16 December 2012

Pu-erhFore Art Thou

Today is the anniversary of the Boston Tea Party. I've blathered on about it in the past, so no need to get into all that now- there is more current tea news to report.

There it was, in a New Yorker issue from few weeks back, in black and white: an offhand reference to pu-erh. No addition of the words "tea" or even "drinking," and no further explanation. This is A Big Deal.

Yes, it was italicized, which all good copy editors know indicates a foreign word not in the dictionary or popular lexicon. But still, it was there, and quite casually at that. I almost shouted with delight as I read it walking up the subway stairs- but then an old man coming the other way let loose a gentle river of vomit right as he passed me, which evened things out a bit.

I was wearing boots, though, so it failed to dampen my spirits too much. And perhaps celebration of just the word in print is premature- it may yet take as long as it took me to appreciate pu-erh (well over 10 years), but people will slowly figure out how delicious it is. It's inevitable.