June and July sort of merged together around the edges in my mind, as far as theme.
June was heavy because it was the last month to try to finish detangling my life from that of the human I had been in a long-term relationship with.
For a long list of reasons, some of which are covered in other posts, this was stressful. It was complicated. It was tiring. Many other descriptive words could be used that I won’t list right now, because, as previously stated, they have been covered or will be covered other places.
Unfortunately, the flavour of stress, and the type of tired had me falling back into some very old, very bad patterns.
In the end, to help me fight back against some of it, I decided I needed a black tea that I could decaffeinate that would hit a combination of tastes and utilities that would make it easy to convince myself to drink, even if the version on hand was decaf.
This led to 10-480. I speak about it in a bit more detail in its naming post. As of when I am typing this, a name has not been decided on, but the current front-runner is Shelter from the Storm. (Beyond the obvious connection, this has musical resonance for me, in more than one positive fashion. Attachment to music is usually a win.)
July did not start much better.
Fireworks and I do not get along.
They started later at this domicile than they did at the prior, but they were much more intense, and as the month dragged on, became more and more random.
Combine that with the heat we’ve been experiencing – which has been relatively low-grade compared to many places this summer, which is really strange to say, given that I live in a desert – I’ve been short on sleep, have been having more difficulty than usual convincing myself to eat, and life has been just generally sandpapery.
Erosive aggravation and frustration that I can feel and know is no-one’s fault.
I circled around and around and around the idea of choosing a July tea.
Felt like I was beating my head against a wall because the theme needed to be different from June’s, right?
So, I asked how July had been in a couple of social media spaces. As it turns out, July and the heat and the noise and the explosions and the… had been rough on others, too.
Which released me from the corner I had painted myself into.
A recent survey had given me a handful of ideas for new foundational blending teas, and while I did not want to make the tea ideas that were the reason why1, I chose one of them to be the starting point for a specifically-for-July tea.
Once I’d rigged up that new foundational, I sat down with all of my standard Tea of the Month Club surveys and created an over-arching tastes and preferences form.
Bit of math, bit of tallying, bit of mulling flavour sets over in my head – and I started experimenting.
It needed to be floral – I chose Calendula and Jasmine.
It needed to be spiced – I chose nutmeg.
I wanted it to be just as good iced as hot, if not better, and tests from the day it was blended lead me to be fairly certain that I successfully met that goal.
So, June’s tea, 10-480, was created to help me deal with the ways in which I backslide when I am tired and stressed. It has been described as “friend-shaped” which brings me great glee.
And, July’s tea, 10-488, blended to be a tasty tea for all this heat that is also a bit soothing – with no involvement of lavender – and something where the project itself was complex enough to give me a certain sort of peace.
My only thoughts about an August tea, so far, are that maybe a bit of fall should be involved? For the hope of a seasonal shift, if nothing else.