It was a busy morning—a client project and prep for a small exhibit opening next week—but I promised a friend I’d meet her at a local cafe for a catch-up conversation. The day was warm, with September light slanting through the trees, and I walked up the hill to our urban hangout (this used to be the countryside!). After ordering a big cup of Japanese sencha, I sat chatting about life and work, letting the tea work its magic. I haven’t had coffee for decades, though I used to love it, and still enjoy the smell of it. But I wouldn’t trade my cup of tea for..., well, I already enjoy quite a bit of all the tea in China! I am a green tea drinker, favoring teas from China and Japan. Tea is like wine, it reflects its terroir—the conditions and climate its grown in—and flavors vary with every “vintage” year. This particular sencha was delicious, and as I felt the teanine (like caffeine only different) brighten my brain, I’m sure my conversation took on a sparkle. I was certainly enjoying my pause, and I returned to my studio refreshed in body and spirit.