Wednesday, November 22, 2006


(Work, deadlines and scheduling conflicts are interfering with thinking, reading, researching and blogging. Here’s my offering for today.)

Here's an example of something for which I'm thankful. I received this email from Juile.

Isn't this a wonderful response from a very busy woman? I had no idea there was so much to be known about this tasty hot drink. Just thought I'd share. I'm ashamed of my doubts that she would take the time.

Julie had read a new author and was intrigued by a fictional character’s habit of drinking tea and the details the author included about tea. We were in Sedona and saw a small, unusual tea house. Julie purchased a cup of tea and several tea bags printed not with English but with Chinese characters. This experience motivated Julie to email the author of the books. Here’s her email to the author.

I recently discovered your books through a web search and have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Lydia and Bill. I'm in the middle of Reflecting the Sky and lack only Concourse and Mandarin Plaid to finish them all. Your writing syle is wonderful and I look forward your next book.

I'm writing today out of curiosity. Are you a fan of delicious teas or is the detail on that subject nothing more than in keeping with Lydia's character? You have done such a good job of interjecting tea drinking into the plot of your books that I have decided I'm missing a very good thing and have begun a quest to learn about and sample oriental teas till I find a few that fit the bill.

If you are a tea lover, can you recommend a starting point for me?

Surprise! The busy author replied.

Julie --

What a great question! And thanks for the kind words about the books. Sorry it took me so long to get back to you but my life's like that.

I am, in fact, a tea lover. Though I don't have Lydia's life-long
experience, or, I think, her palate. Still, I can help you get started if you want.

First, a quick tea lesson. … (details deleted)

And now that the lesson's over, try this: go to which is a tea shop in Minnesota, and tell Bill Waddington you want to try some new teas, and that SJ Rozan sent you. And have fun!

-- SJ

Julie has emailed other authors and received replies.

I like the information age with access to news, knowledge, opinions, photos and email which makes it possible for Julie to communicate with family, friends and authors. On this Thanksgiving, I’m thankful for the Internet. I’ve met many wonderful people via blogging. I’ve been inspired, saddened, provoked to anger, amused and made to think and ponder. I’ve made friends – some whom I’ve met and some I hope to meet. Yes, I’m thankful for the Internet because it connects me to you.

Not all of you are Americans. Some of you are in the UK, Australia and Canada. Regardless of where you are – Happy Thanksgiving! I’m thankful for you.

(Julie and I are meeting her sister and brother-in-law, Deb and Chris, in Tucson to celebrate Thanksgiving, to spend time together and to hike and explore new mountains. My posts may be late, intermittent or missing for the next five days.)


Blogger arcolaura said...

Happy Thanksgiving!

There is something wonderful about the way the internet connects us with real people who can offer their own personal experience and advice. Often it seems to fit better than any generic resources that you might find in a library or even from a web search.

11/22/2006 08:49:00 AM  
Blogger robin andrea said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you too.

I'd love to know the details of the tea drinking that the author sent, if it is appropriate to share. I'm a tea drinker, and would love to know more. I'm going to check out that tea website, and am already thankful for a new link!

11/22/2006 12:35:00 PM  
Blogger Paul said...

Robin Andrea, I almost put a note where I deleted part of the email offering the details if anyone was interested. Hhere's the missing part of the email:

First, a quick tea lesson. Tea comes in 3 kinds: black, green, and oolong. All these are genuine tea from the tea plant. All the brews called "herbal teas" are, strictly speaking, "tisanes." (Remember Hercule Poirot? "My tisane, Miss Lemon, if you please?") A tisane is anything brewed in hot water that's not from the tea plant, including rooibos, the red bush tea from Africa that everyone drinks these days.

Black, green, and oolong teas, though, can have various additions, flavorings, etc.; they're still teas.

The difference among black, green, and oolong teas is a difference of what's referred to as "fermentation" but that's a misnomer. The leaves aren't really fermented, they're oxidized. Green teas have been less oxidized than oolongs, which have been less oxidized than blacks. And though it's all the same plant, there are many varieties, as with, for example, apples.

Asians tend to drink more green and oolong teas than westerners. Lydia Chin drinks all kinds of tea, being a New Yorker.

Green teas should be brewed for no more than a minute in water that hasn't quite boiled. Otherwise it gets bitter, a common complaint about green tea from people who don't know what they're doing. Black teas should be brewed for four minutes in water that's just boiled. Black teas take to milk and sugar, but don't need them (like coffee, it's up to you) and greens and oolongs don't, though some people do put sugar in oolongs.

11/22/2006 12:53:00 PM  
Blogger Whitesnake said...

I too am a tea drinker......

Now Paul....get up off the floor and stop laughing....I do drink a lot of tea.....

I like breakfast tea's best...
I have yet to find a green tea that is consistant.......

Happy Thanksgiving to you too

11/22/2006 01:25:00 PM  
Blogger Alex Pendragon said...

Don't you worry, partner, we will await your return with bated breath! Have a happy holiday!

The wife loves teas, but me, well, I'm a coffee man.

11/22/2006 05:44:00 PM  
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8/03/2009 12:22:00 AM  

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