A Cuppa With Simone Easthope

Simone Easthope is an opera singer currently studying at Julliard Conservatory and is a fellow tea devotee. Originally from a small town in Australia, she now lives in a delightful, cozy  apartment in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, with one of my oldest pals (Hi Evan!). They've tended to this place in the coolest way, with plants everywhere, a broken Roccocco mirror and a patio to call their own. Simone is a girl with hopes and dreams and a Soprano voice that will knock you down with beauty and shake your soul. We met and fell into an immediate tea dork girl crush and spent a glorious morning talking beverages, scones, family, European adventures and the like. Simone, I adore you and cannot wait to share a cuppa with you in Berlin, NYC, on the sunny beaches of my hometown or up here in stormy Portland.

What is your favorite type of tea and how do you take it? My favourite at the moment (I go through cycles) is the classic red-boxed Twinings English Breakfast. First thing in the morning, I "chuck on the billy" (boil the jug), throw a tea-bag into a mug, let it infuse for a minute or so, then add a generous dollop of half & half. If I'm feeling particularly luxurious, I'll add a dash of honey, but usually I just have it unsweetened. My favourite bit is that first sip, while I'm still kind of groggy, and it's still a little too hot. MMmmmm.

How does tea punctuate your day? I'm at school during the day, with no tea-making facilities, so it's the last thing I have before I leave the house, and the first thing I make when I get home. It makes me feel cosy, warm and safe, and calms me down after a busy day.

My tea accompaniment of choice is:
I have a killer scone recipe, and I love nothing more than a hot, soft, fresh-out-of-the-oven scone with a generous serve of jam and chantilly cream. It's the ultimate in luxury.

Last night's episode of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, or The Colbert Report, or The Rachel Maddow Show on hulu.com . . . is on when I'm having tea.
I first started drinking tea when . . .  I was a teenager. My mum has two cups every morning, and it quickly became my habit too. I started with two teaspoons of sugar, which slowly decreased to none.

My dream tea party would include . . . picnic rugs, parasols, dainty china, sweet treats, chantilly cream, and a long glorious summer afternoon in the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney. Friends from all corners of the globe, live music, poetry reading, painting, photography. Unbridled hedonism.

When I sip from my tea cup, I . . . sigh, then smile.

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