Rafa Bidarra

6 photos of close-ups of tea and herbs
Rafa Bidarra’s Tea: TOP: Rooibos Chocolate Mint, Ambrosia Tea, Star Anise
BOTTOM: Cloves, Ginger, White Champagne Raspberry

Thursday 26/11/15

Thanksgiving Day!

Rafa Bidarra is a butoh dancer, actor, former nurse, and former mime from Lisbon, Portugal. This is the tea she brewed today.

When I told her that the room she was staying in was the “Budapest Train Station” she said anywhere but Budapest; anywhere but the train station!

smelling star anise

Rafa’s never really “been” to Budapest… but she once had a 5 hour layover at the Budapest Train Station.

And that was long enough to have woman die in her arms.

scooping cut ginger from a jar

The woman, from Uruguay, and her American friend, were on the trip of a lifetime, when the suitcase she was dragging behind her suddently got caught by a train speeding through the station. In an instant the woman was slammed up against the side of the train and people were screaming for a doctor.

No one was doing anything, and as a nurse Rafa stepped in. She cried for an ambulance but everyone seemed to disappear. The woman’s pulse was very weak. And in moments Rafa felt her pulse end.

pouring tea into a large vessel

As a nurse Rafa was trained not to become too personally involved with patients. Still, she had nightmares for a week, just thinking about this person on the dream trip of a lifetime with her best friend, and then in a second, her life was unexpectedly coming to an end.

stirring tea as it brews in a large glass cylinder of cold water

Rafa told me this story as we walked to the corner donut shop. The sky was bright with puffy clouds and a clear view of the mountains. We were so alive. It was so easy. Yet Rafa was still haunted by how a split second can change everything.

writing out a "Tea of the Day" list of ingredients

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