The conversation started innocently enough: A fellow tea aficionado and I ran around Manhattan eating, drinking tea, and, oh yes, being quite merry. Then he casually mentioned that another tea room recently closed. “Oh?” I asked, only mildly curious. Then I heard two words — Thé Adoré — and felt my body temperature lower, accompanied by a visceral grief pang.
Could this actually be true? Where would I go for a pot of Mariages Frères 1854? Outstanding tea and Japanese French patisserie gone? It was unthinkable.
My brain’s deep limbic system starting shifting emotional links to other fond tea memories and I thought about Takashimaya New York’s closing The Tea Box. I lunched there the last day it was open and saw them take the red awning down.
That red awning remains lodged in my tea consciousness as a place where, once upon a time, friends gathered and shared tea.
No, not Thé Adoré … please let there be some mistake. It could be a case of mistaken identity, couldn’t it? Isn’t that how the plot works out in movies? Let this be one of them.
For the record, I completely disagree with Mildred Diane Singleton, affectionately known as @MildewPea: She did more than, in her own tweeted words, “Liven things up a bit.” Then again, dear MildewPea was always more than any 140-character tweet. Although some tried, she was inimitable. For me, she remains a peculiar tea treasure.
My Twitter timeline already looks strange without her cheery words of encouragement, her cyber hugs and kisses, and, of course, her infamous tea trolley.
It was one of my greatest joys to share ideas for hosting church-related tea functions and for plotting future tea adventures with her beloved granddaughter. If a person’s words reveal the soul, then tea (and Twitter) knit our souls together. She understood tea was more than a beverage and the people who drink it are more than thumbnail-sized avatars.
For this and other lessons learned, I raise a proper cup to her memory.
Cups up good tea people!