tea poetry contest 2022 header

Congratultions to the Winners of T Ching’s 2022 Tea Poetry Contest

There were fifty-six entries in this year’s contest representing different genre. We thank everyone who participated and congratulate our winners. As interest grows in tea poetry, we can look forward to adding specific categories next year. 

 Winning poems below.

1st Place – Joann Condino

Joann Condino is a working artist and poet living in northern Michigan on the bluff overlooking Lake Michigan. Her days and sometimes nights are filled with making , teaching art and selling the work of fellow Northern Michigan artists in her Three Pines Studio and Gallery. One of her passions is designing and printing woodblock tea towels. Introduced to tea by a dear friend she makes her tea ritual a very important part of her day.

2nd Place – Leather Lavoie

I am a passionate amateur tea drinker in the process of writing a book on tea.

3rd Place – Barbara Coppel

I am a full-time cat mom from North Carolina. I enjoy exploring teas and the world with my husband. I like growing unusual plants and cultivating eclectic friendships. I hope to grow camellia sinensis starting this year.

Honorable Mention – Tie – Barbara Flaherty & Goran Gatalica

Barbara Flaherty

I wrote this poem for a tea party I had Apri 19th 2003. Since that time, I have had several tea parties. I introduced my 3-year-old granddaughter to tea and now at 17, she is a tea drinker. We enjoyed going to tea rooms often and she loved getting that as her birthday present. One year she requested that her birthday party to be a tea party. We had fun choosing the menu and setting up the table. I don’t consider myself a tea aficionado, however I enjoy good tea and have it every day. My favorite kind of tea is black. I am pretty much a purist. I don’t ever add milk and only occasionally a tiny amount of honey or raw sugar.

Goran Gatalica was born in Virovitica, Croatia, in 1982 and currently resides in Zagreb, Croatia. He finished both physics and chemistry degrees from the University of Zagreb and proceeded directly to a PhD program after graduation. He has published poetry, haiku, and prose in the literary journals and anthologies. Gatalica has received many honors for his poetry and haiku, including Award Dragutin Tadijanović, the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts for the poetry book Kozmolom (2017), the honor “Haiku Master of the Month” (Rikugien Gardens and Biei, NHK WORLD TV, Japan, 2016 and 2017), the Basho-an Award (Tokyo, Japan, 2019 and 2020). He is a member of the Croatian Writers’ Association.

1st Place

Tea Routine 

Days are defined by 

what tasks are done.

Week days – official work days

Weekends – chore days

There is a rhythm 

There is comfort in the pattern .

There is solace in routine:

We schedule meals  

when to wash our hair

paint our nails 

When to exercise

When to drink tea

When to breathe deeply

When to hope  

When to love

Then war comes

No routine 

No comfort

No solace

New pattern-








Every day

               –  Joann Condino

2nd Place

Hot bubbles boiling

Rising mist happiness

My tea kettle sings


                          – Heather Lavoie

3rd Place

Tea Time Ramblings…

We built a fire for comfort to relax

Maybe green tea to ease our backs

We put a kettle on to boil

Knowing our Pu-erh will never spoil

Soon we dreamed of taking Ataya in Dakar

While sipping rooibos from afar

Afternoon tea in London sounds so nice

We’d drink Earl Grey once or thrice

In the kingdom of the Czars

We’d make our tea with samovars

Over to the Outback for a cuppa

Make it from a root of yucca

In South America there’s no debate

Yerba Mate is just great

Back home with words of Lao-Tzu

Camellia sinensis, we love you!

                                         – Elizabeth Copple

Honorable Mention – Tie

Friendship Tea

Come sit and spend some time with me

And while we chat, we’ll drink some tea.

In this busy world of ours

There’s hardly time to sit for hours

To share a friend’s company.

We’re rushing here and rushing there

And don’t have time to sit and share,

A hope, a dream, a laugh or two.

I think it’s sad, don’t you?

So come and spend some time with me 

And while we chat, we’ll drink some tea.

                                                  – Barbara Flahrety

with clear awareness

my father turns his tea bowl

clockwise twice

                              –  Goron Gatalica