Earl Grey Chiffon Cake with Maple Meringue

A big mug sat in front of me, lemon seeds dotting the surface. Sugar crystals lay beside the mug, spilled onto the table despite my deliberate watchfulness to not spill any. It wasn’t as much carefulness as prolonging the time until I would have to touch my lips to the concoction in front of me. The brown mug, covered with spider-vein like cracks held a drink that I despised: tea.

Earl Grey chiffon cake with maple meringue and strawberries

Almost every morning, for fourteen years, I was faced with a mug of tea. It was the reason that I didn’t want to get out of bed. It was a jolt of caffeine that tasted like water. I can understand why people drink coffee, but tea? I wasn’t a big fan. The black leaves that sat in the bottom of the cup, like bitter shreds of confetti, were avoided at all costs as I took sips from the cup.

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