Irani Tea

Yesterday I mentioned buying Irani Tea online. As I noted, I’ve been an Irani Tea customer since the early 1980’s. I wrote about my long relationship with Irani Tea back in back in 2009 when I was blogging via Typepad, and I thought it was worth republishing that post here.

As a former resident of Moore, OK, where was I living when I first discovered Irani Tea, news of the tornado there hit me hard. The path of the tornado was only a dozen or so blocks south of my house. My thoughts and prayers are, of course, with all those affected. One excellent option for making contributions, if you are so inclined, is the United Way of Central Oklahoma.

27 November 2009

When I lived in Oklahoma City (Moore, actually, a suburb) in the early 1980’s my first wife Ruth and her two kids (whom she had in the summer and at Christmas) and I would go to an all-you-can-eat buffet called Duffs. They had a hot tea I really liked. It was lighter and richer than your average Lipton’s. The name was Irani. The PO Box address was on the tea bag tab so I wrote the company and asked if the tea was available by mail. I got a very gracious response from the company owner, one S.K. Irani, who said it was indeed. I began ordering it and enjoying it at home.

iraniAfter we moved to the Bay Area in 1985, I wrote to place an order, having written and printed my letter from my computer. (I don’t remember whether it was my original Apple IIe, or the 286 I got later.) While I was off at work, Ruth got a phone call from a very surprised Mr. Irani: “A computer letter from California!”

Somewhere along the way, amidst Ruth’s sudden death in 1989 and a few moves on my part, I lost touch with Irani Tea. Then, four, maybe five years ago, I decided to try and find them. I was able to find their address in Indianapolis, but they seemed to have no Web presence at the time. I wrote to Mr. Irani and asked about ordering again. I received a very nice letter from Katrina Irani Donahue, who said she was helping her father with the business. Terry and I started ordering and drinking Irani tea again.

Today Katrina is president and owner of Irani Tea, Inc. While for the longest time I had to request my tea by U.S. mail and wait for the shipment and invoice and then send back a check via U.S. mail, I can now order on-line and pay via PayPal.

I do love my Irani tea. If you like tea but find the standard orange pekoe & black tea from the grocery store a bit too harsh, check out Irani. You can find them at

mom and pop cyber merchants

I certainly spend enough money at Amazon, and I have made my share of purchases on sites like as well. But one of the nice things about the Internet and the flexibility that PayPal provides is that there is as much room for mom and pop merchants with their own storefronts online as there is on Main Street. Maybe more, because they’re not limited to their local community.

One merchant I purchase from regularly is Christian at He sells plastic rolls for the FoodSaver. I prefer to buy the third-party rolls because they are cheaper than what you buy from FoodSaver, and I find them easier to work with. Perhaps the quality is not really superior to FoodSaver’s own merchandise, but it seems that way to me. At least the third-party rolls seem to have more of a commercial-grade quality to them. I first found Christian on eBay, and he was the best and most efficient of the plastic roll merchants that I worked with. I now but directly from his own storefront, and he is always prompt and reliable.

Then there’s my friend Katrina Irani Donahue, from whom I buy Irani Tea. I have been buying Irani Tea since the early 1980’s when I dealt with her father by postal mail. Today I go to Katrina’s Web site and with just a few clicks I’ve placed my order. More on Katrina and Irani Tea tomorrow.

I think it is as important to support our cyber mom and pop merchants as it is to support our brick and mortar mom and pop merchants downtown.

missing Pentecost

Yesterday was Pentecost. I missed it. Or at least I missed Pentecost worship. As this blog entry goes live, Terry and I are coming to the end of a long weekend visiting family.

I really dislike missing the big events in the liturgical year. I try hard not to. But it doesn’t always work out. Trying to sync Terry’s and my work calendar with my brother’s work calendar and his and my sister-in-law’s personal calendar, plus accounting for the fact that we don’t want to wait until it gets too hot to make the trip down there, and we ended up, this year, with the trip coinciding with Pentecost.

Sometimes things sync with the liturgical calendar and sometimes they don’t. The Morgan Hill AAUW Wildflower Run is usually on Palm Sunday, so I end up missing it. This year it wasn’t so I was able to participate. But this year the family calendar has me missing Pentecost.

That’s how the liturgical and personal calendars interact.

In the words of Linda Ellerbee, “And so it goes.”

Sacred Music Friday: Magnificat in G

Magnificat in G, Charles Villiers Stanford, Salisbury Cathedral Choir

when things are no longer available

utensilsWe keep our cooking utensils in an aluminum canister, as you see here. We had purchased a few KitchenAid  utensils, which have rather round, thick handles. It was getting to where it was difficult getting the desired utensil out of the canister. I thought that it would be nice to replace a few of the KitchenAid utensils with new ones from Oneida in our favorite flat-handled style. So I looked. And looked. And looked. I checked Bed Bath & Beyond. I looked on Amazon. I scoured the Oneida Web site.


You would think that something as practical and useful would stay in production, but apparently not. Guess we’d better take care of the ones we have. At least they’re sturdy and have already lasted us several years.


What’s happened to CNN?

I’ve been a fan of CNN since I first got cable in Oklahoma City in the early 1980’s, when it was a relatively new network. It’s always been my go-to source for television news. It’s disappointing, then, to see the depths to which CNN has sunk.

cnnI first noticed the exchange of quality reporting in favor of sensationalism the week of the Boston Marathon bombings. Heading to a trade show in Las Vegas last week, I looked up at the television Southwest Airlines had at the gate in San Jose and was frustrated to see Nancy Grace leading the coverage of the rescue of the kidnapped women in Cleveland.

During the week when off duty and in my hotel room, I spent more time than usual in front of the television. Rather than covering national affairs, CNN’s focus was on the Jodi Arias verdict, the Cleveland story, the aftermath of the Boston bombings, and some trial in Philadelphia, for which I didn’t stay tuned long enough to find out what it was about.

I can only assume that this is at the direction of Jeff Zucker, the new head of CNN. For a TV veteran whose resume includes the Today show, I have to say I would have expected better. We certainly seem to have lost a venerable and valued broadcast news source. It’s a shame.

if I thought it was me

Back in the mid and late 1980’s I was a big Ram Dass fan. There was an organization that sold cassette tapes of his lectures (remember cassette tapes?) and I think I eventually owned pretty much the entire catalog.

ramdassIn one of his later lectures he spoke about getting older, seeing the changes to his body and the age spots on his hand, and quipped, “If I thought it was me, I would freak.” (This was before his stroke.) In retrospect, that strikes me as a singularly Christian (in the most mainline, traditional sense) comment coming from one steeped in the Eastern tradition.

What really grabs my attention, though, probably 25 years after hearing the comment, is that I don’t relate.

Not that I feel totally comfortable in my body. I have an annoying skin condition, but that has been with me since puberty, and has not changed much over the years. (And for which I check in with my dermatologist annually.) I am certainly more fit and have an exercise discipline that I didn’t have when I was listening to Ram Dass. Some of it is genetic luck. When I go to a college reunion I’m one of the few who can be recognized because of how little my appearance has changed since then. Yes, my hair is white, but I’ve had some gray hair since the late 1970s, premature gray being a Monaghan (my mother’s side of the family) trait.

For the most part I have to say that, in this year in which I turn sixty, there is little to freak out about.