Sunday, September 18, 2011

'Whose kettle scarcely has time to cool'

Happy birthday to Samuel Johnson (center, taking tea, above), one of the world's most formidable tea drinkers. A prolific writer in London in the mid-1700s, Johnson self-described as "a hardened and shameless tea-drinker, who has, for twenty years, diluted his meals with only the infusion of this fascinating plant; whose kettle has scarcely time to cool; who with tea amuses the evening, with tea solaces the midnight, and, with tea, welcomes the morning."

Amen, sister.

If you haven't read the entirety of his critical essay, "Review of 'A Journal of Eight Days' Journey,'" from whence that comes, it's worth a Sunday afternoon perusal. Johnson eviscerates a fellow author who proclaimed tea to be an evil influence in Britain (and got most of his facts wrong in the process). You can find the text here, after you've poured a cup.

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