This past few days have seen the first iteration of the new arrangement for us at The Devotea; after joining forces with Baristador, we now have one weekend per month where we do ALL of our tea blending. Let’s just say last Saturday was busy.

Of course, part of the deal with Baristador Coffee is we get to blame Steve Davis for everything, which was handy as when we first appeared on the site, we thought the countdown clock would give us a month, but instead we appeared two days before the close. Damn you, Steve.

However, on reflection, this timing actually helped. This meant we didn’t really have a month’s worth first time ’round, but we did have some pent-up demand – it’s been over a year since we closed our tea selling operation (and a few people were very glad to have us back), so our first blending weekend offered such exciting challenges as a game of “where the hell did we put the heat sealer?” as well some other traditional blending activities such as asking the eternal question “who’s been drink all the Assam?” and trying to find a recipe. But we got through it, and by Saturday evening, everything was blended and packed.

Part of the reason that we wanted to get it all finalised was that I had volunteered to drive someone to an appointment, and then wait around for an hour or so, then collect them and the action was in the city. If I’m going to drive 35 kilometres to get these, why not spend the hour personally delivering the orders that are located near the city? Made sense.

So on Sunday, I mapped out a run and contacted some of the recipients to let them know to expect it Monday.

Of course, Monday morning, the person we were helping out cancelled. This wasn’t good timing, as I’d already promised all that tea. Could I let people down? NO!

So, it’s a tea run. This meant I altered my time of departure to work around some other tasks. And off I went.

I love personally delivering orders, because most of our drinkers enjoy a quick chat, as do I, and in my experience, delivering tea elevates you to the status of folk hero, somewhere between rescuing kittens and curing polio.

When I got to the very last delivery, it was the very best example of good timing. Our wonderful customer had popped home briefly and I happened to roll up with five excellent boxes of tea at just the right moment.

We had a quick chat and I found out that she was, very sadly, heading to her Dad’s place to hook up his TV to a laptop, in order to watch a live stream of a funeral.

I guess when people read things like this in the future, they’ll not realise how hard it is when someone passes away and only ten people are allowed at a funeral due to COVID-19. Funeral homes have taken to livestreaming them, but who wants to watch a funeral on a phone or tablet? Big TV is clearly the best option.

So, a small family get-together within the state-mandated limits, and, thanks to timing, a really excellent cup of tea.

After the funeral, the customer let me know that it was our Special Earl Grey that was chosen for the event.

That one happenstance of timing really made my day.