With one meeting down and a full day to follow, I headed into my local café to pick up some sustaining breakfast and more importantly my morning cuppa. The day was airy and fresh – signs of weather to come, but bringing with it a sense of calm to London town.

C was at the coffee machine and just finishing the hearts on two lattes. He greeted me:  ‘Hi P, how are you? – what can I get you?’  ‘Morning C, I’m really well thanks. It’s got to be a green Oolong please – and some of that delicious brown toast’.  ‘Okay, but have you tried the ‘Laoshan?’ ‘Here, smell it’.  He opened a tin of Laoshan and one of Oolong and handed both over the counter. ‘Oh, and what about the Genmaicha – have you had that one yet?’  He said as handed me the tin.

I looked into the tins and smelled them one by one. There is something very relaxing about the scent of tea this special.  ‘Hmmm, that Laoshan is a bit sweeter – no? Maybe nice for the afternoon. And the Genmaicha is lovely, but a bit too toasty for my morning cup – I think I’ll stick with the Oolong please’.  ‘Yeah, you’re right the Laoshan is a lot sweeter – kind of fruity too’, C replied.

‘Hey man, nice to see you back’ C said to a man who had walked in, ordered his coffee and was now sitting down to wait for it. ‘Yeah, it’s good to be back but boy what happened to the weather – it’s never like this in LA?!’   Having just seen an old friend who lives there, I turned to him ‘Oh, you’re from LA?’ ‘No, actually I’m from Vancouver – but I’ve lived here for the past few years’. ‘How gorgeous – it’s all about the outdoors there, isn’t it?’ ‘Yeah, I’m heading back for a week or so and I can’t wait – it’s 27 degrees there!  I mean your British summer is so messed up – like look, I’m wearing a jacket and you’re wearing a scarf!’

We talked about the weather a bit more and his relatives who were visiting from St Louis. His Americano appeared:  ‘Wow, that looks like a good one C’, I said.

I picked up my tea and toast and departed No.26 feeling calm and, as always, buoyed by the conversation.


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