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Sunday, June 29, 2008

Thryothorus ludovicianus

Thryothorus ludovicianus - the Carolina Wren - is our State Bird here in South Carolina. Its loud, clear song is sometimes described as sounding like the phrase “tea-kettle, tea-kettle, tea-kettle.” The small bird with the big voice sings this three-syllable chord over and over again. They sing each set of chords in bursts of three-to-five repetitions, sometimes adding a final “tea” to close the chorus. How fitting that this "tea-kettle" bird should make its habitat in South Carolina, where Tea is the state hospitality beverage!!!

Book of the Week: "My Cup of Tea"


At the beginning of every week I showcase a favorite tea book from my collection. Since most of us are familiar with the "biggies" (Tea Lovers Treasury by Norwood Pratt; The Tea Companion by Jane Pettigrew; etc.) I'm pulling some of the perhaps lesser known books from my bookcase that you may hopefully find interesting.

Written by Sam Twining of the famous Twinings tea dynasty, I bought my copy of this book from the Twinings shop on The Strand in London, but it is available online through Amazon. Though only 64 pages it's full of unique tea information and superb photographs and images. It was here I learned that the Chinese put a real scallop shell as a scoop at the top of every chest, box, tub or pot of tea they exported- English silversmiths couldn't resist the idea which is why early caddy spoons were shaped like a shell!

A unique thing about this book is that it is - for the most part - the actual text that Mr. Twining uses in his presentations around the world on the subject of tea. It's a lovely book and a brilliant read.
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