“My dear, if you could give me a cup of tea to clear my muddle of a head I should better understand your affairs.”

–Charles Dickens

I think I’m going to start quoting this to my husband who gets up each morning before me.

“For if I could please myself I would always live as I lived there. I would chose always to breakfast at exactly eight and to be at my desk by nine, there to read or write till one. If a cup of good tea or coffee could be brought to me about eleven, so much the better. Tea should be taken in solitude.”

–C.S. Lewis, Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life

Sigh. It’s the predictable men we appreciate in our old age and disdain in our youth. I hope Mr. Lewis will not only want tea in solitude in the next life. I anticipate the chance to share a cup or two with him.


“The cup of tea on arrival at a country house is a thing which, as a rule, I particularly enjoy. I like the crackling logs, the shaded lights, the scent of buttered toast, the general atmosphere of leisured coziness.”

–P.G. Wodehouse, The Code of the Woosters

Yes, any writer of fiction taking place in a culture outside America should know that culture’s tea traditions.

“It snowed last year too: I made a snowman and my brother knocked it down and I knocked my brother down and then we had tea.”

–Dylan Thomas, A Child’s Christmas in Wales

Heheh. As the mother of brothers, this tea quote gives me a chuckle.

“Tea is drunk to forget the kin of the world.”–T’ien Yiheng

Chinese men know it. European men know it. Will American men learn it?