#Milk in Your #Tea?


“I am from a cup of King Cole black tea/steeping in a brown betty pot” For those not in the know King Cole is an east coast tea – strong & black; ‘brown betty’ is a specific type of tea pot. I have always been area drinker – went through cycles of Celestial Seasonings, Twinings & others. In the end I came back to the family favourite ‘Red Rose’ then expanded from that to a wide range of black, mostly orange pekoe, teas.


I’ve tried green teas but never found one full bodied enough for me. I like my dark side 🙂 I went through a phase of Earl Grey – to perfume for me; Darjeeling too delicate. Of the non-pekoe I love lapsang souchong with its very strong smokey taste. On my tea shelf I have over dozen varieties so I can have a different cup of tea every morning.whitewet

I drink it with some milk & no sweetener, except for the lapsang which needs a little sweetness. I found sweeteners: sugar, honey or artificial would mask the taste of the tea too much. Recently I stopped adding milk & am adjusting to that gradually.sky01

A friend told me that he’d seen a documentary that said milk weakened the beneficial effects of tea. I did my own research and, like all studies, the conclusions are inconclusive. The number of people in the studies was less than 20. The data was sadly incomplete, to me. How much tea did they drink, how much milk, what was the size of the cup etc. It reminded me of when I tried to find out how large the glass was when it was recommended one drink 8 glasses of water a day.sky02

I also wondered if one had a bowl of cereal with milk, before or after the cup of no milk tea, would the milk already in your stomach bind with the flavonoids in the tea? What about anything else one ate with the tea – most people have something. But given the lack of solid answer I was willing to try milkless tea. It’s an acquired taste but think of the money & time I save by not having to add that milk 🙂


Man With A Past

I am from a cup of King Cole black tea

steeping in a brown betty pot

flat fried scones

burned pancakes on Sunday mornings


born in Manitoba

moved to Cape Breton before I was ten

the Cape is an island of cousins aunts uncles

I had none

only good parents who couldn’t protect me

from a context they wanted to fit


I am from the rusted rain

seeded by steel plant exhaust

black pearl gritted snow

that fell in layers of grey white grey white


my mother a Welsh war bride

a family of eleven brothers and sisters

lots of cousins aunts uncles in-laws

oceans too far away

to coax me into this island world

told that not fitting in was my fault

why didn’t I try harder   be more like other kids

so I hid   but that’s not the point

because we all hide


I am from an east coast pollution pulsation

I still call home

where paying the rent and feeding the kids

was worth the cold damp steel poison price


I am from Swedes who changed

the last name of their first born to Armstrong

a name I could never live up to

never defend in school yard brawls

would come home

with a bloodied nose   bruises

that disappointed my dad

who didn’t understand

why I couldn’t stand up for myself


stranded on the molehill of

growing up queer

no role models to offer hope

in a culture of judgement and fear

so I hid   but that’s not the point

because we all hide


I am diverted from

the history I have

by a history that is denied to me

when researchers into

the lives of gay men and women

in WWII fighting forces

are asked why sully the memory

of our brave men and women


I am from an unrecorded past

where there was no name

till what I am became labelled

by incomprehensible fear

the point is – I survived what past I had

by creating a self out of the fear and shame

hidden in my past

but today

no longer hiding from it


Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

tea time submarine


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