While Californians don’t experience the gloom of mid-winter or post-holiday blues, we’ve had our share of rainy days. Dark skies make me glum and vanquish a chipper mood.

Hot chocolate – or chai tea – mediates a glum attitude.

I’m an unashamed enthusiast of both. Each flavor comes in a packet – in a box one can buy at a market – with powdered contents which stir easily into a cup of hot water. Mellow in a mug. Yum!

As one stirs the powder, the metal spoon tinkles as it bounces around the cup or mug. That’s a delightful sound, though it’s a bit brash. It’s like an old-fashioned dinner bell used on a ranch or a farm. It’s a clarion call to deliciousness. It signals a mood change is forthcoming –

Then try pinging the spoon on the base of the cup when it’s empty, then again as you fill it with hot water. This action evokes a scale, like the singing of water-filled glasses in the hands of a gifted performer. The pitch change is as dramatic as the performer’s show. Have you seen one, dear reader? Did you pitch the performer some coins?

Each tap on the base sends a sound wave up through the liquid’s surface, which then bounces downward and reflects off the base again. The pitch you hear is set by how quickly the sound travels. TEach drink’s powder picks up passengers during the travel: pockets of air that are quickly released as bubbles, which are cute to watch. Part of the show before the flavor enlightens your mouth. Sort of the spritely bubbles of champagne, but this beverage is for a different time and holiday.

What matters about the bubbles is that they’re squishy and create adorable sound mutations.

Enjoy your cuppa of whatever beverage, dear reader. Enliven your day, your spirits, and your mood. Sunshine in a glass, cup, or mug.

Play and have a nice day!