By Trina Machacek

Tea is an all season drink. Tea is an all encompassing drink that can go from sweat stopping coolness to tongue sizzling chest opening goodness with the flip of a flame. Best of all it can do the cold or the hot no matter what the outside temperature reports. It’s all in what you need from tea. Most importantly, how to get that desired effect from your cup, mug, glass, bottle or any other delivery method of tea to your tummy.  To learn just all the things tea has to offer? For that you might need a tea professor.

I am not a tea professor.  If it goes beyond a tiny staple keeping a tag out of the boiling hot water down to the good enough for me flow through tea bag? I have no insight to all that tea can do for me. But. Yes a tea seeped “but.” But I never say no when someone offers me a new tea to take home and try. That’s why recently when I was feeling a little put upon because I didn’t feel top of my game, I brought down my Tupperware tea canister.

Such a lovely hue of orange stacked on top of the flour one that now holds brown sugar because it keeps drying out. Such another tale of Trina.

I set a pot of water on and went to find just the right tea. I didn’t buy the teas I have stuffed beyond the comfort zone in my canister. They have been given to me over the years. Yes, years. I don’t know how long a tea bag is suppose to last but I read once that there were seeds in King Tut’s tomb that sprouted so I figure all this tea I have squirrelled away for years is good for a while.

After all it comes to life when you dunk it in boiling water. That in itself tells me it has a long, long shelf life. And it’s been kept in Tupperware for goodness sakes.

I have tea friends who can cure anything that ails you with tea. Cough? Consumption? Big toe that fades to the left when line dancing? No problem. Just take this who-haw bag swing it around three times to the left, slam it in water boiling hotter that lava then let it fester for three minutes, drink it down and poof. You can dance like John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever. Notice I did not say Fred Astaire. Oh that takes a tea that can only be found in the far reaching nexus of the universe. Dang, I don’t have a tea bag for that.

Of course that’s all in fun. There really is a science to tea. Apparently it is a lifelong adventure and learning experience to get the best of what tea has to offer.  I mean have you seen the tea section of your favorite store? I thought there were lots of types, flavors, blends and roasts to coffee. Well, I’m here to tell you coffee has nothing on tea. 

You gage how badly you need tea, and what you need it for by the description on the little boxes that are filled with magical bags. Inside the boxes the bags, if they are not hermetically sealed in foil pouches, they are tenderly lined in delicately folded tea papers to keep them all lined up and fresh.

Lemon grass, peppermint, orange, black, green. Chi. Spiced Chi. Winter Chi. I wonder what the difference between winter and summer Chi tea is? Sleepy time, awake time, calming time, and something called “Red Tea.” That one even kinda scares me. I mean beyond turning the water a bright cheery cherry red it might do something to my soul. Not taking that step.

In my quest for something to warm my innards and wet my whistle I found an array of good wishes teas from friends who only wanted to share their tea experiences with me. What do you think I did as I sat looking at them all, waiting for my watched pot of water to finally boil? I dug and dug until, there it was.

The perfect bag for what ails me. Lipton, flow through teabag secured in a paper holder that you slip your finger under, grab hold of the little tab attached to the string with a teeny tiny staple, pull it out and plop it in water. Yes I have still to convince myself there is something beyond a good plain warm, brown, sugar added as I like it, cup of tea. Not sure I will ever try any of them, but I am glad they are there to make people feel better in all the ways they need to.

Pinkies up!

Trina lives in Eureka. Her book, “They Call Me Weener,” is available on or email her at to get a signed copy.