The Best Cup of Tea Ever

By | November 25, 2022

[November 25, 2022]  Late in my life, I discovered that those tasks I took on meant something only if they were challenging, risky, rare, and supported by those around me.  In early 2007, I was back in Fallujah, Iraq, to visit a special Sheik who would become the leader of The Great Iraqi Awakening.  Waiting on the Sheik to meet our 3-person delegation, I was offered a cup of tea.  It would be the best cup of tea I ever had.

We were fully armored.  The years 2006 and 07 were some of the worst times for American casualties in the war.  Much of the insurgency was Sunni, and they held the vast Anbar province.  But Sheik Sattar, under his leadership, discovered it was better for his tribes to align with the U.S. than fight us.  We were there to finalize the deal.

I don’t know the man’s name, you can see his photo in the thumbnail, but he made some damn great tea.  I will confess that I never was, nor am I now, a tea drinker.  It’s more of a British cultural habit.  I love coffee.  But there was something about that tea; hot and sweet.  And there I was, drinking it in the hot desert of Iraq.

After the first cup, I asked for a second, a third, and a fourth.  What the heck made his tea so good?  The two-star Army General with me said it was the sugar that made me want to drink more and warned me to back off a bit or I would suffer for it.  While I never had any after-effects, I sure would like another cup of his tea.

“Usually, if you stop for tea, someone will feel the desire to join you.” – Sunita Williams

Soon, several others, mostly Iraqi soldiers, joined me while I drank my fourth and last cup of tea.  We talked as best we could, given my limited Arabic and their rudimentary English.  It was a friendly conversation.  I wanted these foot soldiers to know they could trust Americans (and that is no easy task given our confused foreign policies).  I had my picture taken shortly after with a “technical” gun crew who had mounted a Soviet-made DShK heavy machine gun on the chasse of a Toyota pickup truck (I’ll publish that photo later).

Our mission was to seal the deal between the Sunni and American military leaders.  It was a relatively easy task.  To this day, I’m not sure why I was invited.  Maybe they needed an Engineer and the Iraqis had considerable respect for engineers, and I had a reputation by that time in the war for “being a friend of the Baghdad Amanat.”

I still remember the taste of that cup of tea.  (or, rather, the sugar)  I would not drink it now if you offered it to me.  I only took the drink as part of my job to “mingle” with the Iraqis.  I did, but I did like their tea.  It was the best cup of tea ever, and I thank Sunni Sheik al Sattar for his generosity.


Please read my books:

  1. “55 Rules for a Good Life,” on Amazon (link here).
  2. “Our Longest Year in Iraq,” on Amazon (link here).
Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I provide one article every day. My writings are influenced by great thinkers such as Friedrich Nietzsche, Karl Jung, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Jean Piaget, Erich Neumann, and Jordan Peterson, whose insight and brilliance have gotten millions worldwide to think about improving ourselves. Thank you for reading my blog.

33 thoughts on “The Best Cup of Tea Ever

  1. Audrey

    I’ll never drink a cup of tea in the future without thinking about “the best cup of tea ever.” Gen. Satterfield, thank you!

  2. Good Dog

    Gen. Satterfield thank you once again for an entertaining and informative article on your time in combat. Sometimes not all things are breaking the enemy but making friends and alliances. This was one of those times and put Iraq on the path to something that benefited their citizens.

      1. Sadako Red

        All of you should be a student of great leaders. They give you the “how” to make things work. And Gen. Satterfield’s works prove that in spades. Take you time, read more, think more, and always come back here for a general grounding in the ways of the world.

  3. Nick Lighthouse

    Just a cup of tea and look at where it took Gen. Satterfield. Who would have known that he was part of the Great Awakening in Iraq. Even if he played a small role by representing America’s willingness to rebuild Iraq, it was still an important part.

  4. Army Captain

    My dog at my feet, my cup of coffee in my hand and your article on my computer screen. Now, that is living.

    1. old warrior

      Now that’s real living. But always be prepared to kick somebody’s butt.

  5. Georgie B.

    What would we do without Gen. Satterfield? Now that is a good question. The issue I struggle with is how do I personally contribute to this blog and make a difference. Hi all, have a great weekend and don’t forget to get good deals on this BLACK FRIDAY.

  6. Joey Holmes

    I personally would like to see a copy of that photo where Gen. Satterfield is guarded by an Iraqi gun crew with a Russian heavy machinegun.

    1. Marx and Groucho

      No hear from you in a long long time Joey. I hope you’ve been well. Keep coming back here into the forums to gain a better and more detailed understanding of what gen. Satterfield has written. That is one way of giving back to others by helping them to jell complex ideas into their head rather than taking the easy route that neo-Marxists are taking in college today.

  7. Eduardo Sanchez

    I don’t know the man’s name, you can see his photo in the thumbnail, but he made some damn great tea. I will confess that I never was, nor am I now, a tea drinker. It’s more of a British cultural habit. I love coffee. But there was something about that tea; hot and sweet. And there I was, drinking it in the hot desert of Iraq.
    Gen. Doug Satterfield at his best.

  8. Fred Weber

    Another wonderful article and entertaining read from the mind of Gen. Satterfield. Oh, wishing everyone a very early Christmas!

    1. Eye Cat

      Yep, got that right Fred. The best leadership blog EVER. How, then, do we get others to join in the conversations we have here in the forums page? How do we get folks involved? Instead of them sitting in the basements playing video games and whacking their puds, maybe some of those Millenials and gen z’ers could get out for a minute and do something productive.

      1. Dead Pool Guy

        Yep, and remember that it is our responsibility to make ourselves better and we take care of ourselves by staying in good physical shape and mentally strong. That is the way we must act and daily. Judge yourself, not to others but to yourself yesterday.

        1. McStompie

          DPG, you got it. BTW, great reading of these comments. Shows thatthere are a lot of good thinkers reading Gen. Satterfield’s blog.

    2. Linux Man

      Right. The hard part here for us is to give others something important or useful as support for or critique of Gen. Satterfield and the guests he has on his blog.

  9. mainer

    Gen. Satterfield, your adventures amaze me. In all the important work you were doing, it was the sugar tea that stood out most. 👍

    1. Greg Heyman

      Dern, what we do in life matters to us and to those close to us. I haven’t heard from you in a long time. I surely hope you have been well. thanks also your praise of Gen. Satterfield’s book. And, don’t forget to get a copy of “Our Longest Year in Iraq” too. That book will amaze.

        1. HAL Two Thousand One

          Hi Jelly, been a long time. Great to see you on this blog again. We would like to have another article of yours to give us an update in what is happening in “the real world.”

        2. Drew Dill

          Big fan of yours here Mr. Bryce. I would like to read another article from you. Can you give us one before the holiday season? Thank you.

          1. Julia

            Same here. We all would love to read another article and find out what is happening in the culture of collapse that the FBI is having today. Shows how important good leadership is. When you have a liar as your leader, things go to shit really really fast.

  10. Dern McCabe

    Best cup of coffee ever, and now best cup of tea ever. Never will I again try to predict Gen. Satterfield. He is the best. He is the one who can lead men in combat and live to tell the stories that need telling.
    — Get his best-selling book “55 Rules for a Good Life” and enjoy the holidays.

    1. Len Jakosky

      Thanks Dern, keep up your great comments and help Gen. Satterfield by getting copies of his books.
      My favorite is “55 Rules for a Good Life” and it should be your’s too.

      1. Pen Q

        Exactly, Len. “55 Rules for a Good Life” is a roadmap to being better, better than good, better than whatever, but good nonetheless.


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