This post is part of the 31 Days of a Fresh Look @ simple things. This simple beverage is as constant for me as water. It is truly “mother’s milk” as I was weaned on plain, black tea. As an infant I had serious digestive issues requiring periodically being removed from formula and given tea instead. I alway drank my tea un-doctored. I think this preference must come from my infant experiences. For me there is nothing more soothing than warm black tea.
Holding the cup and inhaling the aroma I begin to feel a warm balm flow over my spirits.
I drink my tea all the year through. I like iced tea but it is not a substitute for my daily desire for what I consider a simple pot of tea.
I don’t remember when I outgrew a cup of tea, but somewhere in childhood as I grew so expanded my daily tea requirements.
The tea pot somewhat naturally led to multiple tea pots. Yes, I have a collection. I drink my ordinary daily tea from a variety of tea pots. They suit different quantities and different moods.
I chiefly drink black tea, although I occasionally drink green tea, and I have had white tea. White tea of good quality is very expensive. Tea can be quite expensive. It can also be very cheap. for me the critical factor is quality vs/ price. Purchased in quantity it also is easier to purchase a better quality. Since I do not use cream or sugar, lemon or honey I value taste and aroma most.
In my opinion even grey, soggy days deserve a quiet spot of tea. In fact, these are the days that most need one-half hour, a nice teapot, a purring cat and a good book. Naturally, more time is better, but even time for one Bible verse, devotion, or poem with your favorite variety of tea will alter the whole tenor of the day. As C. S. Lewis famously said, ” You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”
Tea is graded by being sifted through increasingly finer screens. The cheapest tea, which you find in tea bags on supermarket shelves everywhere, is little more than dust. The finest teas are full leaves. The alteration in flavor is very surprising. Not all tea bags contain inferior tea, but many do. Tear open one of your tea bags on a kitchen towel and see what is inside.
Because the flavor is released while the dried leaves “steep” or soak in the hot water, they need to expand during this process. Never use a tiny tea ball to steep your tea. I love loose-leaf tea, but I have a large mesh cup-shaped strainer made to steep a pot of tea (several teaspoons full) of tea. The tea leaves then have ample room to expand and the flavor and aroma are greatly enhanced.
The many books which have been published on tea result from the astounding variety one plant can create. All tea comes from the plant Camellia sinensis. Herbal teas, also called tisanes are another matter. The history of tea is full of intrigue, espionage, wars, drugs, smuggling, greed and ingenuity. Tea can be complex and ceremonial, but for many of us, simple can be beautiful. The simple act of preparing and drinking your favorite tea can be a restorative part of everyday. It is part of the wonder of the world. God made a tree and people began to brew the dried leaves in water…
My favorite teas are Chinese black teas that are flavored. My current favorite (and I have no connection to the company and cannot always afford to keep it on hand) is a blended black loose-leaf tea from Harney & Sons called “Tower of London.” The aroma is incredible and the flavor delightful. It is rich without being harsh. The brew is dark amber an the taste is unexpectedly delicate. Do you drink tea? What is your favorite variety? Do you drink large quantities or only one small cup?
As I hold the teacup I pause, inhale the aroma, and say a simple prayer thanking God for making simple joys for me to enjoy. As I slowly sip I let my daily Bible verse soak into my mind. Most of my tea I drink while eating or working, but one cup is for peace.