I had to face this fact when I photographed my latest cupcakes – there it was, in shot again, the all-too-familiar sight…
A cup of tea.
I realised that a cup of tea featured in many of my photos. Quite naturally, I should add (but not in a defensive or shameful manner), because it’s highly likely that as I was taking the pic, I was about to eat the subject — or had already started to — and a cup of tea was just the thing to go with it.
So there’s a cup of green tea with an almond croissant; my mother’s Cornish blue tea cup and saucer with the orange and almond cake (that was a good cake, wasn’t it?). The delicate girly spots (another hand me down) with the woeful berry slice. The teapot itself, with one of the crazy cosies knitted by mum, even edged in with the sticky date puddings.
And chances are, that if it’s not actually in shot, there’s a mug or cup off to the side, waiting to be drunk.
I have said before that I am not a coffee person; I am tea all the way, baby. My long-standing favourite is green tea. It is both calming and bolstering; it gets me through work until mid-afternoon, when I need something stronger to push thru the final hour or so. That’s when I might switch to earl grey in the wintertime, and the lighter, brighter lady grey in the warmer months. I also have a post-dinner peppermint tea and a square (or two) of dark chocolate (I must say, I have the most minty peppermint tea at M’s in Melbourne – she grows the best peppermint in the world, and I always leave wishing I could smuggle a root of it through Hobart airport’s quarantine to grow my own).
Here’s what I don’t do: fruit or flower teas of any description. That smoky stuff. Rooibos (which tasted like dust). Chai (shudder). Milk in tea, or sugar. Which may make me boring and unadventurous, but it also makes me the easiest person in the world to make tea for: ‘just the tea and the water, thank you’.
And, it seems, with just about everything I eat and photograph.