The title is true: both the tea and the sketches were awkward. It was a warm November evening during our weird extended summer and the doors to the patio were open. But that didn’t diminish the smell of frying food and the annoying sound of constant chopping from the small kitchen. I totally botched the perspective when I drew the tables. The little girls look like they’re floating but they were sitting on a bench, also drawn awkwardly.
At the Imperial Tearoom, they serve the tea Gaiwan style: the loose tea floats in a cup with a lid but no handle (foreground above). To drink it, you’re supposed to tilt the lid and drink from the cup using the lid as a strainer. Awkward.
I’d recently given up caffeine so selected some sort of ginger, ginseng and weed concoction. Fortunately it tasted yucky so it didn’t matter how hard it was to drink. I was really just there to sketch, but the sketches turned out mostly yucky too. I added gouache to the teapot above at home to try to fix the anemic painting I’d done on site and to the saucer below to try to hide all the trouble I had with ellipses that night.
When I ordered my tea I didn’t see prices on the menu, just the teas to choose from. When I paid the bill, I discovered the stupid cup of tea cost $6.00!