Valentine's gift for my love

Dearest Mr. Tea,

I want to give my girlfriend tea for Valentine's day, but it isn't very romantic. Any thoughts on how I can jazz it up?

Buffalo, NY

Dearest Sal Valentine,

Tea in a saxophone? Okay, maybe too jazzy.

Honestly, I've always found that a sentiment means so much more than any physical gift you can give. A good story behind a gift makes it not only memorable, but extremely romantic. Many amorous stories and legends appear throughout tea history, and I'll be glad to share one of my favorites with you.


The tea-growing region of the Huang Shan (or Yellow) mountains in China is famous for its thick seas of clouds and mist that virtually blur the barren mountaintops. However, Chinese legend claims that this has not always been like this but is the result of a deep, powerful love and the misfortune that tore it apart.

Two young peasants from a town beside the mountain fell in love while toiling away at a plantation under the hot sun at the base of the mountain. They would meet every noon in secret and soon developed the strongest, purest love the land had ever known. The young woman, shining with the beauty of new romance, walked in to town one morning where she was quickly regarded by the ruler of the region as the most alluring in his domain. "I shall take her to be my concubine," he declared, and ordered her to leave her life and move into his castle immediately. While she protested, the tyrant's power was too great and she was forced to leave her love.

Not too long after, she figured out a way to escape the castle and in the middle of one night stole away to rejoin her lover. Upon returning to their secret location, though, she found his body mutilated by the ruthless, jealous lord. She knelt over him and began to weep. For days and days, she did not eat, she did not sleep. She wept and wept until her body became the air and her tears the rain. Her lover's body, nourished by this loving downpour, became a thriving, beautiful tea bush. And through their unending love, the bushes have multiplied and become boundless through the mountains, and the clouds seem to follow them, covering the landscape with a rich, salubrious mist.

You could try recounting that story (Mr. Tea always inserts his and his woman's name for added sentiment). Either that, or you can get her tea flowers. Everyone likes flowers on Valentine's Day, even Mr. Tea.

Romantic tea wishes,
Mr. Tea