Molly, my sister, and I fell out,
And what do you think it was all about?
She loved coffee and I loved tea,
And that was the reason we couldn’t agree.
Traditional nursery rhyme
One of my sisters loves coffee; the other prefers Coke. Myself? I love my java in the morning. But the afternoon is right for tea. February afternoons, with the southern sun slanting in through the windows with the promise of spring, is the perfect time for tea. I love curling my chilly fingers around a warm mug. Reading novels written by British authors always seem to make me want a nice, steaming cuppa tea. Our neighbor always offers to make us tea after we eat dinner together. Go ahead; put the kettle on!
When I was pregnant with Emmy, I was concerned about the effects of herbal teas. Some herbs can cause contractions, and I wanted to avoid anything that might have been harmful to Roo (our name for Emmy before she was born.) I went to a tea shop in the mall close to us, and asked for advice. The woman there started looking through her tea book for a safe herbal tea, and together we found rooibos, a tea that comes from Africa. It is also called red tea, or bush tea. Perfect! Every time I drink this tea, I’m reminded of Mma Ramotswe, the detective in one of my favorite mystery series.
The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith
rating: 5 of 5 stars
Mma Ramotswe adored her late father. Mma Ramotswe knows cattle. Mma Ramotswe is of traditional build. Mma Ramotswe drinks bush tea. Mma Ramotswe solves mysteries brought to her detective agency in a way that coheres with her sensibilities. I fell in love with Mma Ramotswe, her prickly secretary, Mma Makutsi, and her good-hearted friend, Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni. Alexander McCall Smith brings Botswana to life, making this a warm read on a cold winter afternoon.