Nine cups, and I'm buzzing. I'm vibrating — like the girl in the Robyn Hitchcock song, cross-legged on the bed, multifoliated. Just back from a tea tasting, a good one, so good I finished nearly all the samples. At 9 p.m. Oops.
A while back I read something, which now of course I can't find, about "tea mind." Not the Lu Tong poem, but another blogger discussing the moment when — usually at the fifth cup — he transcends a bit. It's that T-spot, when the theanines hit their mark and you're both hyper-alert and relaxed at the same time. It's the reason we've been sipping this stimulant for centuries.
Lu Tong goes all the way to seven before offering a warning, though the smelly pits aren't exactly the direst of circumstances I could imagine following a link to the heavens. Here's his verse:
The first bowl of tea moistens my throat,
the second breaks my loneliness, and
the third bowl racks my brains, bringing to light the texts of 5,000 volumes.
The fourth induces perspiration whereby all ills evaporate through my pores.
The fifth makes my muscles and bones feel light, and
the sixth links me to celestials.
Be careful when drinking the seventh bowl,
as it makes you feel as if a cool breeze were coming from your armpits.
I'm pretty sensitive to caffeine. I enjoyed a really good cup of coffee a few weeks ago, the first java I'd had in aeons. Then I remembered why I don't drink coffee anymore. Jitters turned into some kind of palpitations on the train home. It takes about 80 cups to kill a man, but just the one nearly turned me into Franklin Hart ("How did he die?" "Too much coffee ...").
The rain never really arrived, it's steamy out. I've got a breeze from my arms, but it ain't cool. I'll be lucky to get to sleep. And O! the irony: Woody Allen's "Sleeper" is on the DVR. Perfectamundo.