When Cups Start Flipping – Tea and Quitting


Quitting is not an option and failure is not defeat.

– Verna L. Hamilton

Living is similar to drinking a fine oolong tea: if you’re committed to experiencing it fully, then expect that the cup’s contents will flip. In fact, a flip is necessary for releasing the oolong’s distinctive aroma into the aroma cup (see picture on left).

(Please don’t try inhaling an aroma cup while it’s full. It works so much better once empty.)

Oooo… What?

For all new Straight From The Leaf readers — Welcome! Oolong (pronounced”oo-long”) is the fragrant tea type that results from a highly complex, semi-oxidized process. To put this tea type into perspective, let’s review the tea oxidation continuum from no-to-low-oxidized white/green to the truly fermented aged pu’erh.

  • White
  • Green
  • Yellow
  • Black
  • Pu’erh

More Than a Single Infusion

Oolongs are for time-released enjoyment. Expect any decent oolong tea have at least five (5) distinct infusions from the same leaves.

Wait… I hear the collective groan, some weeping, and perhaps gnashing of teeth.

The leaves are gone, aren’t they? Tossed. Admit it.

(Please let there be a moment of silence for all the oolong tea leaves discarded before their time.)

Forgive yourself if you feel regret over wasting cups and cups of great and expensive oolong beginning to bombard your thoughts.

Yes, it was a mistake. Mistakes happen. What we do after we discover our mistakes is what separates the liquor from the leaves.

The “Q” Four-Letter Word

The above quote is a vital component of my personal mission statement. Every time I remind myself that quitting is not an option, tenacity starts stirring up.

If we spend anytime around tea, then there will inevitably be a spill. Tea is a liquid and so it will flow whether or not there is a container to hold it. That’s what it does whether we agree or not.

Would you give up drinking tea because of a broken cup and/or one spill? Of course not.

Like tea, if we live long enough we will face adversity. Regardless of the specifics, watching careful effort spill all over the place is painful to see. However, it doesn’t mean life ceases. This is when tenacity becomes the cup that assists us to hold hot and bitter circumstances within our hands without losing it.

We refuse to stop living when there’s at least one more infusion with our name on it. Remember the one who holds the cup is stronger than what the cup contains.

Go ahead. Clean up what needs correction. Make any necessary adjustments. Then, by all means, make another cup of tea.

Cups up!


2 responses »

  1. Pingback: Taking A Dump – Tea and Foolishness « Straight From The Leaf

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