Tea Cats

My newest favorite place in the Twin Cities is tea shop/cafe/bar called Verdant Tea. Verdant Tea has existed awhile as a company, mainly functioning through online business, but my friends and I have been waiting with baited breath for the Verdant Tea gang to open a shop.

The place is amazing, the beverages are even more amazing, and there is a good assortment of other edible things too, because Verdant Tea teamed up with guys like Sweet Science ice cream, Real Deal Chocolate, and Birchwood Cafe (all locally made and delicous).

David and Lily (the owners) have two black cats named Loki and Rothko, and the cats drink tea and have preferences. I like tea and I like cats, and I really like illustrating, so I've been sketching cats drinking tea quite a bit. I wanted to make a finished illustration of one of the sketches.
I think they're drinking Dragonwell Green.

I think they're drinking Dragonwell Green.

At Verdant Tea, you can participate in a Gongfu Chinese tea ceremony, in which your host will explain to you that one of the most important parts of tea–particularly in that service–is sharing. Hospitality and tea go hand in hand, and the more I thought about that, the more I realized that even when I'm alone at home drinking tea (or even putting the kettle on), a piece of me is comforted by the past times I've had it with people.

I started drinking tea with my grandma, who served it to me when I was a little kid. I drank it because I thought it was cool. Later I had tea with grandma after particularly rough days in highschool. My parents gave it to me when I was sick in bed or if I woke up in the middle of the night with a sore throat. Lindsay, one of my best friends, introduced me to bubble tea, and we began our friendship over hours and hours of conversation/design work at a tea shop.

I can think of more reasons it has significance to me as I write this. It's more than "something good to drink". Food has that kind of significance, too, but that's for another day.