Third of three posts regarding Teens and Tea

“This is white tea?” Martin, a senior boy, peered into his cup.

“No, you dweeb, it’s green!” Malachy downed his tea in a single gulp.

“How did you do that?” Millie batted her eyelashes at Malachy, “It’s so hot.”

“I like it hot. Really hot.” Something in Malachy’s inflection led me to believe that perhaps he wasn’t talking about the tea. He reached for the pot, shook it, and peered inside.

It was the third session of teens and tea. The first, boys only, was a time of innocence and reverence. The second, only girls, was rather like a quilting bee. This was a mixed group, and – in the space of a nanosecond – viewed by the participants as a possible opportunity to pass their DNA on to the next generation.

I was serving Matcha Genmaicha, and the toasty roasty fumes of that lovely blend filled the room. I told the students about the tea, as Millie and Malachy eyed each other over the rims of their cups. Darla and Elise sipped their tea with amused expressions on their faces. Lenny got up to join Darla and Elise in their hemisphere of the round table.

Martin needed to get back into the game. “Hey, Rafe. If a bear walks into a room, and there is a reader and a writer in the room, which one is he gonna eat?” I repeated the question, a tactic used to hasten a punchline, which is almost NEVER withheld.

“He’s gonna eat the reader! Wanna know why?” I complied. “He’s gonna eat the reader because readers digest and writer’s block! Get it?” He guffawed. Everyone groaned. The exquisite tension between Millie and Malachy was broken. First time I can remember being grateful for a pun.

“Is there any more tea?” Lenny’s deep voice sounded like God Himself had joined us. “The rice is a nice touch.” I steeped the leaves again, explaining that the tea would not be quite as fragrant, but still satisfying. Darla declined a second cup.

“Are you inviting different people every week? Or, can we come again?” The bell rang, we said our goodbyes, and I was left wondering about the future of a tea dating service.