Close up Hands Tea x

Sit a bit and hear some observational stories I’ve been steeping.

Monkey Picked

Tea Monkey PickedAs the lucky recipient of a monthly Tea Club gift for my last birthday, I am always tickled by the arrival of the box when the mailman delivers it.  I knew, when I first opened the initial gift on my birthday day, I thrilled to discover that I was that going to have a different tea show up on my doorstep every thirty days and that it was going to be a yummy treat.  However, the raucous laughter and conversation that ultimately showed up in addition to the tea – was a most delicious bonus.

For example, reading the ingredients for this month’s offering made for thirty minutes of uninterrupted, pure rattle-the-rooftops gahsnorfling that just made my day.  Oh, thank you to that person who plunked down the chunk of change for this gift that keeps on giving.  I’m sure you had no idea of the entertainment value you were getting when you signed the dotted line of that credit card receipt.

Monkey Picked Oolong Tea.

Oolong.  Now, that right there — is a marvelous word to roll around in your mouth and rattle around in your brain for a bit, while your tea cools.  Growing up and learning to love tea, I loved the taste of Oolong, but the word Oolong made it a little extra special.  Oooh!  Ewww!  It was funny.  It was delicious.  It was two treats in one!

But, MONKEY PICKED Oolong Tea?!  Oh, puh-lease!

First off, my brain immediately turned that phrase into Monkey Pickled Oolong Tea and that was a brief chuckle.  Then…I self-corrected and read it again.  MONKEY PICKED Oolong Tea.

It’s not hyphened, so I had to make peace with the idea that monkeys didn’t actually PICK the tea.  Or… DID they?!

Typos happen all the time.

The concept of a Primate Picking Union and the image of their monthly meetings; potential working conditions; and the idea of elitist snobs who demand only teas picked by dexterous monkey digits wrecked me.  When Mr. T. entered into the conversation with his thoughts on the matter, well… to quote every Hollywood script known to man (and monkey): Hilarity ensued.

Then, after consuming a solid mug or two of this Monkey Picked Oolong Tea, Google got involved.

Turns out, according the good people of that “legend has it that monkeys were trained by monks to pick the choicest leaves from wild tea trees.”  Hmm. If anybody could pull that off, those monks are pretty legendarily patient.  I struggled to get my kids to pick their dirty clothes off their floor so I could steep them in the washing machine once-a-week.  Oh, those clever monks.  And clever monkeys!

Today, they tell me, monkey-picked (Oooh! There’s that hyphen that was missing from my package of tea) simply means the “highest quality” tea available.

Now, if only I could arrange for the laundry on the floor to get the same treatment.  Maybe there’s union (or hyphen) for that.

xo – t.

Monkeys are superior to men in this: when a monkey looks into a mirror, he sees a monkey.” – Malcolm de Chaza

I learned the way a monkey learns – by watching its parents.” – Prince Charles

You never monkey with the truth.” – Ben Bradlee


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