “dust” in favor of whole leaves.
Moment after moment of tea began to happen. Madison poured tea for visitors in our home, a comforting way to find something to chat about for my dear, shy child. My husband became curious and Madison taught him, gave him cups to savor and over time, they rekindled the bond that had abruptly disappeared during her early adolescence. Our younger son, as bouncy and kinetic as you might imagine, would sip tea with Madison on winter evenings, foregoing his cherished hot chocolate.
These days, we all drink tea when it’s time to read, time to garden, time to relax or perk up. Madi and her friends are often at our table, sipping and giggling. Tea draws us out of the corners of our house and into the common spaces. It’s much more than a drink. It’s an experience in each and every sip and it is all the better when it’s shared.
… Sara, a patron at Experience Tea,
195 Front St, N. Issaquah, WA