Tea is certainly one of my favorite nouns – right up there with tomato, chocolate, sleep, and book. With its 5,000-year history impacting cultures all over the world, tea is a common noun of uncommon complexity. Just think of all the adjectives you deal with at a tea lounge: Black, green, oolong, white are just preliminary. Often, the country or region becomes part of the adjective parade in front of that noun: Black ceylon tea. It rarely stops there. Process becomes part of the line up: Twisted high mountain oolong tea. When I browse tea stores online, I must admit to a guilty pleasure in the adjective-laden names of teas “sparrow’s tongue” and “Margaret’s Hope muscatel.” (That muscatel sounds like the perfect title for a gothic romance.) There is no doubt that tea continues to inspire adjectives.
As a noun, tea needs a verb to come to life – boil, brew, steep, time, serve, drink, savor, enjoy – for the consumer. For the tea grower, processor, and seller several more industry-specific verbs are applied.
Because of tea’s influence globally, tea enjoys a rich and varied role as an adjective. Tea party, tea cake, tea dress, tea towel, teacup, tea parlor, tea cozy, tea trade, tea fair, tea blog, tea rose. . .
Enriching lives, enriching language. Tea is a complete thought.
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