August Tea Time

I don’t mind that Elizabeth Gilbert is a better writer than I am. I don’t mind that’s she’s blonder, cuter, smarter, and has Julia Roberts playing her in the movie that has been made from her mega-bestseller memoir. Really, I don’t.

But when  The Republic of Tea came out with an Eat, Pray, Love tea, that’s when I said to myself, Now wait just a damn minute.

If you’ve read my book, then  you might have noticed that

1. There’s a lot of cats in it.

2. There’s also a lot of tea in it.

3. There’s even cats and tea in it.

4. See: August chapter, page 126:

I love tea. I love its place in my life, the thoughtful, calm, creative, alone, place where I sit with myself and a good book, a fat cat, a comfy chair, and my favorite cup. I love its place in all other tea drinkers’ lives, which is also its place in literature, culture, and friendship. And I want my own brand of tea, damn it.

And I really really really want to design the box that it will come in. Six sides, all illustrated with a scene of tea heaven — that  clean, well-lit place that soothes the soul. I have it all planned out in my head, and it’s gorgeous: it will be the best box of tea the Earth has ever seen.

But, if any writer had to beat me at my own tea dreams, I’m glad it’s Elizabeth Gilbert, so I got on line and ordered two tins of Eat, Pray, Love tea (available only on line for a limited time, at

I got my tins yesterday and I had a cup: it’s a Blood Orange Cinnamon Black Tea, very aromatic and spicy, full of familiar and foreign flavors that are elusive yet comforting. It’s a perfect tea for an afternoon voyage to a new mental landscape. And I want to offer my lovely readers the chance to win a tin!

But there’s a catch: I need your help. I don’t have a name for my tea. And I know that a lot of you are pretty spiffy tea drinkers yourselves and much more clever than I am, so here’s the deal: send me your dream tea name, in the Comments section below, and the winning name’s author will receive a tin of Eat,Pray,Love tea (50 tea bags) from me, with a specially-hand made card of thanks (and your name on my tea box). Because mark my words, if the universe works the way Oprah says it does, then I will get my own tea one day.

(My souvenir Buckingham Palace 1994 tea mug not included in contest prize)

Keep in mind that my tea will be:

Black. That means Indian and/or African tea. I do not care for green tea, not that I judge people who like green tea or that I’m judging green tea (which I really am) but I prefer the color, body, taste, and ooomph of black tea.

I want some Madagascar vanilla flavor in my tea. Vanilla is my favorite flavor in the world, and Madagascar is my favorite country name in the world. And I’m very fond of the Madagascar Sun Set Moth.

I am against putting milk in tea.

I like the way tea tastes in a paper cup.

NO PUNS. God, I hate puns.

Deadline for your tea suggestions will be next Friday, August 13, when coincidently, the movie Eat, Pray, Love opens.

Drink. Think. Write to me.