My Love Affair with a Good Cup of Tea

Recently, Buzzfeed came up with a pretty decent list of nifty items for tea lovers that got me thinking about my relationship with tea.

Tea and I go way back. I grew up in a coffee house (as in preference for, not Starbuckers) but my grand-aunt introduced me to Celestial Seasonings and I was totally hooked on the Red Zinger from then onward. I’ve always preferred a good cup of tea to coffee, except that Frank drinks coffee so in the morning he makes enough for two and I don’t bother.

However, in the afternoon or evening, it’s all about the tea. I try to stick with basic tea, locally available in the supermarket, like Twinnings, Stash,  or Tazo but I am all too aware of fancy tea. We have not one but two lovely fancy tea stores nearby (within blocks!) that have a wonderful selection of teas and paraphernalia.

If I didn’t have a tight budget and I had more room in my kitchen, I would have any number of the following things:

  • Cute tea infusers that look like deep sea divers or submarines – see it
  • Fancy flowering tea balls – see it
  • Several tea pots including glass, Victorian fine china, 18th Century Prim stoneware or Queensware, and something copper
  • Many vintage tea cups and saucers, not matching – see it
  • A Moroccan glass tea set – see it
  • A Russian tea set
  • Tea towels that feature cheeky yet slightly morbid illustrations – see it
  • Several tea dresses to go with the tea – see it

I have been meaning to put together a tea party complete with hats. I love the idea of elevating the cup of tea to a semi-formal event, making the everyday special. I love little sandwiches, scones, and petite fours. And, of course, very good posture and very polite manners.

Even just for myself, a cup of tea somehow has a slowing effect. It’s not something to be rushed. The tea is meant to calm and warming (the soul as well as the body) – regardless of caffeine content or not, although I avoid all caffeine after 3 p.m. Almost immediately, drinking tea conjures visions of parlors and ladies in finery, or a woman of the house taking a much deserved break, skirts cascading down the side of the chair. For me, tea is not a modern activity. It’s ancient, ceremonial, and grounding.

All this talk of tea makes me want to go downstairs and brew a cup. Unfortunately, I’ve neglected the dishes and just to enter my kitchen is going to irritate me. And, it was a rather warm day and I think I can’t quite manage a hot beverage at the moment. But…

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